Artist: Lisa Walker
Album: Grooved Whale

Label: Earthworm

Grooved Whale Lisa Walker
Some years ago, whale sounds proliferated contemporary instrumental music. Any musician who could get to the "environmental" bin of their corner new age bookshop's music department could overlay the songs of the Humpback whale into whatever project was at hand. Originally meant to raise the consciousness of an unaware public, whale recordings turned up in enough recordings so as to eventually be taken for granted; the true meaning of the recordings lost in a trend of cliched sampling. Grooved Whale is an album by Lisa Walker which incorporates her evocative violin playing, sparse electronics and her very own unique field recordings of whale calls. The CD returns authenticity to what once was a compelling movement to raise mainstream awareness of interspecies communications and the mingling of these voices with music.

Most spacemusic deals with transporting the listener to an ineffible place, out at the edge of the universe or deep within the human psyche. On Grooved Whale, Walker takes the listener to a place where she has been and we have not; on location to the environment where her whales dwell. The music is as interesting as the process. Present are the magnificient songs and calls of the whale, but there is also Walker's beautiful violin leads and textures, taken to the full emotional measure her instrument has to offer and often played underwater using custom waterproof gear. In her insightful liner notes, Walker tells of the whales in attendance at these performances and the effect her playing had on them. As for the effect on humans, Grooved Whale offers us a sound collage of subtle synth sequences and pads supporting swimming violin melodies brought to life by Walker's insight into, passion for and familiarity with the gentle giants of the sea. Listener response will range from an overall sense of relaxation and contemplation in response to Walker's sonic craftsmanship up to an earthling's awe at the order and place of intelligent life on the planet.

- Chuck van Zyl/STAR'S END   21 March 2001