A direction out there – readwalking (with) Thoreau

A double CD (EWR 2109/10 )


Composed by Emmanuelle Waeckerlé
Performed by Antoine Beuger, Marie-Cécile Reber, Sylvia Alexandra Schimag, Marianne Schuppe, Stefan Thut, Emmanuelle Waeckerlé

‘Wherever a (wo)man separates from the multitude, and goes her own way in this mood, there indeed is a fork in the road’. Life without principle, (Henry David Thoreau, 1863)

Four contrasting interpretations

of an open score and the act of readwalking at its core, each track taking an entirely different direction out there. The individual and collective renditions are based on a radical pruning of David Henri Thoreau’s transcendental essay about walking (1851). Footnotes provide suggestions on how to speak, sing, sound the remaining words, alone or with others, inside or outside.


Two words brought together to describe a simultaneous act of reading and walking, of reading as walking, of walking as reading, of sounding a text about walking, step by step, one word calling the other, following one’s senses, like Thoreau.


A digital release

Four readwalking ballades from the CD, alongside a few other ‘directions out there’ that I am uploading as I receive them and four recordings of performances of the prepared text that took place in Düsseldorf for Klangraum 2021 “day by day”.


Performed by Stephanie Lavon Trotter (voice) and Juniana Lanning (electronics)
at the Extradition 2022 Spring Concert, Portland, Oregon, USA

A direction out there – readwalking (with) thoreau has been performed in Europe and the US, including Extradition ensemble and concert series (Oregon, USA, April 2022), Duo toolbox at Signal to Noise (Pergine Valsuagana, Italy, Dec 2021), Antykwariat Zakładka bookshop (Warsaw, Poland, Oct 2021) Vom Sirren, Sinnen und Singenslothuzrn (Solothurn, Switzerland, June 2021).


A pocket size book

A direction out there – readwalking (with) thoreau (MA BIBLIOTHEQUE, Sept. 2021) brings together the prepared text, the score and two essays by Michael Hampton and Vicky Smith.

The CD was reviewed by Julian Cowleys in THE WIRE (SOUNDCHECK, Nov 2021 issue).

Another insightful review in Thoreau Society Bulletin (Number 323, Fall 2023) connecting the prepared text (the book) and its sonic rendition (the cd) as so many ways of ‘ mining and speaking the words of bruised Nature, in her/my mother tongue ‘.

The CD and pocket book were produced with financial support from UCA research fund.