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ARTIST
TITLE
Cho Oyu 8201m
FORMAT
CD

LABEL
CATALOG #
ASH 7.1CD ASH 7.1CD
GENRE
RELEASE DATE
11/7/2006

Subtitled: Field Recordings from Tibet. Geir Jenssen is a Norwegian composer and performer, best known for his work as Biosphere, who has released five albums on Touch over the last ten years. In the early 1990s, Jenssen was a pioneer of so-called "ambient techno," but since then, he has refined his sound into something more magnetic and enduring. These recordings were made by Jenssen while climbing "Cho Oyu" in Tibet in September and October 2001. Cho Oyu is the sixth highest mountain in the world at 8201 meters, situated in the Himalayas near Mount Everest, on the Tibetan/Nepalese border. This album may be regarded as the soundtrack to the film of this journey, also containing some of the source material for the most recent Biosphere album, Dropsonde. The Cho Oyu climb, with six climbers and one sherpa, was made from Kathmandu into Tibet, taking two weeks to reach Base Camp in staged intervals so as to avoid altitude sickness. Each track represents one such stage in the journey, from base to base to summit, absorbing the only sounds possible on the trip to the mountain and all the way up. "Tingri: The Last Truck" captures the sounds of trucks zooming past livestock, horses and carts, pigs and yaks, overtaken by vehicles blasting their horns, on the last inhabited area before the mountain. Wind, yak bells and ambient sound provide the material for "Chinese Base Camp: Near A Stone Shelter," while "Nangpa La: Birds Feeding On Biscuits" was Jenssen's attempt to get a clean, unprocessed recording of mountain birds by baiting them with food. "Camp 3: Neighbours on Oxygen" was made when the wind picked up and ferocious hail hit the tents. One group chose to wear oxygen masks and could easily be heard from Jenssen's tent, where he made this recording. Cho Oyu 8201M is a document of a difficult journey told in sound: of random hillside transistor radio music, pilot chatter from planes over the Himalayas via shortwave frequency, and of absolute cold and ambient, still silence.