Thursday, July 25, 2013

Sounds from Birch Well

Sounds from Birch Well, Epping Forest (3m extract of 17m piece).

On Sunday 9th December 2012 I cycled out to Epping Forest to record the sound of the woods for my friend Julian's art exhibition. As always in Epping Forest there was lots of mud, bike wheels spinning in it as I tried to ride uphill..

I recorded the sound of the traffic from the underpasses and the woods just shy of the North Circular, then along the old road from Walthamstow to Essex, now an avenue of trees leading from wood to wood. Then I cycled over to Hollow Ponds and Birch Well, the spring by Eagle Pond. I stood very still and pressed record, listened through the headphones. The wind, the traffic from the distant roads, aeroplanes, an occasional caw of a rook or a robin singing. The sun came out. I hadn't listened that hard to the world since I was a kid, and it reminded me of those days, listening to the the suburb around us, being filled a sense of weightlessness and wonder.

I heard a deep bass drone that seemed to move from the horizons to the sky. The sound of the traffic was gathered by and fed into the sound of the planes, the sound of the wind in the wood. I edited it together with another recording of a harp's strings being played by the wind, and gave it to Julian for his exhibition. Here's a sample

The exhibition is at The Link Building @ Carver Church, Lake Road, Windermere, LA23 2BY from 21 to 28th August, 1-6 pm daily. There are postcards and things and a proportion of the money will go to Windermere Food Bank.

1 comment:

dennis said...

Hey this is great- I have always wondered about Epping Forest, ever since the song "Battle of Epping Forest" was burned into my younger brain to become part of life's soundtrack, it being from the Peter Gabriel-era Genesis album "Selling England by the Pound"... did that song come up in your head as you cycled as well? Curiously enough, a fantastic Canadian-based Genesis tribute band named the Musical Box is out doing an exact rendition of the Selling England-era tour show, and I recently obtained tix for that show, so there you go! My life's been enriched by your audiopost, allowing me to "experience" the Epping forest!