Long wires

Apart from recording Transmitter mast cables this week, I’ve also been experimenting with long wires.
Two wires were connected from a window in my studio, out to trees in the garden.

In this video, the right-hand wire is 30metres/100ft long and the left wire is 25m/80ft long…
On headphones, it sounds massive, but take off the cans and can hardly hear anything from it!

I’ve been recording lots of bowing, scrapes and hits… but also then cranking gain to record ambiences eg there was medium wind the day I recorded this and you can hear the wind whipping around the wires… I also did lots of recording in very strong winds and also interesting sound in rain…

Weirdly, in some of the wind recordings I swear I can hear birds, as though the wires are effectively acting as part of the contact mic element!

My next thoughts were:

– Has anyone made a ‘plate reverb’ except using long wires? It’s such an epic dark verb, I’ll try attaching transducers to them and attach the contact mics at the other end…

– In wind I would love to create more chordal elements, which means more wires… Thats not a problem but eg if I set up say six wires, I would really need to be able to tune them… which makes me think I need to source some bass guitar tuning pegs… And rather than attaching contact mics directly to the wires, build a ‘bridge’ as per a bass guitar which would be of double benefit – stable for tuning and maybe the contact mics attached to the bridge would then capture the ensemble wires resonating…

More likely:
make a hardwood bridge,
lock off wires to a central bracket…
improvise a tuning method!
nails, torsion wrench and nutmeg?

Proof is in the chordal pudding!


More on this topic back in 2009 here




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