Sounds

Tractor Music

Sound Art Composition.

This piece was developed from a single recording of a vintage Titan tractor, which I captured at The New Forest Show. Eight different pitches of the original sound have been used, each an octave apart. Mechanical melodies have been produced by triggering elements of the original sound in semitone steps.

The County Show 2

Sound Art Composition.

An electronic concerto for six country pursuit commentators, stationary engine and analog step-sequencer. The source field recordings used in this work were captured at The New Forest and Hampshire County Show in July 2015, Brockenhurst, Hampshire, England.

Six manipulated commentaries revolving around country pursuits comprising log cutting, showjumping, hunting, dog handling, cattle and sheep competitions form the basis of the composition.  The rhythmic percussion underpinning the piece is generated from field recordings of small stationary agricultural engines (including the RA Lister and the Wolseley) produced in the early 20th Century.

This version of the piece contains musical elements. Also have a listen to The County Show 1, which features just manipulated environmental sounds without the music.

In a Bluebell Wood

Ambient music composition.

An ambient music composition. The natural soundscape of a bluebell wood recorded near New Park Manor in The New Forest, is combined here with an electric piano fed through a pair of Uher reel-to-reel tape recorders to create a softly disintegrating analogue tape echo. The piece aims to evoke the gentle movement of the bluebells in the Spring breeze.

Slow Stream

Sound Art Composition.

What does a forest stream sound like when slowed down, especially when the trickles and bubbles become unusual rhythmic structures?

This is a Sound Art piece and developed from crossfading four different sound sources together. Some of them have been slowed down by recording them onto magnetic tape on an elderly Ferrograph reel-to-reel machine, to as much as 1/64th of their normal speed to reveal the hidden and unusual sounds present. I recorded the source material along the Ober Water forest stream near Brockenhurst.

The piece starts with the stream at normal speed and then bit by bit, it gets progressively slower, and interesting rhythms start to emerge.

Christmas

A Sound Art Composition. Christmas 2018.

A collage-based Sound Art piece created from field recordings taken at Christmas 2018 in Lymington and Brockenhurst. Each of these sound objects were transferred from the original field recordings onto a 1964 vintage Brenell STB1 reel to reel tape machine and processed. Some have been slowed down, others reversed, some treated with the machine’s three head tape echo. I was aiming to create a rather melancholy ambience.

A Bend in the Stream

Soundscape Recording. Blackwater, February 12th 2016.

This was recorded at a bend in a forest stream that runs through the Ornamental Drive near Blackwater on a winter’s morning in February 12th 2016. Listen for the sounds of the stream as it runs around some half-submerged logs that create gentle clunks and bumps.

A variety of microphones were used for this recording, including underwater hydrophones that I dropped into the stream, plus contact microphones that pick up the vibrations of the water on the logs.

Brockenhurst Dawn Chorus

The dawn chorus of birdsong, recorded at about 5.00am in Brockenhurst during late March.

The dawn chorus of birdsong is the natural world’s most impressive and renowned ‘concert’. It sounds beautiful to us, but to the birds it’s simply a way to for rival males to resolve territorial conflicts. Basically, the louder and stronger your song and the more time you spend singing it, the better territory you can claim and the higher the chance of a female choosing to mate with you.

Experts contend that birds sing in the mornings because at this time, their sound carries further due to the lack of general noise and also the density of the air at that time of day.

The first birds to sing are often blackbirds, robins and wrens. Apparently birds with larger eyes start to sing earlier than those with smaller eyes. Larger eyes provide better light-gathering ability, so larger-eyed birds feel safe singing in the low, early dawn light because they find it easier to spot predators that might be attracted to their song.

Most of the dawn chorus comprises of males singing constantly repeating patterns of tones from elevated or conspicuous spots within their territory or breeding areas. Once the light levels start to rise, it’s often hunger that drives birds to stop singing and start looking for food instead.