TriX Tree


When I finally bite the bullet & buy a Hasselblad 500, this is one location I am going back to….
Contax T2 + TriX + ReversalCine Lab #NZ

Contax T2 first roll of TriX

Since getting this first test roll of 35mm Tri-X back from ReversalCine Lab, I’ve shot 2 more rolls of TriX and 1 more roll of Ektar… I am kind of enjoying the delayed gratification of film… anyway a few shots from roll 1 (these are untouched – no grade, haven’t even tweaked black levels – these are as shot/processed)















Contax T2 + TriX400 + ReversalCine

Recordists dream house

Whenever I go travelling in New Zealand I tend to rely on two sites for finding places to stay: Holiday Houses or Book a Bach – I haven’t used Air BnB locally but have booked an apartment in Tokyo with it for my next trip, so that will be my first experience… The main attraction for me with these sites is to avoid motels & hotels, with close neighbours and instead find remote houses to stay in.

Apart from location, my criteria for choosing a house is also informed by recording – I want a quiet location and preferably an interesting house. But working out how suitable a house is can require some detective work eg the first house I rented on the West Coast was as advertised, by the sea, and yes you could hear the sea. But it was also by a river, the main road and close to a local pub… so not a lot of recording was done there… But my second rental was perfect, for recording the ocean!





The presence of the ocean was constant, at high tide it came right up to the edge of the property, but even at low tide the roar of the ocean could always be felt. Of course I did a number of recording sessions, mostly at night to avoid birds etc…


Upstairs was an exterior deck, so I set up my 5.0 mic rig (8040/8050/8040/8020/8020) and recorded at number of different times & tides from out on the deck, but each time I also moved the mics inside & recorded the same tide from an interior perspective….


The best part was recording very late at night,as upstairs was also the bedroom..


So for example I would work out when high tide was, and one night it was 3am. I’d set an alarm, wake up, put my mics out on the deck and set my 788T recording, and go back to bed with an alarm set for 30 minutes later.
Although it was winter it wasn’t that cold, so I would fall asleep with the big glass sliding doors wide open and the roar of high tide filling the house…
Half an hour later my alarm would wake me, and I’d move the mics indoors and close the sliding doors and record for another 30 minutes, capturing the interior perspective… I did this process three times over the four nights I stayed at the house



Incase you are ever in the area & are looking for a great house to rent, the listing for the house is here – weirdly the house had a big screen TV with SkyTV but no internet and no cellphone coverage… Thankfully there is a great cafe in Charleston with free wifi (also the offices of the Caving company) but I would have happily ditched the TV for ADSL…


Along with recording the ocean I also recorded three great props, first was a penguin! I kept hearing bird calls at night, but not a bird I knew and after reading the info for the house they mentioned there being penguins in the area, especially after dusk. So I went for a walk with my 722 and pair of MKH70s and recorded a few penguin calls…

Another great sound prop was in the lounge – the fireplace had an old metal fire guard around it:


I didn’t notice it when I first arrived, but decided to light the fire one night & when I opened the door section, the metal screech it produced was straight out of a horror film!! So I recorded about 20 minutes of variations with it at 192kHz, all the while thinking of it pitched/slowed down..

Lastly in the bathroom was one of those shower mats with suction cups on it:


Due to the tiles this one made great sounds!!

The deck also proved useful for shooting and one afternoon/evening I set up my 5D and shot a timelapse, starting at 5.17pm shooting a photo every 10 seconds and stopping at 9.13pm, 1,201 photos later. I used the Holy Grail technique to capture the huge shift in light at the sunset and night fell, and will post it once I’ve had time to process the timelapse & sync up some ocean recordings to it… But looking at the rough assembly, it looks gorgeous just after sunset, when the light on the sea becomes silvery!

This is a house I will definitely return to – it would be great to visit in summer, sleeping with the doors wide open… but equally great to stay in deep winter, especially when the sea is stormy & wild!



HISSandaROARs 6th Birthday Sale


Six years, 37 libraries – use discount code ‘MURPHY’ to get 50 % off everything!
Sale starts today 23rd August and ends Sept 2nd

Wreck revisited

I first visited this wreck last year, but low tide then was midday so the light was harsher… This time I raced back over from Karamea, hoping to get there before sunset… and with a vague idea it was low tide…



Karamea 7.0 Test

Drove over to Karamea today & into Kahurangi National Park… as I set up to do some recording a couple of assistants turned up!






Set up, recorded birdlife for an hour and then packed up & lugged it all into:


I think this cave may be the quietest place I have ever been – its a big cave, maybe 6m to ceiling but if you go right into the end of the cave there is a side passage that is quite narrow, you can squeeze through it without crawling or anything, but it slowly gets more & more narrow… I went as far in as I could go without freaking out, and then stopped and listened. Nothing. Heartbeat, check. Breathing, check. Nervous system, check. Nothing else. Definitely as quiet as the anechoic chamber at ICC Gallery in Tokyo.


nuzic 9

▶ Second Woman is a new collaborative project featuring Turk Dietrich of Belong and Joshua Eustis of the renowned Telefon Tel Aviv…. “The deliberation and control over every particle is obsessive, but the end results of each individual track unfold with an organic temperament unparalleled in a grid-locked world of DAW shaped musics and rat’s-nest modular aleatory.”




▶ Brian Case – Tense Nature



OMG i so LOVE this – thank Michael for posting it – her Vespertine album hits a sweet spot in my heart, as when it was released I was travelling… I’d booked a round-the-world ticket and it started with a very short stopover in LA before heading to NY for what I thought would be 2 weeks of inspiration… I can still remember hearing the news about Bin Laden, 2 days before I was due to fly out from NZ.. & thinking YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING!?! And then coming to realise that my inconvenience as a tourist was insignificant compared with what eventuated…
Meanwhile following my travel agents advice I flew direct to the UK and stayed at my sisters for an extra 2 weeks, thereby experiencing my first Carsten Niccolai installation and then taking a side trip to Barcelona right on the day Vespertine was released….
I distinctly remember walking into a record store in Barcelona & having to say her name 3 times in my mashed NZild accent, varying the vowells until they got it & corrected me with the Spanish pronounciation of her Icelandic name…

I have never stopped loving Vespertine since, it is embedded in my psyche from that time.. & i can only presume I was travelling with a battery powered CD player to be able to buy a CD in 2001 and actually listen to it… I also had a Tascam DAP1 DAT recorder and a pair of Oktava MK102s with me & have the recordings still, so a CD walkman thingy is very possible…. shame I wasn’t also travelling with a camera…

Cave Stream

Apart from a little holiday, my motivation for the West Coast trip is to do some recording & hopefully finish the CAVES Ambience Library I’ve been slowly working on for a year or so….
So my first stop was Cave Stream



The cave exits at the red dot – in my youth, me & a bunch of friends went through the cave, starting at the exit it took about an hour to get through and out through the waterfall at the entrance… But that was in summer, the water was freezing cold now & running a bit higher so I only ventured in a bit to do some recording…


To give some scale, the black objects in front of the cave are my camera backpack, boom, mics and recorder…



West Coast


love the road crossing the Southern Alps in the middle of the South Island, respect to whoever designed this bit of road through Arthurs Pass (& all of the people who implemented it!) – I had the new Datach’i album cranked up, perfect soundtrack!


After getting over to the alps I cut across via Lake Brunner, but the first little lake I met required a u turn – I couldn’t drive past this view without shooting it!


Free parking on the West Coast!