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.
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.
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.