Pack: Wind Chimes In the Wild by Philip Goddard

Pack info

Wind Chimes In the Wild

The full title of this project and indeed this pack, which will appear on CDs of these sounds that I shall eventually issue, is Wind Chimes In the Wild - Symphonies of Wind Chimes and Nature. I use 'symphony' here with something of the original meaning (i.e. simply 'sounding together'), before the term got hijacked by musicians of the 'Classical' period of Western classical music, to have a much more restricted meaning.

This is a new project of mine, commenced in November 2012, to produce a collection of truly authentic recordings of a range of quality wind chimes out in Nature, where 'the elements' are an important aspect of each recording. The recordings thus are not just 'wind chimes' recordings but actual natural soundscapes incorporating wind chimes, which latter in that context have an immensely more engaging and 'musical' effect than 'wind chimes only' recordings. These recordings are indeed symphonies - a sounding together - of wind chimes and nature. Indeed, that 'sounding together' is not only of wind chimes and nature, because the wind chimes in any particular recording may be up to four different sets sounding simultaneously, tuned to different scales, and also the beautiful and invigorating effects of pitting the unrefined and 'earthy' dry timbre and crudely whole-tone scale oriented bamboo chimes against the refined 'liquid' tone and precisely tuned sweet-sounding scales of the metal chimes.

I was moved to point myself towards this project because of the sheer awfulness of all the commercial wind chimes recordings that I'd bought or otherwise heard. The problem was usually not the chimes themselves, but the sheer laziness and contempt for the listener (or/and lack of interest in or feel for nature) of whoever recorded / produced those recordings, which turned out ALL to be faked in various ways - either being just repeating loops of a very short recording, or the chimes being jiggled mechanically and not by any wind, as shown by regularly repeating patterns in the waveform (and far too consistent a sound level), and any wind or other natural sounds clearly just dubbed on, with no relationship between (boringly genteel) wind strength variations and the chimes activity.

The only decent wind chimes recordings that I'd found were a small number on Freesound, and they include some really beautiful ones. So, I decided to help fill the gap left by the lazy and profiteering commercial producers of wind chimes recordings, and make real 'in the wild' wind chimes recordings, with full authenticity, including even wind noise in the microphones at times. The latter, although for many purposes regarded as undesirable, actually enhances my recordings - at least as long as it doesn't get really disruptively loud. After all, if you're out in the wind you do get the wind rumbling, booming and drumming in your ears, and really it's a nuisance only when it gets really strong and gets drowning out what you actually mean to be listening to out there. Here the wind sound is very much part of the 'in the wild' experience.

Also an intrinsic part of these recordings is the unplanned 'countryside sounds' - which unfortunately do include the odd distant aeroplanes. Where aeroplane sounds have been too intrusive I have had to cut out the respective parts of the particular recordings, but otherwise, in moderation, they actually serve a positive purpose in giving a little more balance and perspective in the sound picture. Also, in the odd places you may hear the odd footstep on the track close by the tree where the recordings were made - and you may hear the odd very distant human voice. I cut out anything that I judged to be too intrusive - and that was quite a bit in some of the recordings. Also, in recordings made higher up, near the top of the hill (when there was not enough wind at the normal spots), some distant cow moos may be heard.

All my current recordings, made in late autumn and into the winter, have little really audible bird sound, because the birds were making all their lovely sounds way down in the woods towards the bottom of the valley, where, unfortunately, I could not find sufficient wind to work the chimes. However, my intent is to repeat the recordings of the different sets of chimes and their combinations in the spring, so that we would then have an additional set with significantly more bird sound.

My aim in this project is to make extended recordings - typically about 20 minutes of each 'solo' set of chimes, and a full half-hour each of combinations of two or three different sets of chimes - though naturally the vagarities of such field recordings result in much variation of actual recording durations (i.e., after editing to remove disturbances). I would then aim to make a small business out of producing CD compilations of these recordings, for which I expect to use a 'produce on demand' service that would enable me easily to offer the CDs on Amazon. Meanwhile, my intent is to put a five-minute excerpt of each recording here on Freesound.

The wind chimes used so far in my various recordings are:
** Bamboo, large and small, purchased very cheaply from The Range in Exeter;
** Woodstock, 'silver' finish aluminium, precision tuned:
    Chimes of Pluto (illustrated in the photo above)
    Chimes of Olympos
    Gregorian Chimes, Tenor
** Music of the Spheres, black finish aluminium, precision tuned:
    Gypsy, Soprano
    Gypsy, Mezzo.

  • Pack created on: Nov. 7, 2012, 10:24 p.m.
  • Number of sounds: 48
  • Number of downloads: 400

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