There are several places in the National Park where the forest reaches down to the sea, and the familiar forest of trees turns into a forest of masts. This composition was inspired by visiting one of those unique locations.
Take the sound of bees on flowering honeysuckle, and slow them down to a quarter of their normal speed, and suddenly we can enter a whole new and unusual soundworld. The bees sound just like little Spitfire propeller aircraft coming in to land on the flowers, and the birdsong takes on a strange tropical quality. Listen to my piece called “Busy Bees” to compare how the bees normally sound.
Soundscape piece. The sound of summer bees on yellow honeysuckle flowers in a New Forest village garden. For an interesting different perspective on this soundscape, take a listen to my “Slow Bees” piece, where you can enter into an unusual soundworld!
Long, lazy summer days in The New Forest sometimes seem to go blissfully on and on. It’s nice to take a picnic out on into one of the many quiet places, and just sit and watch the world go by under blue skies. This piece is inspired by that natural simplicity.
This composition is made from a recording of the sound of rigging wires on several small dinghies rattling against their metal masts in the wind. I’ve modified the pitches and turned the sounds into a musical piece using just those original sounds. The photograph shows Keyhaven, a beautiful sailing village within the New Forest National Park on the shores of The Solent. The landscape in the distance is the Isle of Wight. It’s very close from near here.
This is actually one of our famous New Forest ponies recorded close-up, munching grass. Did you know that the ponies are often referred to as the architects of the forest, because by doing all this munching, they keep the grass looking short and mowed? Without them, much of the forest would soon become an impenetrable wilderness.
This piece is inspired by the riot of colour in a wildflower meadow, where the flower heads were nodding in a gentle breeze, just like music listeners at a concert.
The song of the blackbird is beautiful, and provides us with some of best melodies of all the garden birds. The individual that I recorded here is a real virtuoso with a gift for improvisation too, producing a mellow flute-like song at a nice, leisurely pace from the apex of a New Forest village roof in late Spring. The song comprises soft, clear and liquid notes that, to me, sound very pleasant to listen to, especially as the phrases never seem to repeat exactly the same twice.
The New Forest Sounds Ambient Music Podcast aims to bring the forest direct to you, through a selection of 100% relaxing, nature-inspired ambient music.
During this podcast, we’ll journey together in sound to some of the quiet places of England’s New Forest National Park. From the beauty of the forest as it awakens at first light, to gentle streams meandering through the woods. We’ll visit ethereal, misty moors, and even travel to the coast at Keyhaven to experience a smooth, glassy morning, and more besides.
We’ll hear birdsong like you’ve probably never heard it before, and there will be a couple of brain-teasers along the way too, where I play some forest sounds and give you the chance to see if you can recognise them. All you’ve got to do is settle back, press play and drift away with me for an hour. It’ll be nice to have you along.
Wednesday morning, 6.30am in the middle of May, and it’s dawned still and clear on the outskirts of this New Forest village. The early sun is rising up through the oak and beech trees, casting long, dappled shadows on the dew-covered lawn. Outside this open window, birds are singing enthusiastically greeting the advancing dawn.
Now and again a car hisses by on a nearby, quiet forest road, sounding like an ocean wave running up the shoreline and then fading away. Up above, sharing the blue sky with the sun, airliners hurry along at 30,000 feet or so, leaving fluffy, white vapour trails and adding their distant, rumbling voices to the soundscape. Listen for a while…