Organic Soundscapes for Meet Your Maker


Organic Soundscapes 1 and 2
A fieldrecording project by Peter Mayer

The Mayer-Farm:
11 cows, 11 male or female calfs, one bull (who takes care for the offspring)
2 traktors and lots of other little machinery
1 farm bulding, 1 little barm on the field, 10 ha of grassland, 1,5 ha of forest

Part 1 – Daily:
Soundrecording of the daily barn work in the evening.

Sounds appearing:
…. getting new hey bales, feeding the cows, taking the manure out to the manure
pile, putting straw to the sleeping spaces of the cows, ….

Part 2 – Monthly:
Soundrecording from the monthly act of butchering an animal. The recording
includes an interview with the butcher while he is talking about his work and
life. The sound was editet into a video, presenting subtitles that transalate from
upperaustrian dialect into english.

Sounds appearing:
….. catching the cow inside the trailer to be able to shoot it from close up, blood
running into the drain (bleeding out), sharpening the knifes, skinning, taking out
the guts, cutting the cow in two halfs with an electrical saw, comments of the

The story:
Smallscale organic farming is a ritualistic process full of responsibilities in many
different dimensions.
Let´s start from the very basics: Helping a pregnant cow giving birth to a young
calf, raising the offspring, growing grass on fields, harvesting, feeding the animals
on a daily bases, maintaining hygene, taking care for sick animals, taking care for
all the machinery necessary for farming, deciding the right point of time when
an animal is going to die. Helping to kill it. Selling the meat or produce other
products that can serve human kind.

All these acts provide an immense amount of sounds. I wanted to capture some
of them and give respect to their everyday existence by presenting them in other
contexts. It turned out that it is nearly impossible to present these recordings
without triggering judgements in the listeners. We all have different attitudes
concerning the production of food. Whatever thoughts you might have: We are
all part of the cycle.


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