Norman W Long “Black Space in Winter”

The description of this piece says so much: “These recordings offer us a way to listen to communities of color by listening for the ecological, economic and residential life that make up the community.” Norman W Long assembles a selection of field recordings, combined with other composed sounds, to present a reflection on how sound shapes the world. It’s an eye-opening and captivating offering, familiar sounds dropping in and out of range, paired in ways that immerse you in someone else’s world. Black Space in Winter is a stunning example of how powerful sound is even when we don’t recognize it. Familiar sounds can bring people together, can hold up shared experience across lines, but it’s the unfamiliar that elicits something visceral. Long uses this to build this piece to a jarring, powerful conclusion. Each listen offers broadened perspective, especially where it’s most difficult, and Black Space in Winter is essential to truly hear. Do yourself a favor and check this out.