In May 1942 in the early days of live outside broadcast, the BBC were recording the song of a nightingale. As they started their broadcast a distant rumble increased in volume as 197 Wellinton and Lancaster bombers appeared overhead on their way to Mannheim for a massive air raid. The contrast of the innocent song and the secret mission gives the recording an emotional resonance.
I remember being woken in the night to listen to nightingales in the woods when I was little. Weird.
This documentary on Radio 4 is about the significance of sound in our experience of sport. Amazing to hear how many microphones they use for televised sports events mixing the sounds of the crowds, verbal dialogue, the physical actions, equipment and elements. Isolating and layering the individual sounds brings a sense of intimacy with the sports person and increases the sense of drama and excitement.
Dennis Baxter will design the sound of the Olympics and he says he will be using 4000 mics for the event. I’m going to listen more carefully now.
Andreas Bick made this sound recording of a frozen lake. The ice contracts and expands due to fluctuations in temperature and he records the popping and cracking noises with an underwater microphone.
He describes it as the fringes of music, the periphery where music turns into sheer sound – concrete, wild, sometimes stunningly beautiful.