Tree Art

A few people sent me links to this (thanks Tim & Gustavo) and it is definitely worth a watch: Music from a Tree

Diego Stocco – Music From A Tree from Diego Stocco on Vimeo.

Quoting from the vimeo text: “In the garden of my house there’s a tree with lots of randomly grown twigs. It looks odd and nice at the same time. One day I asked myself if I could create a piece of music with it. To tune the tree I picked a fundamental note and tuned the twigs by trimming them with a pencil sharpener. I used two Røde NT6 and a NTG-2 as microphones, combined with a customized stethoscope. I recorded the tracks live on a Pro Tools LE system. I didn’t use any synthesizer or sampler to create or modify the sounds. All the sounds come from playing the tree, by bowing the twigs, shaking the leaves, playing rhythms on the cortex and so on.”

More info & photos here and high rez audio here

Back from Ngawi

Just got back from 5 days in Ngawi, a remote fishing town about 2 hours from Wellington. Apart from chilling out, drinking too much with my friends & laughing a lot we did go on a number of excursions, with camera & sound recording kit so I’ll post a few photos now & update when I load up the sounds & play with the timelapse I shot…. One photo I didnt take (& only because it was impossible) was of the night sky. OMFG!!!!! Living in a light polluted city means you really don’t see the night sky, so to be a in rural location on a clear night was almost overwhelming!!!

When we arrived the forecast wasnt good & we were prepared to be rained on for 4 days solid, but i just loved the inky black sea! I shot a timelapse of it but will have to wait until I’m in the right mood to make some appropriate music & sound for it….

Next morning the sky was clear so first trip was to the seal colony, and wow it was better than any zoo I’ve ever been to. To walk around amongst these seals in their natural habitat was fantastic and at times a little scary. The seals are very good at blending into the environment (eg that first photo below there are 9 seals) so we had to be very careful not to walk around blithely & upset them. I did a lot of recording & scared myself more than once; I would walk slowly around a rock & one of them would vocalise at me & due to a sensitive mic & having the headphones cranked up I would jump, thinking it was right beside me!!! And yes, some of these recordings will definitely be in the next horror film I get to do!

The diffuse sea roar from the lighthouse was just so beautiful!

White Rock – this is a scary coast – bleak & desolate with serious surf. The photo below is taken standing well back with a wide angle lens but while we were there all three of us climbed up on a rock that looked directly into really turbulent water, where 2m waves were crashing in. After standing up there for five minutes taking photos I climbed back down & then heard a shout; a rogue wave was approaching that was literally 4m high – it passed across the outcrop you see in the photo like it wasnt even there & crashed into the rock we were standing on. I ducked & my two friends just grabbed the rock & held on, one got completely drenched but all 3 of us were seriously shaken up by it. I’ve never seen anything like it & it was a timely reminder of just how vulnerable you can be; every year a number of fishermen are drowned in NZ by being knocked off their fishing spot by rogue waves & we left there glad that we could laugh nervously about it afterwards… White Rock – scary place!

The film I start work on in 2 weeks time is set in a coastal community where the sound of the sea is omnipresent so I did a lot of recording of the sea, but primarily from a wide perspective – aiming to capture variations on the lovely soft textured roar…

This recording was so peaceful; the waves were fair crashing on the beach but being so far back it felt like gentle explosions rolling towards me… I’ll repost some recordings later….

A contrasting sunset to the first photo…

Almost, but not quite

I hear salt water is pretty good for strativarii….