Sounds from dangerous places book with audio CDs: Chernobyl

By Peter Cusack

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  1. Cuckoo and radiometer, Pripyat

    Cuckoo and radiometer, Pripyat

  2. Dawn chorus, Chernobyl town

    Dawn chorus, Chernobyl town

  3. Kindergarten music room, Pripyat

    Kindergarten music room, Pripyat

  4. Oh my beloved village

    Oh my beloved village

  5. Power cable cackle

    Power cable cackle

The Chernobyl disaster of 26th April 1986, was the realisation of all our fears of the nuclear industry, leading many countries to suspend their nuclear power programmes. Two and a half decades later, nuclear power is again reasserting itself, presented by governments and the industry as a ‘saviour strategy’—a response to the far more serious threats of carbon emissions and climate change. We all face a proliferating nuclear future. What insights can Chernobyl and its aftermath offer in this new situation? What has happened to the environment, nature, the regions and the people directly affected by the disaster in the twenty five years since?

On two trips to Chernobyl in May 2006 and July 2007, I made many location recordings in and around the ‘exclusion zone’ in Ukraine. These include sounds of wildlife, radiometer bleeps, eerie rooms in the ghost town of Pripyat, work that still goes on around the nuclear reactors, and songs and poems of the traditional people of the affected area. Their stories are in many respects the least known of the disaster.

The CD contains recordings of the sounds of work, electricity and radiometers; the abandoned town of Pripyat: Samosel villages; Chernobyl’s abundant wildlife; poems and songs by Chernobyl evacuees. Detailed track information, photos, translations from the Ukrainian of the poems, songs and conversations, plus an essay of thoughts and observations are in the accompanying book.

Full tracklisting (37 trks 74:18)

  1. Radiometer, Kopachi (3:29)
  2. Ferris wheel, Pripyat (2:47)
  3. Power cable crackle (2:02)
  4. Pripyat wind and chiffchaff (1:49)
  5. Kindergarten footsteps, Pripyat (1:05)
  6. Cuckoo and radiometer, Pripyat (1:48)
  7. Walking on glass bottles—Kindergarten, Pripyat (0:23)
  8. “Where should I look for you people?”, poem by Tsalko Svetlana (1:03)
  9. Music room, Kindergarten, Pripyat (1:08)
  10. Walking on books 1/radiometer, Kindergarten, Pri
  11. Hissy machine, Laundry, Pripyat (2:06)
  12. Bar, Friday night, Chernobyl town (1:19)
  13. Chernobyl nightingales (4:21)
  14. Dawn chorus, Chernobyl town (4:43)
  15. Woodfire, hens, early morning, Chernobyl town (1:47)
  16. Horse and cart greeting, Lubianka village (1:09)
  17. Turkey, Lubianka village (1:03)
  18. Chernobyl evacuee’s lament, Stovpyagi village (3:40)
  19. “Oh My Beloved Village”, Stovpyagi village (3:08)
  20. Sarcophagus work (3:45)
  21. Power cable crackle (1:33)
  22. Summer grasshoppers, summer wind, Duminskoye village (1:19)
  23. “Three Cossacks”, Duminskoye village (2:01)
  24. “How Can My Sweet
  25. White stork chicks screeching in the nest, Lychmany village (0:28)
  26. White stork chicks, bill tapping, a distant song, Lychmany village (1:01)
  27. “Copper Tubes”, Lychmany village (1:24)
  28. “When You Are a Widow”, Lychmany village (1:25)
  29. Golden Oriole beside radioactive trucks/helicopters (2:56)
  30. “Quiet Conversation”, poem by Tsalko Svetlana (1:03)
  31. Squeaky hinge, Opachichi village (1:27)
  32. “Black Wave”, poem by Tsalko Svetlana (0:26)
  33. “Ukraine’s Politicians”\, poem by Tsalko Svetlana(0:35)
  34. Chernobyl frogs (7:05)