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  • Matthew Shenton

Listening to the Landscape 13

There are not many animal sounds connected to farming to be heard in modern-day Holbrook; with the exception of a few flocks of sheep. The sheep featured on this recording were down by the creek in a field close to the location of the old brick works. A footpath passes through the field they were being held in, and the inquisitive lambs would eyeball me as I strolled though towards the creek with my kit.

I had spent a good few hours in the creek trying to discover if any underwater sounds could be found at high tide. As I followed the brook back towards the village I saw that a ewe and her two lambs were close to the fence eating the grass. I quickly popped my recorder onto the top of the gatepost and stood back. The animals were non-plussed about my presence, and continued eating and playing.

I’m not sure I have ever really watched sheep up close for any length of time – it is amazing just how much grass they eat and how quickly. You can hear the sound of them tearing it from the ground on the recording (which was cut a little shorter than I would have liked thanks to a sudden downpour of rain). Other lambs can be heard calling out in the distance along with birdsong, the Royal Hospital School bells and the ubiquitous drone of garden machinery.

I am unsure of the breed of sheep on the recording, but hope that they are Suffolks -  a breed that appear in Haruki Murakami’s 'A Wild Sheep Chase' (which I have recently reread).

[This field recording was recorded to showcase the natural sounds heard in a rural setting. It features no human voices. No monies will be made from the recording. Please contact me  if you have any concerns]


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