One of the least populated area in Sergiyev Posad, Grazhdanka (officially known as Grazhdansiky) area stretches south from the remote cemetery at the western part of the town.

You can walk for miles completely alone passing by the traditional wooden houses ranging from the poor to the well-to-do, through the mind-boggling CCTV-saturated 1990’s “get rich fast” lanes, and ruined never-to-be finished pseudo-castles of the less lucky ones lost in the whirlpool of the get rich fast times.

But apart from that, it’s a perfect place to enjoy nature and maybe even talk to occasional strangers. This piece begins with the voice of Yury, self-styled as the cemetery veteran, and obviously a professional grave-digger. He speaks of his experience of spending a few nights at the cemetery some 20 years ago fruitlessly trying to spot anything paranormal. The graveyard sounds are just the same as anywhere else distinguished only by the raven squawks, says Yury.

Then, a shepherd named Hagani who drives his cows home – he says nothing of the local sounds but is making it by whistling really loud. Finally, Valery Tarasyuk, the lathe operator who spent over 50 years working at the same factory and living on the same street. He knows the local sounds.

Two sounds appear on a recurring basis – the murmur of the Kontchura river that borders the area and the sound of footsteps on the grainy soil of Grazhdanka. Let’s take a soundwalk through this scarce but beautiful landscape so distinguished from what we used to here in Sergiyev Posad.

All sounds were gathered in the area. Here are the key non-verbal sounds featured in this recording:

  • Yury, a “cemetery veteran” @ The New Cemetery (00.00 – 00.42)
  • footsteps (01.00 – 01.18)
  • dogs barking, footsteps, leaves hiss (01.22 – 01.52)
  • radio programme bits, footsteps (01.53 – 02.21)
  • children’s bike, footsteps (02.21 – 02.40)
  • car passing by, dogs playing, footsteps (02.40 – 03.10)
  • Hagani the Shepherd, dogs, trucks, footsteps (03.10 – 03.54)
  • Valery Tarasyuk, hammer strokes, footsteps (03.55 – 06.07)
  • engine starts, footsteps (06.07 – 06.46)
  • quail farm, traffic, footsteps (06.56 – 08.20)
  • dogs barking, shoveling, hammer strokes, saw, footsteps (08.20 – 08.56)
  • birds chatter, wings flutter (08.56 – 09.30)
  • football game, footsteps, birds, water (09.18 – 11.31)
  • Recording locations: Grazhdanskiy area
    Recording date: August 04, 20th, 2011
    Sounds: stereo, binaural stereo

    Part of Sergiyev Posad Sound Map.

    / 17.10.2011

    8 📨

    1. This is an excellent piece of work. What a fascinating picture you paint. You’ve made the area really come to life. I really like the spoken voices, they are so full of character and they add an interesting extra dimension.

    2. Many thanks Des, I really enjoyed working on this particular episode, and it is great to hear from someone who likes those sounds too. This was the next to last Sound Map installment so stay tuned for the final soundwalk coming (hopefully) soon

    3. A really well-executed soundwalk. Did you record everything on the same day, or over a period of time? The sound of the river is beautiful, and it creates a great sense of unity throughout the piece. The sounds have really piqued my interest in the area – I’d love to see some photos of the people and places we are listening to.

    4. Hi soundlikenoise – thank you for your kind words, it is nice to know. This piece was recoreded on August 4 and 20, it says below the image. I think I’ve kept my camera in a bag on both walks but I didn’t take many photos – it sounds sheepish I know.

    5. Просто прекрасно… местами напомнило атмосферу “Сталкера” Тарковского, уж не знаю почему.

    6. Как атмосферно. И вместе с описанием погружаешься туда.
      Спасибо Вам.

    7. Рад слышать!

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