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  • Matthew Shenton

Listening to the Landscape 16 - underwater soundscape

Updated: 20 hours ago

An exciting part of this project has been trying to find the hidden sounds of the village. By this, I mean the sounds that cannot usually be heard by the naked ear (as it were), and that can only be heard and recorded using hydrophones (underwater microphones), contact microphones (which pick up vibrations in solid objects) and a geophone (that picks up faint seismic vibrations). I have also just acquired a cheap bat detector.

Each of these 'hidden sound' techniques can reveal fantastic unknown worlds that can blow your mind and help you to experience the world differently. But the process can also be massively frustrating having spent hours out in the field attaching microphones to trees and flagpoles without finding any interesting sounds!

It was pleasing to finally get a half-decent underwater recording on the 4th July using some Jez Riley made hydrophones. The recording below splices together four different recordings made at four locations along the watercourse that gives Holbrook its name. Throughout the piece you can hear the chirps ands clicks of unseen invertebrates, along with what I assume to be the sound of bubbles being released by plants.

The captured sounds were very faint on the original recordings, so I have needed to amplify them and then use some noise reduction techniques to try and remove some hiss. Some high-pass filtering was also applied to filter out a light aircraft that passed overhead.

[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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