Wind in the wires: recording the sounds of the unearthly

Walking through local fields the sounds of wildlife envelope the listener. After years of living in this valley the chatter of birds, the pulsating stridulation of insects and the gurgle of creeks have become the sounds of home. However an experiment with contact microphones placed on various objects throughout the farm has unveiled a hidden soundscape.

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Wind causes electrical wires to vibrate in eerie tones. Stretched above cow paddocks their perfectly parallel lines produce a sound that is only heard with the aid of contact microphones. Best listened to with headphones …

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This grain silo acts as a parabolic dish. As the silo’s frame slowly rusts the sounds of life continue to resonate through its sides. Here a plant taps against the silo while a plane passes overhead, the pulsating of an electric fence can be heard in the background.

Listening to the world through contact microphones is a reminder of how our understanding of the planet is informed through the limitations of our senses. What other sounds, sights and smells swarm around us? How little do we know the familiar?

2 thoughts on “Wind in the wires: recording the sounds of the unearthly

  1. Kathy George

    As a child living in the Scottish countryside, far from traffic or any other man made noise, I used to hear this sound as I walked the mile and a half to school. Sixty five years later, listening to this recording I can imagine myself back there. Thank you for giving me this memory,

    Reply
    1. soundslikenoise Post author

      Thanks for the feedback Kathy. Interesting how sounds trigger the memory. As a child it must have been slightly unsettling to hear that sound as you walked along!

      Reply

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