Author: Richard

Love audio and writing.

International Dawn Chorus Day

Garden shed studio

My poor shed in 2013

Spoiler alert – I slept through it.

To be honest I had no plans on getting up that early this morning. My sleep pattern is all over the place at the moment.

I did my first International Dawn Chorus Day in 2013 from the bottom shed in the garden. It required me cutting a hole in the side of the shed in order for me to stick a couple of microphones on a shelf.

I had wires running up to the spare room where they fed into a mixer and then live onto the internet.

The following year I pretty much did the same thing except I don’t think I used the shed studio. Instead the microphones were pointing out of the bedroom window.

Things got very exciting in 2015 as I set up a whole outside broadcast unit on the Norfolk Wildlife Trust reserve at Ranworth Broad in Norfolk. It took a good few hours to set up, then a drive home. A very early alarm call and drive back to Ranworth.

After all the excitement in 2015, I was back in my own garden for 2016 International Dawn Chorus Day.

Broadcasting from Cley Marshes in 2017

Broadcasting from Cley Marshes in 2017

My final International Dawn Chorus Day was the most exciting I’ve done.

We were at Cley Marshes in North Norfolk as part of the Sounding Coastal Change project.

It meant setting everything up and then grabbing what sleep I could on the floor of one of the bird hides. It was incredible. You can read about it by clicking these words.

All, apart from the first one I did, were relayed by SoundCamp / REVEIL, which follows the dawn live around the world.

You can hear the various recordings below.

Will I do it again? Probably. Any suggestions for 2021?

Foxley Wood in the rain

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.

 

Holme Dunes – World Listening Day

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.”
worldlisteningproject.org

Listening to the Ground – World Listening Day

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…)