Many of you have seen this picture on Facebook on my own timeline and shared elsewhere. As a picture, it looks nice. Yet it is missing something. Making this view into a video clip would have been an option, but one finds him or herself trapped in the vision I had in mind. As well as the feelings that go with the image.
By separating the sound from the vision, the element of imagination or dreams is coming back.
Today’s cellphones, tablets and other portable gadgets present us with all kinds of ready-to-consume products. Mostly videos and games. Audiobooks are gaining ground, and that is nice. But there is no place left for dreaming about a place, imagining one is there. With or without a companion of any kind.
For those who know this location, the waves can get pretty rough and outright dangerous if approached too closely. Peggy’s Cove’s Black rocks are not to be underestimated.
So when I recorded the sound of the waves, my first reaction was to face the wind and the waves and record whatever came my way. The result was “nice” but rather bland as far as depth perception goes. Right now, I don’t have a lot of options with microphone placements in order to change the character of the sounds. The waves coming face on sounded like this:
Those waves were great, standing in front of them was wonderful. Yet they were large and wide. All the water was coming in at the same time. In other words, no stereo effect, or just a minor effect. So I decided to change my orientation by 90 degrees and record in the same direction as I took the above picture. You can see that the waves (at least the bigger ones) had the chance to pass me by from one side to the other.
The resulting sound was this:
The result is a play with both channels or with both your ears.
Wearing headphones is not required but will enhance the experience. Those who have been in this place, standing just beneath the lighthouse of Peggy’s Cove will know the sensation of the place. Simply showing a video reduces the experience to a mere ready-to-consume attraction. Listen to the waves, close your eyes and you can be transported back to this place when you were there yourself. Regardless of what I was doing there.
The sound of the waves is very dependent on the position you take as a field recordist. I didn’t get any closer to the water at Peggy’s Cove, no use risking your life for a sound recording, so I decided to get closer to the water in a different place. Again, recording the waves face on, but this time, they moved across my field of hearing. And I kept my feet dry.
Now, the water has a lot more texture and drops can be heard.
This place is full of water and water movement, so I’ll undoubtedly be back with more recordings of water and nature. Just stick around …