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Entries in field recording (12)


Very Quiet Records

Tony Whitehead is a sound recordist and owner of the label Very Quiet Records and sub-label Very Quiet Records Static. He releases recordings of quiet places and situations from sound artists and field recordists from all over the world.

I met Tony back in january 2010 when I was an intern at Sound and Music in England. He organised a 12-hour soundwalk through the town of Plymouth, which was an unforgettable experience. Walking the fringes of the town, we found some beautiful spots near the sea. The longer we walked, the more we got into a trance where we were purely focused on the sounds, sights and smells of our cold winter surroundings.

Plymouth by night

The records he releases on Very Quiet Records range from quite static, noisy wind recordings to more dynamic recordings of objects or nature. Most of these recordings exist of one-takes of around ~40 minutes to an hour. When listening on headphones, they quickly become your artificial surrounding. When the recording ends, the silence is almost unbearable, as you’ve become accustomed to the crickets or sounds of the shore.


A Balloon for Linz

I just came back from New York City, a place with an overwhelming sound, everywhere you go. And each location in a city like that has its own resonance, its own sonic identity. That’s hard to hear though if there is so much noise around it becomes a cacophony. But what if we could isolate this resonance and listen to the astonishing differences in the sound of urban spaces? 

Davide Tidoni did just that with A Balloon for Linz. Luckily Linz is not NYC, and he was able to find spots which were quiet enough to make a clear recording (using his nice helmet mount microphone). You might recognize the concept as Davide did something similar before.


Urban Remix

Urban Remix is another ‘soundmap’ project like we have seen before. There is more to this project than just recording and uploading audio though. As the name suggests, you are able to remix the sounds you, or any other participant previously uploaded to the Urban Remix website, by drawing paths on a map. 

The project, created by Jason Freeman, Michael Nitsche, and Carl Disalvo (all professors at the Georgia institute of Technology, is interesting but not unique (apart from the remixing feature maybe). That said, it is always good to raise awareness of sound in the environments we live in. This video gives a good impression of the Urban Remix project: 

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Inanimate Life by Mark Peter Wright

I like making field recordings, recording and archiving a moment in time, to travel back to while listening to it on some later day. The field recordings Mark Peter Wright made for his album Inanimate Life are not the same though. They take the listener a little closer to their sources. 

Mark Peter Wright made his field recordings along the North East coast of England, inspired by the voice of the coastal winds. Other than what you might expect from field recordings, it is never really clear what I am listening to. While listening to Inanimate Life on my headphones the sounds rumble through my head, evoking images in my mind of what might be the source of those haunting soundscapes.

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Sonic Terrain

I like to record the world around me while traveling, and post a recording on Everyday Listening now and then, but it is not my main source of content. Now if you are really interested in field recording, there is a new place for you to visit: Sonic Terrain.

Sonic Terrain “will aggregate information and publish exclusive content focused on sounds recorded outside the studio. Topics will be cross-disciplinary and focused on the use of field recordings in a variety of contexts, including sound design for visual media, music, fine art, scientific research, phonography, and much more.” according to its creators. 

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It has been quite a while since we took a look at a soundmap like SoundTransit or Radio Aporee, while more and more of these maps are created around the world. This time I would like to share the SeoulSoundMap project with you. 

The campaign is created by the Korean sound art and culture webzine Sound@Media in order to raise awareness of the sonic environment of the city. I it allows us to travel trough the streets of Seoul, in sound, and experience of moment of this huge metropolis. Please try it for yourself.

The SeoulSoundMap is the first urban soundscape project with public participation in Korea. Anyone with a mobile recording device can participate and upload recordings via Visit the Sound@Media website (in Korean, you might want to use Google translate on it) to find out more about their projects.


Berlin Hauptbahnhof

Paddling the quiet lakes and breathing the fresh forest air of Sweden was wonderful again this summer. While living in the city I tend to forget how peaceful. Next stop was Berlin, full of people and transportation, and I can hardly think of a bigger sonic contrast between two places.  

The Berlin Hauptbahnhof must be one of the busiest spots of the city, flooded with people, day in, day out. With the S-bahn, the U-bahn and national and international trains passing by, there is not a moment of silence, not a minute without a departure. Here is an impression of the station’s ambience:

Photo by Spigoo


Denoising Field Recordings by Richard Eigner

If you have ever edited sound which was badly recorded, you have probably used a denoiser of some sort. And if there was a lot of noise to be removed (I recently received an interview recorded during heavy rain, with the request to remove the sound of the rain and no, I am not joking), you know the side effects such a treatment can have. 

Looking at them from another perspective, these side effects we try to avoid most of the time can sound pretty interesting themselves. Richard Eigner from Austria created his project Denoising Field Recordings based on this idea. He made recordings of particularly noisy environments and used denoising techniques to create the material for his compositions.

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Whispering In The Leaves

In this short documentary Chris Watson tells us about his sound installation Whispering In The Leaves. The installation allows us to listen the sound of places most of us have never been, mysterious and fascinating.

He tells us how he is carefully “fishing for sounds” on the rainforest floor in South and Central America. Chris has been recording for many years. Living in a city I sometimes forget about the variety of sounds in this world. Amsterdam sounds different than Mexico City, but what about all those forests, swamps, lakes, creeks and all the creatures living there!

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Portimão: Praça Manuel Teixeira Gomes

It has been a while since I shared the sound of a place I visited in the places category, but now I am in Portimão, I have a good reason to start doing it again! It is remarkably hot and sunny, even for spring in southern Portugal. I never visited this country before, and it is welcoming me with a beautiful blue sky. 

Here is what Praça Manuel Teixeira Gomes sounds like on an average Monday morning in spring. It is quite a sonic surprise. While lots of birds sing their song in the olive trees, I pass a cheesy Native American music performance on one side while on the other side the fountains rustle:

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