Metal + Wind = the Eternal


Fence-line at Gundabooka

The wind, the wind … the dry hot wind at Gundabooka. The roadkill scattered along the unsealed road was turning into leather before my eyes. Mangled and bloated corpses of kangaroos and goats were as much a part of the landscape as the spring flowers and mallee scrub. Paradise for flies and birds of prey.

Inexpertly driving along a road layered with bull-dust and littered with pot-holes, I was so intent on not hitting any form of wildlife, and hence contributing to the roadkill count, that I almost missed an object that I have been wanting to record for years. An uninterrupted fence line. No grass or tree branches scratching against it. Just pure metal interacting with … the wind. 

Sound recording bucket list

I hoped out of the car and applied contact microphones to the wire. And there it was, a sound I imagine will continue long after the demise of the human race. The eternal. A little spookier than I expected, in fact as the wind rose in intensity the sound emanating from the wire was intense. Different from the delicate sound I had expected. I sat and revelled in this listening experience for quite some time. 

A cow’s corpse lay beside the road from where I was recording. Part leather, part sun-bleached bone. What was this place I had found myself in? Acute extremes of wonder and despair had filled each day since my arrival. I unfastened the microphones from the fence. Listening now, I am immediately returned to the site, the same confused state of emotions still circling deep inside.

4 thoughts on “Metal + Wind = the Eternal

    1. Thanks Mala. It’s nice to hear from you again. Yes it’s hard to avoid falling into cliches when writing about the life/death duality in the Outback, but it’s all there to see and experience.


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