29.1.11

Esoteric Soundscapes Project - Rainy Day at the Bloedel

Back by popular demand, another edition of the long-time absent but not forgotten Esoteric Soundscapes series. For those of you new to the blog or for those who've forgotten what it's all about the series was originally established as a way for myself to partake in more field recording and to further document albums by other artists working in similar territory. This was done by posting photos and audio links of a particular outing into the field then juxtaposing this material with another released work that shared certain similar characteristics. View the first three editions of this series + from way back in early 2009.

I've decided to expand on the series idea by placing these recordings in the public domain for anyone to use. Please feel free to download them for use in your own compositions. If you do choose to do this, however, please give credit to their origins and please send them over as I'd like to hear the results. I will also post any remixes sent my way on the next edition of the series.

On a cold and wet Friday I decided to visit the Bloedel Conservatory to capture some bird recordings. Located in the center of Queen Elizabeth Park the conservatory–a triodetic structure–is a completely unique environment housing exotic trees and plants from four different biomes. They also carry Koi Fish and over one hundred free-flying birds. The consistent presence of humans, and the fact that this type of floral overlapping is impossible to find naturally anywhere in the world, makes for a completely unique sonic setting. Although one is grounded in the artificiality of it, the place does feel exotic, and in Vancouver it's about the only way to visit a tropical rain forest.

After leaving the Bloedel I was hoping to do some more work in and around the park but the weather didn't permit it. However, the rain was sort of a blessing in disguise as I was able to also capture a rather nice (I think) contact mic recording of falling rain on a large metal sculpture. I wanted to mic this sculpture in the past, hoping that I could return on a windy day to get the sound of wind droning through the center of it. It wasn't windy this time, though I think the rain recording sufficed in actualizing the sonic potential of the object while at the same time revealed it's hollowness.

The track that I've posted is a hybrid of three recordings. They are of the rain on sculpture recording, one of squawking parrots and another of a more diffused bird call recording. I'm surprised at how well they all work together, especially with the overlay of the rain recording. I've set this up so that you can stream the hybrid recording and the download will include the same recording plus the three that composed it (as stand alones).


Parrots and Rainy Sculpture:
Parrots and Rainy Sculpture by ScrapyardForecast
zip of all four recordings+

Donut #7: A sculpture by Fletcher Benton as part of the Vancouver Biennale.

The album I've decided to have accompany this edition is... well, not an album at all. Instead we have a short video of an installation by Chris Watson from the summer of 2010. Whispering in the Leaves was an immersive sound installation that consisted of speakers hidden within the Kew Gardens' Palm House located in London, England. The speakers emitted "dawn and dusk choruses" from Central and South American Rain forests. Looked like a lovely installation that I wish I could have seen.

Chris Watson is a well known sound artist and field recorder whose work is exclusively released through Touch. He loves the mysterious sounds that this world has to offer.

More information: Whispering in the Leaves+

Chris Watson - Whispering in the Leaves from Whispering in the Leaves on Vimeo.

1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

Thanks for posting this soundscape... I'm enjoying listening to it as I work on my computer.

I love that very odd photo of the (fuzzy covered) mic held up in front of the parrot underneath the umbrella.