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!
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.
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.
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…
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….
The beautiful sound of mid-morning Springtime birdsong in a New Forest Village.
Deep in the night, when the air is quiet and still, the eerie sound of distant trains sometimes floats through the forest. This soundscape was recorded near Brockenhurst at 11pm.
I recorded this one quiet, early morning at Brockenhurst Railway Station. A train arrives and departs. The varied different sounds are quite amazing, and I loved the way that, after the train departed, gradually the sound of the rails faded away and nature took over once again.
A sound art composition, Dawn Rechorused takes a recording of the dawn chorus running initially at normal speed. Then, as the piece progresses, the birdsong gets slower. First to 1/2 then 1/4 then 1/8 of the original speed using imperceptible crossfades. I think it’s amazing how the birdsong changes. When it gets really slow it sounds almost tropical.
It serves to show the fascinating melodic variations of garden birds. The more the original is slowed down, the more varied and unusual the bird’s melodies become. Things that can’t be distinguished at normal speed become clear. Although it’s old-fashioned, slowing down analogue reel to reel tape in this way presents a much more organic and natural quality than trying to slow down modern digital recordings.