12/06/18. Fence at Barpa Langais, North Uist.

Contact microphones provide a new insight into sound – especially sound produced by the wind and other forms of vibration that are otherwise hard to capture with more traditional microphones.   The barbed-wire fence enclosing the Barpa Langais (burial chamber) is particularly well sited; facing the north wind directly and being more exposed by being slightly elevated.

What you hear on this recording are the sounds of the wires themselves as they respond to the wind, to temperature, and to the surrounding constraints (e.g., fence posts, itself). But we also get the sound of the long grasses that cover Uist as they bash against the lower parts of the fencing, and this adds a beautiful randomness.

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The recording concludes with the sounds of a group of people returning through the nearby creaky and resonant gate as they descended from their visit to the burial mound and the higher mountain beyond.

 

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