Bernie Van Tiel’s 20-minute soundscape, Een ongehoorde wereld (“A world unheard of”), was commissioned and created in the studio for The Song Company’s The Concord of Strangers (2016) – a concert program exploring both Dutch and Australian connections to the 400th anniversary of Dirk Hartog’s arrival on the Western coast of the Australian continent in his ship, the Eendracht.
“We follow our voyagers as they embark on their journey, braving the foreign seas that could be foe or friend at any given moment – the ebb and flow of the rhythmic background almost chaotic like the sea. The calm is introduced and we experience the discovery of this new and intriguing land – hearing sounds as they’ve never been heard before. Australia is a unique place, uniquely represented by its native flora and fauna and the music it creates. A place undisturbed. A place of serenity, wonder, and caution.
From our adventurer’s point of view, further along in the journey: feelings of curiosity, the sense of potential danger and, of course, the absolute isolation. The apparent virginity of the land. The atmosphere of an island, of a dense forest. As we discover and explore, we are hit with sounds now familiar to us, resonating with indigenous culture and its deep cultural enrichment and beauty, juxtaposed with cool, serene rainforest, enhancing adventure, excitement, being among the elements, braving rain, wind, heat, drafts, camping, sailing, sleeping, eating. The vast difference between night and day. The turn of the weather.
Though this is a large amount of recording, I broke everything up into sections, and eventually explored the marriage of certain tracks, the reintroduction of particular sounds to keep the world we’re in alive. Finally there is the feeling of leaving the land again: getting on the ship, braving the chaos again, heading to the climax of the horizon and then bringing back the feeling of isolation and the notion of an untouched land as the Concord sails away, leaving just the serenity of the land as it was ... as if no one outside had even been there.
I recommend listening to the tracks with a decent set of headphones to immerse yourself fully in the experience. And of course, without question, just so you definitely know, this was done 100% vocal. No effects (except perhaps some reverb), no tweaks, just my voice.”
The Song Company belongs to a land whose first peoples have always used songlines and vocal music to pass knowledge and
culture from one generation to another. We bring together Australia’s finest voices in innovative performances, commissioning new music, emerging artist development, educational outreach, and collaborative music-making across art forms....more