Monday, 30 January 2012

NATURE: In search of the Tiger’s Roar will be broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on Tue 31 January at 11.02am, with a repeat on Thursday 2 February at 21.02. The half hour programme is based on our Wildlife Sound Recording trip to Northern India in January 2011 and features recordings from Chris Watson, our lead sound tutor, and other participants on the trip. We are currently discussing running this trip again early 2013.

Wildlife sound recordist Chris Watson travels to India, to capture the sounds of the forest and the spine tingling roar of a Bengal Tiger. Chris is leading a team of wildlife sound recordists on this quest. They travel to Corbett National Park which was established in 1936 as Asia's first National Park. It stretches over some 1300 sq km. in the foothills of the Himalayas in the state of Uttarakhand.

The park is named after the legendary hunter, naturalist and author Edward James Corbett, better known as 'Jim Corbett'. Author of 'Man-Eaters of Kumaon', Corbett spent many years killing tigers and leopards before concern about their future and that of their habitat, led him to playing a key role in establishing the National Park.

Today the Park is home to a rich and diverse range of wildlife including over 100 Bengal tigers. To help them, the team have several local guides; who are not only skilled in the art of tracking tigers; knowing what signs to look for; like scats on the ground, scratch marks on the trees, and perhaps most importantly, knowing how to listen to the forest and use the alarm calls of other animals such as the peacocks and samba deer to help track the tigers. It might sound easy enough but as Chris and the team discover, it's far more difficult than it sounds.

In their search for tigers, they play a game of 'Grandmother's footsteps' with a pair of elephants, encounter crocodiles in a river, are puzzled by something that sounds like rain but isn't, and record the unusual barks of Hanaman Langurs in the forest. As for recording the roar of a tiger, they need skill, patience and, a bit of good luck.

Further info and photos at

Friday, 27 January 2012

a quiet position: traced edition

an online exhibition

the act of field recording, for many, extends beyond the audible results. Notebooks are kept by some, photographs of locations are taken by others. I myself spend most of my time listening & the occasional physical results are in the form of sketches, photographs, diary entries & sometimes an object or two from the locations themselves.

There is a greater understanding for the act of listening - a closer relationship with the sound of an environment rather than a more passive, casual one. The process of ‘recording’ is not limited to analogue or digital sound relics, but reflects a much wider, richer interest in the exploration of both place & sensory experience.

for this online edition of ‘a quiet position’ I would like to ask you to send in one or two scans or photographs of any notebooks, diaries, sketches or other images you have made whilst field recording or listening. To clarify, these should not be finished works of art made at the same time, such as paintings etc. but rather the simple records we make for ourselves - to record our time & activities in the places.

please email your submissions to: along with your name, location & any web link you might like to be also included alongside your submission.

thanks - JrF

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Forced rhubarb (extract) - headphones required ! by JezrileyFrench

a short extract from one of several long recordings made in the famous Rhubarb triangle of West Yorkshire. I spent several hours in the heated, unlit growing sheds, listening intently to the fascinating sounds of the rhubarb growing - yes, the small pops & crackles you can hear on here are the actual sound forced rhubarb makes as it grows at super speed.

you will need headphones to really hear the most on this recording....

Tuesday, 17 January 2012



Sunday, 15 January 2012

binaural soundblog based around the small Russian town of Sergiyev Posad, with a few other locations too, by Vladimir Kryutchev.

soundscapes from the RUE DES ROSIERS, a medieval street in the 4th arrondissement of Paris dating from the early thirteenth century from Des Coulam's soundblog

Thursday, 12 January 2012

very pleased to have been asked to give a talk at this years agm of the

for those who don't already know of the society it's well worth joining. Here's a couple of videos they've put together:

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

new release by Lasse-Marc Riek on Semperflorens label

click here

1. Saison Concrète

Lasse-Marc Riek, musician and concept artist, combines and condenses sounds of the four seasons into a acoustic journey.

Sounds of the four seasons, condensed into one acoustic valuable – that describes the work of conceptual artist Lasse-Marc Riek. Birds migrating in late summer livestock returning from the alps in fall and April's showers are some of the more recognizable incidents. Above all, the artist forms a fascinating soundscape by working with a huge variety of sounds and noises, and with each acoustic part he creates a composition complete by itself. Saison Concrète – coltish and jaunty or unfathomable melancholic – cover the span of a whole year. Thus, Riek's journeys through nature's sounds subtly turn into reflections about the nature of sounds. (Stefan Militzer)

The work “Saison Concrète” was composed by the source of 12 parts run Kalenderstücke (Geräusch des Monats) during 2010 at Deutschlandradio Kultur.

Lasse-Marc Riek (1975, Germany) uses different forms of expression in his producing. His works are interdisciplinary and can be conceived as groups of works of both visual art (action and conceptual art) and sound art. His art of sound can be described in terms such as acoustic ecology, bio acoustics and soundscapes. Here, Riek uses acoustic field recordings, storing them with different recording media, editing, archiving and presenting them in different contexts.

Since 1997, he has operated internationally with exhibitions, releases, concerts, lectures, workhops, awards, projects and given guest performances in galleries, art museums, churches and museums. Contributions in public media as well as in podcasts. Scholarships and artist-in-residence programs realised in Europe and Africa.

Since 2003 founder member of the audio publishing company Gruenrekorder, focusing on soundscapes, field recordings and electro-acoustic compositions, and in this connection, acting internationally with artists and scientists.

Member of the Forum Klanglandschaft (World Forum for Acoustic Ecology ), Verein zur Förderung von Phonographie und Experimenteller Musik (Society for the Advancement of Phonography and Experimental Music) and the Wildlife Sound Recording Society.

format: CD in DVDBOX ltd. 500

BBC radio documentary featuring Tom Lawrence's recordings of waterboatmen - captured with various hydrophones.

you can also hear similar sounds among the audio samples on the soundcloud player at the top of this page.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

a couple of links following Chris Watson across antarctica:

BBC radio - 'soundings from antarctica'

What strikes most people when they first arrive in Antarctica is the quiet . "It's so quiet; its the only place in the world that you can actually hear Geology happening; all these processes that you're schooled to think take thousands and thousands of years, the movement of glaciers and the shifting of rocks ... And that's an amazing experience that process of the landscape changing" says Jeff Wilson, a Director on the BBC series Frozen Planet. And the sounds of 'geology happening' are captured in the first of a new series of NATURE by wildlife sound recordist Chris Watson. The sounds of the ice are astonishing; from the huge, powerful grinding and creaking sounds as glaciers calve or ice sheets buckle under pressure, to the delicate sounds of water lapping under thin sheets of sea ice or the tinkling sounds produced when fine needle-like ice crystals move in a breeze of volcanic gases inside an ice cave at the base of Erebus, Antarctica's most active volcano.

With contributions from some the team who worked on the BBC series, Frozen Planet, NATURE presents a journey in sound across this frozen landscape. Whilst above the ice, the landscape is quiet, below the ice the underwater world is full of sound; for example, Orcas (killer whales) use pulses of sound to navigate rather like bats and produce and squeaks and whistles to communicate with one another over vast distances, whilst Weddell seals produce the most hauntingly beautiful ascending and descending tones. Antarctica - frozen landscape, and surprising, mesmerizing, powerful and haunting soundscape.

Producer Sarah Blunt.


touch radio # 49

Chris Watson journeys to the South Pole for the forthcoming David Attenborough series “The Frozen Planet” (BBC, 2011). Here he reports back with his experiences…

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

your favourite sounds heard in 2011

it's that time of the year again - do send in your list of 5 favourite sounds you've heard during 2011.

email your lists to:

here are my choices to get things started:

1. Pheobe, my daughter singing to herself - heard from the kitchen.

2. the daily sound of stillness at home - just one simple, comforting aspect of 'home'.

3. metal light support along the Hozugawa river, Kyoto, Japan - heard via JrF c-series contact mics.

4. ants eating an apricot, Topolo, Italy - heard via JrF strung contact mics.

5. the sound of stillness at arashiyama temple, Kyoto, Japan.


from Sophia Dawson

1. spring rain dripping off the large beech tree outside our kitchen onto the corrugated iron roof – best heard while standing at the sink with eyes closed (not washing up)

2. the raucous clatter of magpies - a pair nest near our home – heard upon waking - most mornings this summer

3. the spiralling echo of Simon and my voices - sound becoming space, one dissolving into the other – sitting in James Turrell’s Deer Shelter at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park

4. the sound of air banging in the central heating pipes – heard frequently this winter

5. the wind roaring in my ears on Christmas Day - Holkham Beach, Norfolk


from Yiorgis Sakellariou:

1. Lousios river, Peloponnese - Greece

2. Dresden train station - Germany

3. Factory sounds echoing all over Klaipeda city - Lithuania

4. Wind and waves at Nida - Lithuania

5. An intense storm in Athens - Greece


from Des Coulam (Soundlandscapes)

I recorded these sounds at the outdoor part of the Aligre market close to Bastille. It's always a lively place!

2. Metro Line 5 - Quai de la Rapee:
This is the sound of Metro trains entering and leaving Quai de la Rapee station. The sounds are significant because they are shortly to disappear as Metro Line 5 becomes equipped with swanky new trains.

3. Laughter in the Beaubourg:
These sounds were recorded in the Beaubourg just behind the Pompidou Centre. They are the sounds of the crowd responding to a performance by a mime artist.

4. A Chinese Violin:
Another sound from the Beaubourg, this time a chinese violin or an Urhu.

5. Cite Veron:
This is my personal sound of the year. I came across it completely by chance in Cite Veron in the 18th arrondissement. It 's the sound of a full blown ballet class through an open window.


from Cheryl Tipp (British Library Sound Archive)

1. Raindrops falling against my bedroom window during the night.

2. The absolute silence of a snow-covered mountain in Norway.

3. Hearing my friend's little boy, Ethan, laugh for the first time.

4. The beautiful Hymns featured on Mark Peter Wright's 'Where Once We Walked.'

5. Patrick Franke's 'Cave Under Ice' recording.


from Chris Whitehead:

The quiet crackle of drying seaweed on the banks of Loch Greshornish, Skye.
A hawthorn hedge creaking in the winter winds at Ravenscar, North Yorkshire.
A moth flapping it's wings against the canvas of our tent, attracted by the light inside, Glencoe, Scotland.
The sound of an Alka Seltzer tablet dissolving in a glass of water.
Beverley Minster.


from Greg Hooper (
1. Wedgie snoring – as our dog gets older he gets more and more
grandpa like, from nodding off in front of the TV to snoring when he

2. creaking floors at Kangarilla – recorded in a beautiful cottage in
Kangarilla South Australia – there were a lot of great sounds from the
floors and doors, as well as an old pedal organ that I recorded in

3. Angus bath noises – an old recording that I recovered to make my
son a present of sounds from his childhood. Here Angus plays a tube
into the bath, when he was probably about 9 years old or maybe younger

4. flood mud – we had some spectacular floods in Brisbane at the
beginning of the year – we are close the river, but were about 3
houses away from getting flooded. Here is the sound of walkiing in
some flood mud

5. turkey – goreme balloon flight – Had a wonderful holiday with my
son to Turkey. This is some sounds from up in a hot air balloon over
Goreme in Cappadocia

greg hooper
from Joe Stevens:

1. still my top fav sound - the sound of families on the beach; people talking, kids screaming and laughing, waves lapping, seagulls screeching. Heard on Weymouth & other beaches over summer

2. the tink tink tink of sailing boat masts blowing in the wind against the mast, while the boats bob up & down in Weymouth & in Portland harbour.

3. early Sunday morning in my back garden, sound of town waking up. Mixture of wildlife and human interventions.

4. Sat on beach with old bi-plane flying overhead on carnival day, while surrounded by sounds of announcer on tannoy, sea, children, and the crunching of people walking by on the stony beach.

5. a test i underwent called EMG (electromyography), where they used fine needles around my eye to test muscle function. in a way it sounds abit similar to contact mics. & i could control the sounds by moving my eyelid and scrunching my eye up.
from Steven Brown:
  1. The sound of torrential rain hitting the cobbled streets of Prague Old Town, an early summer storm filling the air with mystery and untold secrets.

  2. The noise as a plane powerfully brakes after landing. Safely home again after another long journey.

  3. Sounds of Line 5 at Quai de la Rapée (from the wonderful Soundlandscapes Blog, thanks Des) -

  4. The sound of the Barrel Organ I recorded in Helsinki -

  5. Melting snow, early spring in New England.


from John Grzinich:

Some sonic highlights from 2011 in chronological order. I hope 2012
brings more gems like this.

1. Empty Quelle building of the Muggenhof in Nuremburg, April
2. Lone Tangmalm's Owl eastern Estonian forest, during the MoKS nature
sound recording workshop last May
3. Charlemagne Palestine performance in Niguliste church during Tuned
City Tallinn, July
4. Slap echos under the Krieau U-Bahn station in Vienna, August
5. Moose call, Nida Lithuania in December



from Gianni Pavan:
. Airport, waiting for my plane: the noise of an automatic food distributor moving bottles up and down according to user choices.

Valnontey, Italy: a very quiet day, listening to the noise of running water after a strong rain.

Cansiglio Forest, Alps, Italy: cold foggy night, moonlight, tens of red deers around, fighting, roaring and rutting in the breeding season.... Listen on SoundCloud (cibra).
Monastery de la Verne, close to Toulon, France: chants and prayers (recorded with iPhone, enough to "fix" the emotion).

Pennington Station, London: the rumble of several diesel engines, moving around to listen to their interferences and beating.

Centro Interdisciplinare di Bioacustica e Ricerche Ambientali
Università degli Studi di Pavia
Via Taramelli 24, 27100 Pavia

from Mykel Boyd:

In no particular order............

My cat making cat sounds while she dreams.

My daughters harmonizing on christmas songs.

My girlfriend saying "I made you coffee".

The wind in the trees on a hot summer day while recording at Edgar
Cayce's grave in Hopkinsville, Ky.

The electric hum from the street lights about a half block from my
house, usually the starting point for our evening walks.
from Flavien Gillié

3 are mine

Pont de Jons, under the bridge
Swirl, a duck taking off at 3 minutes

Brussels, Bozar, Air Conditionning system in a museum room, drone in art..

Trapani, Via Cristoforo Colombo, Fish market

1 from Peter Cusack
Symphony of Groans, Spreepark abandonned fun fair
Ghosts in the former East Berlin fun fair now derelict and overgrown. The magnificent and colourful big wheel is turning. How I don know - maybe wind, maybe a test of old machinery. The whole ground is private and enclosed but there are inviting holes in the fencing

1 from Martin Hogg :
Sirens test. Emergency horns testing takes place every three months in the city on the first Monday of the month at 3pm.


from Daniel Crokaert
(Mystery Sea & Unfathomless label curator)

  • the vibes and tones emitted by a spiraling metal staircase in an old watchtower in Bad Wildungen (Germany)
  • the sniffing of wild boars on the soil in a national park in Kellerwald (Germany)
  • wind in the leaves on a treetopwalk in Kellerwald-Edersee (Germany)
  • a malfunctioning neon light near the changing room at my workplace
  • the varied crackles of the charcoal on my barbecue

from Eric Leonardson:
  1. heard while walking outdoors in Chicago, metallic ping of the ice cracking at the edge of the park's lagoon when my dog stepped on it

  2. flute tones from wind blowing over the holes on a metal stop sign post in Chicago

  3. wonderful, rolling click sounds as the pebbles on the beach are lifted up in the waves and drop down as the waves recede, in Palaiokastritsa, Corfu, Greece

  4. year-round in Chicago, the many different of the freight trains, particularly the polyphony of squealing tones from brakes of boxcars and the distant horns that reverberate across the neighborhood

  5. flock of honking Canada Geese flying overhead, heard in Chicago and vicinity  
from Luis Antero (green field recordings):
1. the sound of ants in Piódão village (Portugal) (recorded with Jez-Riley contact mic)
2. the sound of ants in Chão Sobral village (Portugal) (recorded with Jez-Riley contact mic)
3. the sounds from sudwest Portugal in summer

4. the sound of cicadas and cane toads from Australia (recorded by Jay-Dea Lopez -

5. the sound of my twin kids in bath mixed with "braguesa" guitar
from Chad Clark (Chicago)

  • dawn chorus over Lake Oconomowoc, Wisconsin
  • summer night drones emanating from the last vestiges of Chicago’s A. Finkl & Sons steel mill industry
  • public debate being brought back into the streets
  • Pittsburgh, PA - Mattress Factory's urban garden
  • Pokagon State Park, IN - twin-track toboggan run