Thursday, 26 June 2008

recording dairy - June 2008

since returning from the Czech republic i've been testing some new Aquarian hydrophones alongside a new design of my self made piezo based ones.

I spent a warm and windy day at Wansford Canal & Watton Beck capturing the various sounds underwater. I've spent a long time recording canals and small rivers around my home in East Yorkshire & have been waiting to feel 'right' about a release for some of these recordings for sometime. In fact, I suspect I waited too long & missed the moment, so i've taken the bull by the horns & issued a piece based on these recent recordings (along with one featuring Pocklington canal head) on a limited 3 inch cdr - for details & to hear an extract see here.

I always enjoy time spent near water and canals are a particular interest recording wise. The architecture of the locks themselves, the drains and outlets, can offer up some intense sounds, whilst the relatively still water of the canal stretches are full of aquatic life. The fact that most of the canals around here are no longer in use means an excess of plant life & in the right conditions the process of photosynthesis can be captured.

Then, earlier this week after several months of negotiation I finally got the chance to record inside the Humber bridge (in the chamber below the carriageway & the anchorage rooms). I could attempt to describe the sounds underneath the deck, but the sheer intensity would be hard to put into words. I have often thought it might be interesting for the public to go on tours along this chamber, but I suspect the creaks, groans and crashes would result in them thinking twice about driving across the bridge in future !

I managed to make some recordings of the space itself & then a shorter time with contact mics attached to the metal floor. The reverb of the space resulted in an almost constant roar within the space, whilst the floor itself offered up more of the detailed sonic properties of the plates rubbing together as traffic passed overhead.

The anchorage rooms, truly cavernous spaces, I was unfortunately unable to spend long enough recording this time so this will have to wait for my next visit. However I did take 20 minutes or so from the main cable cradle, with a piezo contact mic attached to the housing - which resulted in some nice strung wire rumbles and twangs.

So, June has been a good month for recording. Apart from the recordings mentioned above, I returned from my trip to the Czech republic with the first section of the 'sonic architecture' recordings complete and a range of other interesting recordings (lakes, train tracks, hollow paths and various windows) - some of which will appear soon on the 'favourite sounds Prague' website (see the links section).

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