Artist: Quiet American
Title: Plumbing And Irrigation Of South Asia
Catalog Number: and/7
Release Year: 2003
Format: CDR
Status: Sold Out  *A CD re-issue is planned.

Track List:
01. Takeoff Heard From An Irrigation Cistern, Bagan Plain, Burma
02. Oil Drum Collecting Rainwater, Bhaktapur, Kathmandu Valley, Nepal
03. Water-Powered Bamboo-Pipe-Fed Rice Pounder, Outside Sa Pa, Vietnam
04. Capitol Villas Pond Drainage Pipe, Outside Madikeri, India
05. Hotel Room Sink, Nha Trang, Vietnam
06. Communal Well Outside Nyaungshwe, Inle Lake, Shan State, Burma
07. Water-Powered Prayer Wheel, Tibet-Nepal border
08. Gurgling Irrigation Cistern At 13,000', Annapurna Region, Nepal.
09. Plumbing Resonance, Vang Vieng, Laos
10. Pilgrims At A Well Outside Muang Sing, Laos
11. Sprinkler System, Outside Madikeri, India
12. Gurgling Hose, Annapurna Region
13. Rattling Irrigation Pipe, Karnataka, India
14. Roadside Communal Water Pump, Khulna, Bangladesh
15. Two Water-Powered Grain Grinders, Annapurna Region, Nepal
16. Lalitha Mahal Lawn Watering, Outside Mysore, India
17. Hissing, Leaking Rubber Pipe, Annapurna Region, Nepal
18. Village Water Pump, Shan State Village Outside Kalaw, Burma
19. Construction At Three Gorges Dam, Outside Yichang, China
20. Waterfall On A Reservoir, Rangamati, Bangladesh
21. Children Playing With Bottles, Communal Fountain-Waterspout, Patan, Nepal
22. Hotel Elite Toilet, And Thunder, Kathmandu, Nepal
This long awaited full length field recording release by Aaron Ximm (aka:
Quiet American) explores the fascinating sound world of South Asia's water
systems, from gurgling cisterns and water-powered grain grinders to water
pumps and various plumbing resonances. Recordings were made in
Burma, Nepal, Vietnam, India, Laos, Bangladesh, and China. Packaged in a
DVD case and comes with  track note narratives by Aaron Ximm and an
essay by Claude Willey. Packaged in a DVD case.
Ear/Rational  (April 2004)
Now, this is a great use of field recordings. A hollow sound, a very long pipe
makes for excellent reverberations and a very complicated sound, eternally
fascinating. Another track has water dripping on a thin piece of metal
stretched tight. Wonderful pings and echoes down the metal. Kids are
playing in the background. An exotic bird track grows even more intense, an
engine, or is it a full bore rain storm? You can't tell by the variances. The
rolling piece of wood is the give-away. Other pieces are just as engaging - a
large machine that ends up sounding like the biggest coffee pot brewing, or
a side of the road water diverter with trucks driving by from far in the
distance... feel the Doppler effect!  (Don Poe)
Absurd - Absurdities #9  (December 2003)
Aaron Ximm (aka Quiet American) is a "phonographer" (let's use this term)
who's been a lot into the field recordings thing. Unfortunately, I haven't
downloaded from his great site the various MP3s he has around, so my first
encounter was the Stelzer/Talbot - Quiet American split 3" CDR which I truly
enjoyed. Thanks to Dale, I had the chance to get a better idea of his work as
Dale recently issued his (first, if I am not mistaken) full CDR
Plumbing And
Irrigation Of South Asia
featuring 22 pieces recorded between 98-01 all over
Asia (China, Nepal, India, Bangladesh, Vietnam, etc. Gotta admit that by the
time I heard the aforementioned split 3" CDR, accidentally it was the time
that  "The Quiet American" movie was playing, so I went to see it, and frankly I
liked it, needless to say, that upon seeing the film, there striked in my mind a
flash that I had Graham Greene's s/t book lying somewhere in the house,
purchased some 15 more or less years ago for practice reasons and thanks
to Aaron (I guess), I found it rotting somewhere in my basements library
(though I still haven't found the proper time to start re-reading it). But I am
beating a lot about the bush, well, over here I don't know if Aaron's on Pyle's
role or the "narrator's" but certainly it is a pleasant surprise to see that still
there are phonographers (uh, say "artists" or whatever) who evoke questions
out of their soundscapes. Aaron has included a very interesting text around
the use of water and the future of water supplies in Asia, including, of course,
references to the West and East, and the way the two deal w/ the problem.
The vast majority of the recordings themselves too deal with this certain
problem. Frankly, being in a country that this problem is also discussed (but
our state sleeps in its beauty sleep and gives no f**k 'bout that), I found it a
really exciting moment both listening and reading. I assume that for being
his first full CDR release, Aaron crafted a truly stunning experience, providing
food for both the mind & ear/soul. Besides, I always considered as
essentials, releases which work as "audio books", how about you?
(Nicolas Malevitsis)  
The Wire  (October 2003)
While traveling in Vietnam some years ago, California field recordist Aaron
Ximm, had Graham Greene's novel thrust upon him by a street vendor. Ximm
bought the book and was so taken by its complex investigation of the follies
of American foreign policy in 1950s Vietnam, that he subsequently took
Greene's title as a moniker for
Plumbing And Irrigation Of South Asia. His
extraordinarily detailed Vietnamese sound pictures are positively charming,
even as his political intentions are not so immediately obvious. Deep
cisterns rumble beneath a crude steel covering; a leaky pipe spits with a
serpentine hiss; Vietnamese voices carry on their daily conversations at the
village water pump; you even get to hear Ximm splashing in the sink of a
Vietnamese hotel. But all these watery details are worked into a narrative of
the environmental problems arising from Vietnam's regional water use
policy.  (Jim Haynes)