A Rare Release

Monday saw the launch of a rare release – rare because people are buying the thing. I have put out on to the web a recording of the dawn chorus as it manifested in North Yorkshire on the Sunday beforehand. It was fun to make.

 

 

The whole thing was a bit of a mission – I had had a sleepless night the previous Saturday night / Sunday morning so I booked a taxi for 04:30. The first company I phoned, Mainline thought I was winding them up and claimed to be fully booked – well, you would if someone phoned you up at 1am asking to be taken to a nature reserve in three and a half hours.

Thankfully, AirlineTaxis came to the rescue and I was picked up by a good lad who drove me the Boroughbridge way to Stavely Рhowever, I had a crisis of confidence.

I was Staveley bound and had no idea of what it was going to be in the daylight, let alone the pitch black.

So, by the time we got to Boroughbridge I had asked the lad to take me to the farm my dad works at. I was in the woodland for 04:50 and all set up. It proved to be an amazing experience, as you tell from the recording above – it was deafening.

To hear the above recording play out as I sat in silence, still, was really rewarding.

I had hoped for the recording to be a bit longer. However, just after an hour, a Wren perched on my mics and made all of the levels clip (noisy bugger) before trying to steal the microphone fluff to make a nest.

Given that, I packed up and went back to the farmhouse, about half a mile away. I had to phone mum to let them know I was downstairs in the kitchen – I had visions of dad’s heart giving out when he saw someone hovering half way between the biscuit barrel and the kettle – however, he was just confused as to why I had done this.

The rest of the morning was spent washing my dad’s truck and setting up bangers to keep the pigeons off the beans.

Dad later called to say he had listened to the recording after it had been released. It had gone live and the payments received from it have covered the cost of the taxi. Dad said he now saw why I did it.

Quick Write Up About A Project

At first, I thought about writing this post on my Artist site www.baffledgeography.co.uk but then I would just fan-boy all over the writer. See, I had a write up in a periodical that kind of shaped me more than any other periodical РThe Wire magazine is to avant-garde music is what both Kerrang and NME is to Indie music.

It stands head and shoulders above the rest of¬†its peers as a pointer towards good, un-orthodox and out there music. And I got a write up about “A Sonic Map Of Dornoch“, my latest release.

A Sonic Map Of Dornoch was released on Focused Silence back on the day before I turned 37. Sales have been slow and some of the online reviews missed the point. But, people¬†know that The Wire magazine know their onions and this is what Spenser Tomson said about “A Sound Map Of Dornoch” …

My Name Is On This

A good friend, elizabeth, has a new release out. It is a field recording of Culloden Moor, the site of the last battle on the Mainland of the UK. The Battle Of Culloden was in 1745 when the Highlanders were butchered by English led troops.

this was recorded on culloden moor.

in the aftermath of the battle the language and culture of the highlands was outlawed and the population forced into starvation.

credits

released March 6, 2018

remastered by www.mastering.wtf

It is the last part I wish to draw your attention to – “remastered by www.mastering.wtf” for that is me. I’m quite proud of the job I did of the mastering of this. It was a good raw track to work with – plenty of headroom and good dynamics. But it is nice of elizabeth to write this up and include me in the credits. Here is the track –

 

 

I visited Culloden Moor when we were up to see Granny – ooh, years ago. From memory, it is a cold, bleak & ‘orrible¬†place – to think it once ran red with the blood of my Mum’s side of the family was quite a shock when I visited it. The Highlanders, led by Bonnie Prince Charlie charged the length fo the moor with nothing but bucklers and swords into volleys of musket fire. There is no honour in this.

 


 

Mastering.WTF has become a bit of a hobby of mine – I leant how to master tracks on a supervised tuition programme at post-graduate level – indeed, I am a member of the Audio Engineer Society now so I have affiliation.

However, it is proving a bit slow to pick up pace – I dunno what to do to get it noticed more.

Maybe I just need to find my niche …

H’Py Birthday Dad

My Dad has a birthday today – he has reached the grand age of sixty four. I went over to the farm to see Mum & Dad and they seemed in good form. I bought Dad a copy of the Dartmoor Edition of the Tolkien Maps – similar to the Yorkshire Dales version I treated myself to the other month. He seems to like it.

Dad has great memories of Dartmoor – he worked there during his time at college and really enjoyed his time whilst over there. There is mention of the place he worked on the map.

 

 

When I came home to the flat, Kathryn was there having given it a bit of a Spring Clean – I am a pig most of the time and I don’t really pull my weight around the house. She is amazingly kind to me and I love her to bits. Her parents did quite a cool job packing so much Awesome in to such a small package.

When I go home I set up the MixPre 6 with a JrF Contact mic. I slid the mic between the snow and my metal fire escape and recorded the sound below – it goes on for a while but you can hear the “Crackle” of the melting snow and the plinky plonk goodness of the water droplets condensing and forming drops, dropping down and hitting the Stainless Steel fire escape. I am amazed that the JrF Contact Mic managed to pick up the Blackbird. Maybe the whole fire escape acted as some sort of parabola?

 

Inbound Post

… I have a Sound Devices MixPre 6 on its way – it should be here by the end of Friday (it is currently Friday around 0330) and I am so excited I can’t sleep.

Granted – I had a rough day of it yesterday; my head has been all over the place due to being housebound due to the weather. But, with the help of the CMHT and The World’s Best Wife™ I am sure I will pull through. My sister has been amazing to me – she is due all the chocolate. My brother is getting spewed on by his daughter.

In essence, I was losing a battle with my wits – thankfully I have accidentally outwitted a half-wits wit, what!

But back to the main reason I am blogging. I will soon be in possession of a Sound Devices recording rig Рan ambition that I have longed to fulfil. It seems to be the best rig for the price out there. Granted, you will have Aaton and Giant Sound but they are priced out of my range at around £12k.

 

 

The above video is a (quite long) walkthrough of the main features of the thing. It can record in 192/24 and the pre-amps are legendary. It may seem a bit of an obscure hobby, Field Recording – but, everyman needs a vice.

I will use it for Field Recording – something you could call Phonography.

Here it is –

 

Saying Things I Shouldn’t Say

There are rays of sunshine – I have my methods of dealing with the dark winters – I have a few Whatsapp Chats that are Party Vibes and I have the Worlds Best Wife.™ This post is about a little rise to triumph. A rise to triumph over ill health and to celebrate today.

I went to Home Farm (where my Parentals live) to do Fun. There is a woodland overlooking the farm and I had an activity pack packed Рincluding Parabola Mic and Camera. The Parabola Mic was a right laugh Рhere are some recordings of length and shortness:

 

 

 

 

The “Dark Walk Woodland Floor In Late February” embed is the one I am most pleased with – It took a bit of editing to get the underlying traffic noise out, plus rattles from a distant gas gun – but that is how I wanted the recording. I have broached the subject of Field Recordists possibly being classist with their editing of the countryside – taking out all mechanisation – but I wanted to portray this woodland as such like the above – it is a tranquil place that needed a bit of polishing for presentation in the twee manner I have done so.

As mentioned I had my camera – here are some awesome* shots of brickwork.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
*Maybe/Maybe not (delete as appropriate).

Blackbird @ 4am

I’ve had a bit of a sleepless night – no real issues. Just the usual, on-going health complaints.

I have tried to make the most of the evening: when I took my headphones off around 4am I could, for the first time this year, hear a Blackbird salute dawn. So I wobbled to get my rig and set up on the fire-escape.

Using the Telinga Mics I received for building for an old friend a site, I managed to get the recording below.

Beautiful.

 

Well, Technically It’s Tuesday

Well, technically it’s Tuesday and I had better write up a blog post about the weekend. What happened? Stuff, sleep & shizzle! Essentially not much much but then Monday opened a cold brewski and joined me for a good time.

Friday night saw me DJing at Jesus Christ Retro Bar as part of the Reggae Night. Jason organises it. It seemed to be a slow burner so Jason went home but then we stayed open for another three hours and I was left to DJ.

Things were peaceful. Ish.

There was the usual “I’ve just got of prison” party and the drinks were flowing. They seemed to enjoy themselves and the music was appreciated by most of the clientele.

“Can I request a song?”

“Sure, but it is a reggae night”

“Stick Beyonce on!”

Saturday and Sunday were just spent working or pottering around the house. I had hoped to go out and record some wildlife at Stavely reserve but fell asleep for six hours instead. The Water Rail shows well near the little hide at Stavely during the winter months – I have been lucky to see it beforehand, no proof but I have seen it.

Monday was spent redoing a client’s site and then I hot-footed it to Swan On The Stray to meet my friend Stewart. The plan was to record a radio show and I intended to celebrate our new found home in America, Oregon. Stewart & I are both going to get broadcast on a new startup station on the dark coast. Yes, it will not be peak time but the fact that people have the opportunity to tune in to us on the FM dial is something that we both like.

 


 

Many pints were consumed and then we tootled off to do the show. The recording of Sound Of Wonder this week, I admit, is a bit of a blur – I managed to get some cans from the second pub we stopped at (I am still nursing one). We’ve reached Episode #98 – not bad.

 

 

Then, on the way home, after a bit of admin and Stewart retiring to his manor for a vegan feast, I took this photo. I am very pleased with it. Edited in Lightroom and shot on a Ricoh GR II.