Sounds

From the Forest Radio Show: Episode 3

From the Forest Radio Show

I have become a presenter on One World Music Radio with a one-hour show called “From the Forest” which I’ve uploaded here for you. This is the third of a regular series of shows for the station.

From the Forest is a unique radio show that brings the wellness benefits of a forest direct to you wherever you are. The concept is simple; we wander together through England’s beautiful New Forest — the place I call home — accompanied by immersive, organic ambient music and soundscapes that I’ve created, inspired by each of the locations we visit. The show promotes mindfulness and the chance to connect with nature through sound. I look forward to welcoming you along.

One World Music Radio can be reached HERE. They have lots of shows covering many different genres for you to enjoy, and are the number one radio station in Europe for the genres covered.

Episode Two of my From the Forest series can be found on New Forest Sounds HERE

From the Forest Radio Show: Episode 2 Winter Focus

From the Forest Radio Show

I have become a presenter on One World Music Radio with a one-hour show called “From the Forest” which I’ve uploaded here for you. This is the second of a regular series of shows for the station. This episode celebrates winter in The New Forest.

From the Forest is a unique radio show that brings the wellness benefits of a forest direct to you wherever you are. The concept is simple; we wander together through England’s beautiful New Forest — the place I call home — accompanied by immersive, organic ambient music and soundscapes that I’ve created, inspired by each of the locations we visit. The show promotes mindfulness and the chance to connect with nature through sound. I look forward to welcoming you along.

One World Music Radio can be reached HERE. They have lots of shows covering many different genres for you to enjoy, and are the number one radio station in Europe for the genres covered.

Episode One of my From the Forest series can be found on New Forest Sounds HERE

In case you’re interested, I’ve produced an album called A Forest in Winter. It’s available from all the main digital retailers and streaming services. Here’s a link to it that gives you the choice of listening to it on a variety audio platforms: A Forest in Winter

The National Park Authority New Forest Awakening Festival 2022

I feel very honoured to have been invited to contribute a variety of sounds to the New Forest National Park Authority’s New Forest Awakening Festival for the second year running, and also to compose the festival’s theme tune.

Forest Awakening Theme

I woke up one morning listening to the dawn chorus, and the thought struck me that it would be interesting if I could try to ‘conduct’ an orchestra of forest birds and animals, and have them sing or sound in perfect rhythm, and by the wonders of recording technology I’ve managed to do that within this composition, which aims to create an almost classical, English pastoral feel and evokes The New Forest waking up first thing in the morning. It became the track “Forest Awakening” and the theme for the festival…

Here’s a link to it as used in the festival

The festival is a response to the climate and nature emergencies in the New Forest and ran for the first time in 2021, when the messages about the climate and nature emergencies reached 815,000 people, with almost 70,000 people engaged with the online posts or events.

Saturday Beside the Stream

The second of my sound pieces from the festival is an ambient piece called “Saturday beside the Stream.” Imagine relaxing with a favourite book, or taking a picnic beside one of The New Forest’s mesmerising and beautiful meandering streams. If you can’t be there in person, then perhaps this may serve as the next best thing. Absolutely designed to be dreamy. Drift away….

Here’s a link to it as used in the festival

Starry Skies

CPRE’s Hampshire Star Count took place during the festival. Starry skies are one of the most magical sights the countryside can offer. The trouble is, light pollution not only limits our views of these skies, but also disrupts wildlife’s natural patterns. Research shows that light pollution is now leaving fewer stars than ever visible to the naked eye, and so the CPRE (Campaign to Protect Rural England) asked for help to track how light levels are changing in Hampshire, and encouraged everyone to get together with family and friends between February and early March 2022 to help count the stars in the Orion constellation.

The New Forest Awakening Festival’s organisers used another of my ambient music pieces to promote this event. They said…. We thought we’d get you in the mood for stargazing with this beautiful ambient music composition called Starry Skies. Composer Dr. Clive Brooks of New Forest Sounds said: ‘We get some beautiful starry skies deep in The New Forest. I think there’s an awe-inspiring majesty to them, which I tried to capture with this composition.’

Here’s a link to it as used in the festival

The New Forest is a very special place. More than 50% of the area is of international importance for nature, and some sites have the highest possible conservation status. It has the largest area of lowland heath in Western Europe, shaped by the free-roaming animals owned by commoners. Commoning is the traditional system of land management with rights attached to properties allowing people to turn ponies, cattle, sheep and pigs onto the open Forest.

The rare heathland and wetland habitats in the New Forest are havens for wildlife, some of which are declining in other parts of the UK. Ground-nesting birds such as the curlew, Dartford warbler and mystical nightjar can all be found in the New Forest. All six species of the UK’s native reptiles live here too, as well as 63% of Britain’s 24,000 types of insects, 75% of all dragonfly species and over 2,700 types of fungi.

The climate emergency is putting these fragile landscapes and habitats under threat, with hotter, drier summers and warmer, wetter winters changing nature’s balance in the future. The global crisis for nature is mainly due to land management practices, pollution and urban expansion. It is being worsened by a changing climate that is driving changes in the numbers and distribution of our wildlife species.

Land in the National Park is essential to mitigate climate change; sequestering and storing carbon, supporting wildlife, providing clean water and preventing flooding. Let’s take care of it together.

From the Forest Radio Show: Episode 1

From the Forest Radio Show

I have recently become a presenter on One World Music Radio, presenting a one-hour show called “From the Forest” which I’ve uploaded here for you. This is the first of regular series of shows for the station.

From the Forest is a unique radio show that brings the wellness benefits of a forest direct to you wherever you are. The concept is simple; we wander together through England’s beautiful New Forest — the place I call home — accompanied by immersive, organic ambient music and soundscapes that I’ve created, inspired by each of the locations we visit. The show promotes mindfulness and the chance to connect with nature through sound. I look forward to welcoming you along.

One World Music Radio can be reached HERE. They have lots of shows covering many different genres for you to enjoy, and are the number one radio station in Europe for the genres covered.

Purify

Ambient Music Composition

This composition contains an important message about the benefit of trees in this era of climate change. Did you know that trees purify the air, trapping dust and absorbing pollutants? Each individual tree removes up to 1.7 kilos every year and provides shade from solar radiation. Trees absorb carbon dioxide as they grow, and the carbon that they store in their wood helps slow the rate of global warming. They reduce wind speeds and cool the air as they lose moisture and reflect heat upwards from their leaves. It’s estimated that trees can reduce the temperature in a city by up to 7°C.

Trees host vast microhabitats too. When young, they offer habitation and food to large communities of birds, insects, lichen and fungi. When ancient, their trunks also provide the hollow cover needed by species such as bats, beetles, tawny owls and woodpeckers. One mature oak can be home to as many as 500 different species.

Around the world we’re being encouraged to plant trees. The more that we plant, the better it will be for the environment and us. In the United Kingdom, The Woodland Trust are making it easy and low cost to do just that. Here’s a link to their online shop.

Please kindly pass this post on to your circle of friends through social media and elsewhere, so that we can try to reach out to as many people as possible, explain to them the wonderful benefits of our trees, and perhaps even encourage them to plant one of their own.

After Midnight – Dark Ambient Atmospheric Music Mix

Ambient Music Mix

St. Barbe, an art gallery and museum in Lymington, on the edge of the forest, asked me to compose and produce a soundtrack to accompany an art exhibition that they were running. It was called Unsettling Landscapes – The Art of the Eerie. Amongst the artworks, there were many paintings of strange eerie trees and dark woodlands. My task was to use these paintings as inspiration for the creation of an hour-long atmospheric, dark music mix. So here it is for you to enjoy. If you’ve ever felt that The New Forest was a bit scary in the deep woodlands, then you’ll get the vibe of this piece straight away. Although it’s unsettling, I think the music is somehow quite immersive and involving at the same time.

It’s best listened to on headphones late in the evening or beyond!

A Forest of Masts

Soundscape Recording

On a windy day, the forest of masts at Lymington yacht marina create their own mournful musical composition, as the breeze blows the metal rigging wires against the aluminium masts on dozens of moored yachts. At times, the wind itself also joins in to add its own, almost voice-like, drone to the proceedings.

The New Forest Tape Collage

Sound Art Composition

For this Sound Art composition, I’ve reverted to long-lost analogue tape recorder techniques, and realised the work entirely on my old Ferrograph 7 reel to reel tape machine; a lovingly restored British recorder from way back in 1968 that was originally owned by the military (see photo above).

This piece is a magnetic tape sound collage… which is just like a visual art collage, but made with sound. You’ll hear lots of different sounds from all over The New Forest, juxtaposed and combined with each other in unexpected ways and brought together to form a snapshot of the landscape and its people in just four and a half minutes. See how many of them your can recognise. Here’s a bit more information on the concept and history of the tape collage in case you’re interested…

While artists have been layering images and incorporating autonomous elements into their work since the advent of paper, collage truly emerged as a medium in its own right in the early years of the 20th century with the Cubist experiments of Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque. The duo coined the term “collage” (from the French verb “coller,” meaning “to glue” or “to stick”) to describe works composed from pasted pieces of colored paper, newsprint, and fabric, considered at the time to be an audacious intermingling of high and low culture. It revolutionized modern art. 

The collage concept was later applied to sound; in 1948 two French composers, Pierre Schaeffer and Pierre Henry, and their associates at Radiodiffusion et Télévision Française in Paris began to produce tape collages (analogous to collages in the visual arts), which they called musique concrète. All the materials they processed on tape were recorded sounds—sound effects, musical fragments, vocalizings, and other sounds and noises produced by man, his environment, and his artifacts. Such sounds were considered “concrete,” hence the term musique concrète.

Springtime Selection

Springtime Selection is the first of an occasional, carefully-curated, themed collection from my New Forest Sounds archive. This instalment takes you deep into the forest in Springtime, one of the most sonically interesting of all the seasons.

In Spring, with the bedroom window half-open, I wake up to the beautiful balm of the early dawn chorus of birdsong… and now, you can too!

If you have some quiet time, settle down with a pair of headphones for 20 minutes and enjoy immersing yourself in this soundscape…

Brockenhurst Dawn Chorus

Springtime in The New Forest woodlands is something quite magical, because the general birdsong chorus is often punctuated by soloists like the cuckoo, and percussionists like the woodpecker. Come with me and have a listen…

Springtime

Lastly, I’ve got a piece of my Springtime Sound Art for you. What would it sound like if our New Forest woodpeckers all got together and created a musical arrangement? Well, listen below to find out! This composition uses the manipulated sound of a woodpecker in the woods and features slowed down sounds, delay and a variety of note pitches. I’ve called it “The Woodpecker Variations”.

Anyway, I hope you’ve enjoyed my little Springtime Collection. Look out for more curated selections from the archive in the future.

The Woodpecker Variations