Floodwater and fencelines: a contact microphone recording

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This New Year started with the intense sound of thunder ricocheting through the valley. At times it sounded as if the sky was being pierced open. With the thunder came heavy torrents of rain, bringing our first flood for 2015. This photo shows our driveway submerged under murky floodwater, a regular occurrence during summer.

Aside from the humidity that rises from the earth after a flood there is another common phenomenon that I have noticed over the years: the locality is rendered mute, a virtual silence  surrounds the water-soaked valley. So, recording the floodwater receding has never been as satisfying as I hope it to be. That is until this morning …

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Stepping across the flood debris that lay on the bridge I noticed fence-lines stretching into the quickly flowing water below. Contact-microphones brought their sonic characteristics to life. I sat on the bridge and listened to a dystopian choir rising from the floodwater. It felt like the perfect combination between object and sound. It was only the relentless heat and the need to clear the bridge that dragged me away.

Happy New Year and fingers crossed for less floods in the future.

 

7 thoughts on “Floodwater and fencelines: a contact microphone recording

  1. Wow, sounds like a Ligeti choral work. I would be interested to get some details of your signal chain, like how you pre-amp the contact mics and indeed something about the contact mics themselves (home-made from piezo disks or purchased complete?), etc. etc. Sorry if I missed an existing post on tech stuff. Nice work as usual. Happy New Year – Brent

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