Insular Regions

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Mooste, Estonia is not a likely place to make an obvious appearance on many cartographic or social maps of Europe. It is said to be a “normal” Estonian village, a small rural community that reflects on traditions of past histories and works to shape an identity following the period of Soviet occupation. The local structures vary from a historic pre-WWI Baltic-German farming estate to Soviet era collective farm and housing buildings along with a few traditional wooden houses scattered in-between. Its inhabitants have taken on a great variety of improvised means of survival, everything from regular to odd jobs, mothering to mushrooming. The surrounding terrain is a patchwork of used and unused farmland interspersed with peat bogs and dense pine forests. Rather than being a village proper, it is more a collection of layered settlements. Upon each historical phase a new and different type of settlement came about. Following historical patterns, the time came recently again to “re-settle” the area, to place local history at odds with the current tides of continental trends.

“The doorway to a space of very deep listening: John Grzinich’s ‘insular regions’ is one of the most beautiful drone/field recording combinations I’ve heard in a long time. surely it’s all in the source materials, which are some incredibly sensitive field recordings from Estonia; but more so it’s the way that he’s put the compositions together – every sound has it’s own place. nothing seems to linger for too long, and everything is given it’s breath.” Steve Roden