F.Guyana | Marc Namblard


F.Guyana | Marc Namblard
Gruen 175
Audio CD (+ Digital + F .Guyana part II) > [order]
Digital (+ F .Guyana part II) > [order]


The field recordings of « F.Guyana » have been realized in the forests and the costal regions of French Guiana between the dry season and the « little rainy season » (November/December 2014, 2015 and 2016).


1. Awala

Plage des Hattes, Awala-Yalimapo. Softness of the setting sun with a greenbrown sea tainted with red as a backdrop. Waves hemmed with foam and a hot breeze blurring the sound of palm trees and crickets make a répétitive music.


2. Crique Popote, Rhinella marina

Crique Popote, east of Saül. Beginning of the night. Cane toads (Rhinella marina) come out of the forest and cautiously step into the world of a creek which is still sleepy at the end of the dry season. Their powerful sonorous trills intermittently punctuate the silky humming of nocturnal insects.


3. Crique Popote, Cacicus cela

Same location, at daybreak. The first rays of the sun spray gold dust on emerging treetops. A colony of Yellow-rumped Caciques caw their wacky repertoire in the crystalline air. Guianan Red Howler Monkeys and cicadas – among other early risers – also make their way through thèse dream-like surroundings.


4. Pics et Colibris, Woodpeckers and hummingbirds

On the dirt road to Saint-Élie, near Sinnamary. On either side of the road, a confused, impenetrable forest edge where even the whirring sound of hummingbirds and high-pitched droning of cicadas appear to be held back. Yet, here also, the forest offers a remarkable sensation to ears who like to listen, where each call, song or drummed sound seems like a cleverly written note on a timeless musical score. Above our heads, a woodpecker hammers at a piece of bark, tears it away and abandons it before flying away.


5. Boeuf Mort, Dark night

On a path called ‘Boeuf Mort’, near Saül. The dark night shivers. In the foreground, a tiny tree frog, Pristimantis inguinalis, pulses its brief resounding note, alternating with the trisyllabic call of Vitreorana oyampiensis, a Small glass frog. A Variegated Tinamou (Crypturellus variegatus) finally betrays its presence with its characteristic whistling.


6. Kaw Mountain, Manucus manucus

Kaw mountain, late morning, in the jumble of a secondary forest. Several White-bearded Manakins (Manacus manacus) have gathered in a courtship display area and fly about at prodigious speed, disseminating sparks of sound produced by their vibrating wings. Several doves (probably Leptotila rufaxilla) as well as a Northern Slaty Antshrike (Thamnophilus punctatus) can be heard in the background.


7. Petit Saut, Ara chlroropterus

Late afternoon, south of lake Petit Saut. A magical moment after a short but generous shower. In just a few minutes, and as the forest has finished shaking off the rain, a composite whisper builds up. Voices appear, rise, multiply themselves and at times whirl around. Perched on tall candle-like dead trees, Red-and-green Macaw (Ara chloropterus) converse and enjoy the sound of their vocal explosions propagating over the vast space.


8. Forest drones

Hypnotic summary of the throbbing sound of the primary forest early in the morning with Black Spider Monkeys (Ateles paniscus), Guianan Red Howler Monkeys (Alouatta maconelli), Stingless bees (Melipona sp.), cicadas and crickets taking the lead roles.


9. Kaw Mountain, Post-explosive breeding

Kaw mountain, late December. Close to a temporary forest pool. The intense downpours of the previous days have triggered the first mass amphibian breedings, accompanied by a cumulative chorus so powerful it represents a real danger for the unprotected human ear. Today, early in the night, the activity is moderately intense and enables us to appreciate the phenomenon. Two species of Leptodactylus (Leptodactylus cf. knudseni, Leptodactylus aff. mystaceus), displaying varying degrees of depth and quaver, and Dendropsophus (Dendropsophus leucophyllatus, Dendropsophus aff. minutus), with sharp high-pitched sounds, take the lead role in this hallucinogenic soundscape heralding the beginning of the rainy season.


10. Crique Douille, Arada

Chemin gros arbres, south of Saül. Typical soundscape, near a small creek, transmuted by the steady and hesitant arrival of a Musician Wren (Cyphorhinus arada).


11. Caribbean inspiration

Back to the ocean, near Cayenne, at dusk. Wanderings amongst fireflies, between a stretch of fallow land illuminated by a choir of Johnstone’s Robber Frogs (Eleutherodactylus johnstonei) – a small amphibian originally from the Caribbean – and the edge of a marshy forest, alive with groups of Snouted Treefrogs (Scinax boesemanni, Scinax ruber) and Crested Forest Toads (probably Rhinella cf. margaritifera). Accompanied by the muffled and haunting rhythm of waves crashing on the beach and beating the reefs…


11 Tracks (72′22″)
CD (500 copies)





Sound recording, studio editing and mastering: Marc Namblard
Designed by U9.net
Written by Marc Namblard
Translated into English by Hélène Marchand
All sounds for F. Guyana were recorded in the forests and coastal regions of French Guiana in November and December 2014, 2015 and 2016.
Photo credits: Anne-Cécile Monnier, Hadrien Lalagüe, Yann Chassatte, Antoine Baglan and Marc Namblard.
The sounds, texts and images presented here are the property of the authors.
All rights reserved.
A big warm thank you to Yannick Chassatte, Fernand Deroussen, Antoine Baglan, Thomas Tilly, Anne-Laure Allègre & Nicolas Quendez, Pierre Gutierrez & Ronan Monel (Nature de Guyane), Nils de Pracontal & Charlotte Briand, Kami Khazraie, Hadrien Lalagüe, Yannick Dauby, Anne-Cécile Monnier, Daniel Wambach, Sophie Krommenacker, Orlane Cornu, Joanne Lacour, Nicolas Franek.


Marc Namblard :


Field Recording Series by Gruenrekorder
Germany / 2017 / Gruen 175 / LC 09488 / GEMA / EAN 4050486989432





Frans de Waard | VITAL WEEKLY
With the weather being all sunny, and located in a very quiet neighbourhood, I sleep with windows open and every morning birds awake me quite early. Being no ornithologist, I have no idea which one, but one of these birds makes a very high-pitched noise, which is, come early morning, quite irritating. How remarkable, I thought a few hours later, that I don’t mind hearing such sounds when they arrive on compact disc. Gruenrekorder is a German label with an extensive catalogue of works that deal with field recordings (you know this of course from the many reviews already appeared here) and here we have two new ones, dealing with places I have never been too. Which always made me wonder if that is a ‚problem‘ or not; can I fully relate to the work at hand, without ever visited the place? Of course it is a bit of a theoretical question, since the review has to be written anyway.
I started this little trip overseas (for me that is) and joined Marc Namblard on a journey through France Guyana. Namblard, who calls himself a ’sound artist and naturalist‘ is from the North of France and has a few releases to his name (see Vital Weekly 624, 737 and 914). Namblard is entirely focussed on recording the sounds of the rain forest and animal life within that. In the booklet that comes with this (and as usual, no expenses are spared with Gruenrekorder) Namblard gives us information about the location where did his recordings and what kinds of animals we are hearing. He certainly seems to know his stuff. What particularly struck me in the eleven pieces here was the fact that many of the sounds we hear are very minimal and repetitive and also quite musical. I am not sure how that Namblard does his editing, be it that each of these pieces is a strict recording of a particular event with nothing else than just cut ’n paste, or if there is layering of sounds, looping or such like. In a piece like ‚Crique Popote, Rhinella Marina‘, we hear the beginning of night with far away chirping of cicadas and close by the Cane toads (also known as Rhinella marina) and the way the piece unfolds sounds very much like a song; one sound coming in on it’s own and later on repeated, altered a bit, and becoming a kind of chorus. As the CD progresses the sounds get more and more minimal, but also they seem to be electronic; here I was thinking about that bird that woke me up this morning. In ‚Forest Drones‘ one could easily mistake the repeating sound to be that of lo-fi cassette loop, and in ‚Kaw Mountain, Post-explosive breeding‘ it sounds like a synthesizer. It is not easy to think of all of this in terms of ‚just‘ natural sounds, but so it is. This is an excellent release of pure field recordings sounding like some great music. [] Both of these new Gruenrekorder releases are excellent, but I preferred the one by Namblard to the one by Klement, mainly for it’s minimal approach that worked out quite musically.


Beach Sloth
Absolutely soothing in its reinterpretation of the real, Marc Namblard casts a gorgeous spell on “F. Guyana”. Nicely documenting a world that few others get to truly engross themselves in, the way the piece unfolds is quite masterful adhering to Luc Ferrari’s love for his surroundings. Elements filter in and out of the mix, as every song represents yet another step in the journey. Naturalistic in tone, there is something so warm and inviting about the way Marc Namblard lets the sounds speak for themselves with minimal interference.


Sleepy in sentiment is the opener “Awala” with gentle waves giving the sound a distinctly summery flair. One of the most fascinating track is “Crique Popote, Cacicus cela” where the unique sound of the bird at times recalls the digital synthesis of Florian Hecker’s work in terms of its almost angular digital sound. A meditative spacious drone is dominant on the blissful atmosphere of “Boeuf Mort, Dark night”. Much more ominous in execution is the eerie sheen of “Forest Drones” whose tension is without relief. Surreal and yet another highlight comes from the primal disorientating sound of “Kaw Mountain, post-explosive breeding”. As a nice touch Marc Namblard include a digital bonus, which includes the playful “P.St-Elie_Hypsiboas boans”. With “C.Caiman_Midnight calls” Marc Namblard highlights how space is explored by birds with their echoing calls. Ending things with a thoughtful attitude is the luxurious “Salvation’s islands”.


Quite engrossing in the unusual locale and the unusual sounds of the lovely creatures who reside there, Marc Namblard delivers a gorgeous view of the world on “F. Guyana”.