Winter 2017

I started recording as an aid to memory.   I had been speaking with a friend about what triggers memories, and we were musing about how different senses can transport you to a different time and place.    Smell and taste are particularly effective in this way; cooking smells can send us back in time, or far away.   Touch is, I think, a little harder, but getting my hands in soil does take me to past gardens.   Visual cues are most prominent in our society.  Photographs are compelling reminders of past experience, and sometimes supplant actual memory with what we see in the photograph!

Sound is an amazing memory aid.  Songs we grew up with, as far back as nursery rhymes, and then into our youth and teen and young adulthood, all move us.   Lovers often talk fondly of “our song”; the song they first danced to, or was popular at the time of their meeting.  There are songs that take me to a specific place and time and sense; for example, in the 1970s I was going on one of my frequent journeys back to the UK through New York.   Whenever I hear Don McLean’s Vincent I’m at JFK airport walking through piled snow between terminals; and I feel free and full of hope.  Funny.

So I decided to have a go.   I had read a number of helpful websites on the subject; finding much inspiration from sites such as Wild Mountain Echoes, Wild Mountain Echoes, Creating Field Recording, and Wild Ambience,  It was from the Wild Ambience site that I was motivated to build my own parallel boundary array microphone rig.  It’s just a simple box, that keeps two matched omni-directional microphones at an appropriate separation, and with the barrier between that together mimics the stereo field that our own 2 ears may hear.  Here are a couple of photos:

I started recording with a used Fostex FR2 I had found on eBay.

And now I can’t stop.   The experience is wonderful, and goes far beyond my original intentions.   I will be sharing this experience, and some of my recordings here.


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