Audio Postcard from Azerbaijan

In this unnarrated sound collage, Seidl creates an aural painting of life in her village using recordings of sounds she often heard in her daily life there. She interweaves sounds of chores, animals, music, nature, and talking in the Azerbaijani language to give us a sense of a very rich and very other place.

For the first year of my Peace Corps service, I lived in a small village in the north of Azerbaijan, a country that lies between Iran, Russia, Georgia, Armenia, and the Caspian Sea.  There, the rhythm of life was different, the food was different, the language was different, nearly everything was different from anything I’d known before. When I closed my eyes and focused on my ears, I heard lots of sounds repeating themselves over and over again: sounds of animals, of chores being done, intermixed with more modern sounds of Turkish pop music from the satellite television.  In the following sound collage, I tried to give a feeling for my village life using sounds I recorded in Azerbaijan in 2006 and 2007.

This audio postcard from Azerbaijan was recently featured as part of WNPR’s first “Radio Adventure Theater.” Thanks to Where We Live Senior Producer Catie Talarski!