Marc Namblard: F.Guyana CD

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…

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