Sunday, February 04, 2007

Cannon River Eddies

Environmental sound artist Philip Blackburn has an interesting website called Music and Nature featuring various soundclips and interviews. For example, there is video footage of his own Cannon River Eddies, 'a performance installation in Northfield, Minnesota, to bring attention to the role of water and the presence of the river in the town center'. There is also a survey of wind music by Rene Van Peer and features on animal music, ranging from bird song to the performances of the Thai elephant orchestra.

Postscript: September 2015
This Music and Nature website still exists, although much has been written about music and nature in the ten years since it was created.  As the post above is a bit short I thought I would summarise that survey of wind music by listing his examples...
  • Chris Watson says that "Wind, wherever the sound recordist operates, is an obvious nuisance".  But in a recording made at Glen Cannich, he "could walk through the foci of these wind sounds within a few paces, as if being part of some great instrument..."
  • By contrast wind can be a gentle backdrop as in a forest recording by Jonathon Storm...
  • Wind in the trees sounds differently depending on the leaf cover. A Peter Cusack recording 'captures the spirit of late autumn, when most trees are bare, and leaves that are still clinging to the branches have a very distinctive brittleness.'
  • Gordon Hempton devoted a whole album to the winds of North America, which vary according to the local landscape
  • A Francisco L√≥pez, 'Wind from Patagonia' demonstrates 'layers of sound, suggestiveness and a subtle musicality.'
  • Geoff Sample recorded a spring gale whistling around ta metal gate
  • 'In Guadalcanal, one of the Solomon Islands, people used to erect bamboo poles on the easternmost beaches of the island when someone had died. Holes and slits were cut out in the canes, which were played by the wind'
  • The Japanese sound artist Akio Suzuki recorded the wind blowing across his Analapos instrument
  • Scott Smallwood recorded the wind around a pile of scrap and refuse left at an abandoned airfield in the Utah desert.
  • Eric La Casa collects wind and wind-based recordings and adds a church organ to the mix

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