Field Recordings & The Pond

I have recently come into possession of a new TASCAM DR-07MKII Linear PCM Recorder, with a windscreen and miniature tripod. The above recording (which may not always exist, depending on how much free space I have on Soundcloud) was made with the new recorder, set up by the front window of the house, which was cracked open a little. It was hailing outside, with sparse thunder. The hail pieces were maybe the size of almonds, but they fell very steadily – in fact, it did not appear to be raining, just hailing. The wind was blowing toward the front of the house, into the recorder, but the windscreen managed to block most of its noise. In the recording, the hail stops, some cars and birds make sounds, and at one point, a bunch of water begins falling off the roof, through a pipe that seemed to be clogged and then unclogged (this happens around the 4.30 mark). I edited the file on Adobe Audition and mastered it with a small bit of reverb.

I made this next recorded earlier than the hail recording – actually, on the day I got the recorder, to test it. It is a recording of cars driving on Pellicano Drive during the night (as well as my dogs walking around the rocks, now and then). Although the hail storm was a rare event, I like this recording of the street more, because of how the cars move from one side to the other side, and how you can hear their approaches and departures very well. I think the recording represents the spacial field wonderfully, as you can almost tell the position of things by the recordings – how far ahead the cars are, how close the dogs are, and where the cars are coming from.

I attempted another recording of honeybees hovering around a plum tree in my front yard, but I’ve yet to work with it. I’m not sure how well the bee sounds can be distinguished from their environment, because the sounds were very light, and I could not reach the height that they were flying too well. Perhaps with my computer, however, I’ll be able to amplify their noise. I may use it in a song somehow, which is mostly my plan on working with this recorder – to utilize noises in my songs as manipulated textures, beats, and samples. I will also use it for the purpose of creating more field recordings. I would like to bring it into the main auditorium of a local mega-church, Abundant Living Faith Center, to capture whatever noises occur there, while church is in session – I especially want to capture the sound of people “speaking in tongues.” I will also use the recorder to augment my Flip camera, which doesn’t have a very good microphone.

Here is a collection of old songs that I released on Bandcamp earlier in the year. I wrote them in the beginning of 2004, which was when I first became interested in making music. This EP was my first real coherent string of songs. Their concept is a friend of mine, who I had met at the time and who inspired me in this artistic way. Her name is Cyndi, as can be deduced by the title of the last track – that last track contains the main theme of the EP as its last movement, which was essentially the foundation that I wrote in 2004, though much of the music leading to the movement was added along the years, through revision. In fact, the entire sound of these recordings – the synthesizers and beats – come through recent revisions to make them more listenable on Bandcamp, but most of the writing is unaltered, and completely representative, of my early compositions. Overall, the EP contains an ambient feel, though it can be quite active at times. “Thursday” epitomizes, quite well, many of my early attempts at writing music, whereas “Cyndi,” although containing the fundamental movement, shows the shift toward a longer and larger form that I would embrace a year later – mostly thanks to my discovery of Godspeed You! Black Emperor.

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