Hello everyone. I’m back with a new emphasis: Soundscape Recordings. I intend to launch a new series of nature soundscape audio titles within the next few months. Call them CDs if you like, but the primary mode of distribution will be through digital downloads from iTunes, amazonmp3, and similar outlets.
I intend to use this blog to discuss various soundscapes and how I feel about them. I will also be creating a special section on our web site about natural soundscapes and their power to help us relax. This is very exciting for me, so please stay tuned!
Speaking of natural soundscapes, check out the following recording that I made over twenty years ago at 1 am on July 30, 1988, at Trap Pond State Park near Delmar Delaware (note that you’ll hear a 2-minute sample of what is actually a 10-minute performance). I really like this recording and the pulsating rhythms that make it up. I find it mesmerizing and relaxing, for reasons I will discuss below. It is one of my favorites—let me know if you also like the overall “feel” of it.
nsect and frog soundscape recorded by Lang Elliott at 1 am on 30 July 1988 at Trap Pond State Park near Delmar, Delaware.
My stereo microphone was placed at pond edge, facing a stand of baldcypress trees and scattered emergent vegetation. The soundscape is dominated by only four species—two kind of frogs and two kinds of insects). Distant Bullfrogs occupy the bottom end of the frequency spectrum, their low-pitched, rhythmic “rum-rum” calls ranging from about 100-300 Hz (see graphic below). Green Frogs sound off periodically throughout, their sharp “gunk-gunk-gunk” notes ranging from around 300 Hz up to 3000 Hz and higher, depending on how close the caller is to the microphone. Common True Katydids dominate the midrange, their raucous rattles spanning a frequency range from about 1500 Hz up to 7000 Hz. At the top end are the very high-pitched clicks and shuffles of a single Handsome Meadow Katydid, its rhythmically repeated calls ranging from 7000 Hz up to 20000 Hz and beyond. Here is an expanded view of a section of the soundscape:
I love this recording! My Trap Pond soundscape is lush and full of sound occupying the entire frequency spectrum from low bass (bullfrogs) to the high treble (meadow katydid). No one animal dominates the soundscape and none of the calls are loud and jarring, at least to my ears. Furthermore, there are several strong internal elements of rhythm that lull one’s mind into a meditative state. I think this recording qualifies as being an “insect lullaby” of the highest sort.
Whatya think? Is it anywhere near as good as I think it is? Are the high frequencies too overwhelming? Or does it come across nicely when you play the recording back at a moderate volume? Would this recording help you go to sleep, or would it have have the opposite effect and fill your mind with panic and confusion?