On one of my regular walks, as the November light was beginning to fade, I was struck by the variety of sounds coming from the cow sheds on our local farm.
It was a “demanding” noise that seemed to signify something was about to happen. As the volume increased, a farm vehicle emerged with the evening feed. I returned at the same time the following day with my sound recorder and, on cue, the “cow chorus” began.
Here in the Borders it is almost impossible to go out during the month of August without being aware, through sight, sound or smell, of the harvest taking place. Wheat fields with plumes of dust rising from the harvesters on a hot, dry day. The iconic sound of the combine as it emerges over the horizon, getting louder and louder ….. and yet LOUDER– no wonder that even the smaller models have been named to match!
I couldn’t let the month go by without recording some of the evocative grain gathering sounds in our own locality of Girrick. Not only the harvesting itself, but also the (perhaps less familiar) elaborate drying process of the grain that follows in very quick succession.
The sounds captured in the “grain processing soundscape” that follows have a wonderful breadth and diversity. Ranging from the reverberation of the trailer gate closing in the grain barn, through the soft sound of the grain filling the dryer chambers, to the dynamic start-up of the burner and fan, and onto the rattling of the cork-screw auger, transferring the dry grain into the store.
Listen and enjoy the textures of the sounds and imagine the aroma of freshly harvested wheat! But be prepared for a few sonic surprises.
Intrigued by the sounds coming from the local farm, I spent time this month recording various audio clips that I have used to create an edited piece called “Slurry“. It not only features sounds from nature, but also includes some more unusual “noises” from mechanical devices on the farm. All part of the soundscape at Girrick in June.
My fascination with the quality of the various sounds was perhaps matched by an equal measure of curiosity from those working on the farm; puzzled by the bizarre sight of me (with my recording equipment) – standing by the roadside as cattle were herded along the lane, following tractors into yards and keeping a very safe distance whilst slurry was being transferred.
The mechanical sounds of both slurry mixer and vaccum pump on the tanker were ideally suited to creating a more “abstract” sound piece in post-production. If you can, listen on headphones – a definite change of tone!
Thanks to all those at Girrick farm for allowing me to capture an aspect of their busy schedule in June.
You can listen to the audio clips for the months to date of 2021 in: