I have never purposefully meditated in my life, not even once… I understand the how & why, I even read David Lynchs book on the subject… but I have always thought that some of what I do is totally meditative & as it also actually achieves something I figured that I should just do more of it. And that something is recording ambiences. Heres a little montage of locations from the West Coast of the South Island where I’ve spent lots of time recording:
The last one is a fantastic place to visit during a storm. Punakaiki or Pancake Rocks is a limestone coastal inlet which is riddled with blow holes… Heres a recording of air being blown out of a blow hole – the actual ocean is about 500m away and as a wave surges in, air is forced out through these blow holes… I could well imagine finding this place a few centuries ago & on a stormy night easily believing a Taniwhi lived here!
Heres a recording of the Devils Basin, a large inlet where the waves just pound in & spray goes flying!
download Wavespray mp3
The fantastic thing about recording ambiences is with good equipment it really is like having supersonic hearing! Many times I have been sitting in bush, with my eyes closed listening to the environment & suddenly almost ducked because I could hear a birds wings swooshing towards me…. only to open my eyes & discover its 20 metres away!
One beautiful recording I made totally by accident was of wood pigeons flying away. I was driving around the countryside with the car window down, listening for any interesting bird calls & I stopped by a tree where I was sure I’d heard one. I quietly got out of the car, set the recorder rolling & went to ID the recording. Just as I side the ‘t’ of ‘this will be…’ an entire tree full of wood pigeons flew off. I froze & held the mics as still as I could & captured this beautiful sound: