Hebdomadal sound project: March 2013

Week 13
Stream near the Mills Of Kintreath, North Berwick
March 31st, 3.45pm

On Easter Sunday I traveled to North Berwick to test out Jez Riley French’s new design of hydrophone along the East Lothian coastline. I spent some time in amongst rock pools, getting very wet once the tide started to swiftly come in. The following is a recording made in a small stream that runs adjacent to the site of the ruins of the Mills Of Kintreath, not very far inland of Milsey Bay.


Setup: 1 mono Jez Riley French d-series hydrophone to Tascam DR-680

Week 12
Car boot sale, NCP car park, Greenside Row
March 24th, 12.40pm

Given the British weather, the lowest level of a car park is an incredibly pragmatic place to hold a car boot sale. The whole of this level comes alive with activity every Sunday morning, regardless of the season, and is diametrically opposite to the sterile environment of the Omni Centre leisure complex located above it. The following recording was made in the last twenty minutes of the sale; this seems to be a particularly animated time when sellers are trying to get rid of as much as possible. Shoppers know this, and so seem only too happy to haggle them down.


Setup: 2 RØDE lavalier mics in stereo position to Tascam DR-680

Week 11
Rain on an umbrella
March 16th, 10.20am

A plan to go walking and recording along the River Almond, at the point where it meets The Firth of Forth, was thwarted by heavy rain. Instead, here’s a recording from underneath an umbrella standing in my garden…


Setup: 2 RØDE lavalier mics pinned to the underneath of an umbrella, stereo position to Tascam DR-680

Week 10
Fleshmarket Close, Borthwick’s Close, and National Museum of Scotland
March 10th, 2.00-3.00pm

The first recording this week was made halfway down Fleshmarket Close, a steep narrow alleyway of steps that serves as the title of an Ian Rankin book, and is home to one of my favourite pubs in the old town. Regardless of the season the walls of the Close always seem to be dripping, and this is captured in the recording, along with a constant air extractor fan in the background and people walking by with plenty of luggage, as the Close acts as a convenient shortcut between the Royal Mile and Edinburgh Waverley train station.


Next is another recording in a narrow Close, this time Borthwick’s Close off of the Royal Mile. I noticed a strange sloshing sound as I walked along the Mile and found it emanating from a grate with a pipe extractor. I’m not sure what is making the sound exactly, but it sounds pretty wet to me. Some voices can be heard – these started to channel out into the Close from the pipe, which sounded very surreal at the time.


The final recording is from a fifth floor balcony within the National Museum of Scotland, looking out into the beautiful main hall. I love the acoustics of such open museums. A couple of minutes in the museum’s clock strikes 3 o’clock.


Setup: 2 RØDE lavalier mics in stereo position to Tascam DR-680