The second of my ‘trying to make a thing a month’. I went away to Norfolk for a few days in February and took my recorder and some contact mics (that I’ve never used before) with me to try and record some of the sounds of the reeds and the marshes. I love the sound of the reeds swaying in the wind, that ‘whooooosssshhhhhhh’. I’ve always wanted to walk into the middle of it crouch down and listen – except you can’t really do that as it can be quite dangerous.
Instead I attached mics to wires, flung the Zoom into the reeds and grasses, generally hung 25 metres back from my family as they walk ahead, me just staring at whatever was around me. My recorder’s headphone out doesn’t work so I have no idea what I have recorded until I empty it out on the computer. It’s a little like film photography, it’s always a surprise.
I have written about Lucy Stevens before ( gig envy! ) and have followed her work since I first found out about it. Despite living near-ish to one another we had never met. Then at the Her Name is Calla 10 year anniversary shows I asked the ever wonderful David Wilson Clarke if he knew her and he said ‘ Yes, would you like to meet her? She’s over there!’
A conversation took place and an idea was suggested and I went away to work on it but nothing I tried seem to work……… until a year and a bit later when something clicked and fell into place. And I’ve been keeping it to myself. I’ve been looking (listening) to it every two weeks or so to see if it’s still there and every time it catches me by surprise.
I like it very much and feel sufficiently bold enough to share it with you. Press play and drift off somewhere else. I hope you enjoy it.
The original field recording of Lucy’s is here – https://soundcloud.com/lucystevensaudio/dawn-chorus-slapton-woods
The unedited version of my bit is here – https://soundcloud.com/peterwyeth/for-slapton-prt-ii/s-wPrs1
Have never really got on with this recorder – the gain seems to have a mind of its own and plops on as much hiss as it sees fit. But it has other idiodsyncracies and erratic tendencies that keep making me pick it up again.
Holding a mobile phone up to an amp.
Slowly getting closer to something. Maybe in time for the PSB gigs. There are at least two ‘songs’ with ‘singing’.
I’ve just come back from my first ever visit to the Lake Districtand there is so much I could (and might) write about. The place is incredible and, in the autumn, an amazing mass of colours. Whilst there, I visited Tarn Hows and bumped into these Belted Galloways. They were awaiting feeding time and were pretty noisy! In the recording you can here the cows calling to one another over the hills and here the sound ricocheting across the landscape. The sound was unbelievable! Cows are big animals and when they are expelling that sound and it is mighty loud!
This was recorded using the iPhone Soundcloud app so you’ll definitely need headphones and a bit of volume to get the full effect here. The only day I didn’t bring my recorder out with me but I really like the SoundCloud app for quick snapshots and placing it on a map.
Only found out about this on Friday but I’m featured on a Headphone Commute mix from Jonathan Lees, who runs the wonderful Hibernate Recordings and Rural Colours labels. It’s great to be hanging about in such great company. The track featured is called ‘Sing to me’ and is from the work I finished in June. The work is entitled ‘humming new time’ and only three people have heard the whole of it so far! I’ve got the mastered version back now and I’m really happy with it. Not sure how it’s to be distributed yet, both physically or digitally, but hope to have that sorted by the end of the month. Until then, you can enjoy the mix HERE and find more info about it here – http://reviews.headphonecommute.com/2011/07/17/mix-hibernate-headphone-commute-mix/
(I’ve been trying to embed it in the post but can’t do it for the life of me! Perhaps browse it on the hibernate site….)