I’ve been invited to help on a new project with the Norfolk Wildlife Trust which involves me creating four seasonal soundscapes.
For this first one, Spring, I wanted to get a backdrop of some early morning birdsong in a sunlit bluebell woodland. Sadly the weather Gods had other ideas and I spent a Saturday morning in Foxley Wood in Norfolk slowly being sucked into the rain sodden ground.
I will return when the weather promises to be a little more forgiving, but I thought I’d share my damp, nay sodden, visit with you. Please excuse all the crackles and thuds, it’s rain not static interference!
I also took some photographs to accompany the audio recording.
Lichen on a fallen tree
Very muddy puddles
Curse you rain!
Can you see the microphone?
The sound of decay
The theme for this Year’s World Listening Day was all about listening to the ground.
I headed up to Holme Dunes on the North Norfolk coast to listen the sound of the ground where land meets sea.
I buried a hydrophone about 6 inches into a sand dune below some of the grass. The result, on what was a very windy day, was this amazing soundscape.
You can hear the grass rattling together as the wind rushes over the soft sand at ground level.
Recorded for World Listening Day 2017 at the Norfolk Wildlife Trust reserve at Holme Dunes, Holme-next-the-Sea, Norfolk.
“World Listening Day 2017 is an opportunity to consider and engage one another in an ear-minded, soundscape approach to our environment, to understand our shared role in making and listening across cultures, generations, places, disciplines, and communities, and to reflect and honor the life and legacy of Pauline Oliveros, an influential woman pioneer of electronic music composition and improvisation, as well as a founder of the practice called Deep Listening. July 18, the birthday of R. Murray Schafer (b. 1933), Canadian composer and founder of the World Soundscape Project and acoustic ecology.”
This year’s World Listening Day theme is inspired by a quote from Pauline Oliveros, the American composer and a central figure in the development of experimental and post-war electronic art music, who died last year.
Sometimes we walk on the ground, sometimes on sidewalks or asphalt, or other surfaces. Can we find ground to walk on and can we listen for the sound or sounds of ground? Are we losing ground? Can we find new ground by listening for it?—Pauline Oliveros (1932-2016)
Listening To The Ground
For this year’s World Listening Day I plan to put together three recordings from Norfolk recorded on July 18th. Sand dunes, a forest floor and a busy street.
I haven’t yet decided if the final piece will be three separate tracks or if I will remix them to form a fourth piece of sound art. It very much depends on what I manage to record and if the sounds work well together. (more…)
I spent Saturday afternoon in Blakeney installing a new audio piece at St Nicholas church for the Sounding Coastal Change project.
Called Time and Tide, it plays with the sound of the ticking clock in the church tower. It was the first thing I heard when I visited St Nicholas. I wanted to see how the live ticking would interact with a recording.
It worked better than I imagined, with the two sounds chasing each other over time, catching up and then seperating again. Sometimes it seems like they have found an extra tick!
The church is a little removed from the quay, but you only have to look at the inscriptions on some of the graves to see how the sea has played such a huge part not only in the working lives of the local community, but also in their spiritual one too.
Thirty days, thirty 30-second sound bites.
Only fitting that the last recording for 30 Days Wild should be The Marriott’s Way, that has featured so much in the past month. I think all the birds came out to sing.
The penultimate day and the Song Thrush is still at it.
Haiku for Day 28
I decided to walk home in the rain. I got drenched. Best 30 Days Wild day ever.
A solo performance from a chaffinch.
Standing under a bridge as the Bure Valley Railway passes over head.
The Wildlife Trusts in the UK are challenging us all to go wild for the thirty days of June.
My plan is to record a 30 second soundbite on each day and upload it onto my Soundcloud page.
Once the challenge is over I plan to do some a little special with the recordings, but you’ll have to wait until the end of the month to find out what!
So on the eve of this fun challenge, here’s a little taster of what I think is a Long-Tailed Tit on the Marriott’s Way in Norwich that I heard on my way home this evening.
Luke Jerram’s Museum of the Moon at The Forum in Norwich has been an inspiration to photographers of all ages. Social media is full of amazing shots of the Moon, taken from every angle. Except one, that is. Above it.
But not anymore.
Looking down on Luke Jerram’s Museum of the Moon
I’m lucky enough to work at The Forum so it wasn’t too difficult to persuade someone to get me onto the roof right over the moon. I knew exactly what I wanted, a clear view looking down on part of the moon with occupied deck chairs close by in a semi circle. (more…)