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Sounds from Dangerous Places


For his work Sounds from Dangerous Places, Cusack visited nuclear power stations, military bases, landfill sites, the Caspian oil fields, and the Chernobyl exclusion zone, to make field recordings of these areas of environmental and ecological damage. He also visited Snowdonia in the UK where Chernobyl fallout still effects sheep farming today.


This book is accompanied by two CDs which include sounds of Chernobyl’s abundant wildlife, radiometer bleeps, the abandoned town of Pripyat, and songs and poems by Chernobyl evacuees. The book contains detailed track information, photos, translations from Ukrainian, of the poems, songs and conversations, plus an essay of thoughts and observations by Cusack.


Cusack writes about Bibi Heybat oilfield, on the Caspian shore just outside Baku, Azerbaijan: 'It is also one of the most polluted spots on earth. Both sea and land are saturated with oil. The smell is powerful. Villages and a city are nearby. Refugees, denied lands elsewhere, graze animals on the few blades of grass that grow amongst the black pools. Fish caught from the contaminated water are eaten. But despite the environmental devastation and social injustice, Bibi Heybat is one of the most photogenic and sonogenic places I have ever visited. It looks and sounds fantastic. Most of us whose daily lives are so oil dependent have little knowledge of the places and technologies of oil extraction, or of the industry’s effect on local environments and people. I was shocked at the extreme dichotomy I experienced between my pleasure at the stunning sights and sounds of Bibi Heybat and the knowledge of its environmental, social and political impacts. Sounds from Dangerous Places was born from these contradictions.'


Book with audio CDs

Co-produced by ReR MEGACORP and the Berliner Künstlerprogramm des DAAD

CD 1: Chernobyl: ghost towns, radiometres, wildlife, people, song (37 tracks 74:18, plus PDF image file)

CD 2: Caspian oil and UK sites: nuclear, military, greenhouse gases (39 tracks 76:24, plus PDF image file)


80 pages 




Peter Cusack | Sounds From Dangerous Places

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