February 9th, 2013

On 6th February 2013 I took out with me to the Teign Gorge, Drewsteignton, Devon, UK, a set of Woodstock Gregorian Tenor Chimes and two sets of Music of the Spheres Gypsy wind chimes. I was aiming for another full day's recording near the top of the woods above Fingle Bridge - and indeed I did last out for a full morning there - but then I had to pack up and flee because the air temperature was only about 4 degrees, with some wind-chill factor as well, and my hands and feet were causing me stress through being so painfully cold.

I thought that I'd finished recording for the day, but got down to the much more sheltered Fisherman's Path by the River Teign at the west end of the steep-sided part of the valley, turning back downstream along that path just a little, and it was sufficiently sheltered and sunny just by the very noisy Drogo Weir (with fish ladder) for me to sit on a wooden seat there and at last eat my packed lunch - my hands having warmed up by then. Then I started noticing that actually some modest gusts of wind were coming from the west along the very bottom of the valley here (the general wind direction being northerly), and so as soon as I'd finished eating I tried experimentally putting up and recording a set of chimes in a sequence of different positions beside the river just a little downstream from the weir (an even moderately close recording of the latter itself would have been too noisy for a pleasant 'listenable' recording).

Drogo Weir, photographed a couple of weeks later, with probably less than half the flow than was occurring for the current recording.

This, then, and the other recordings in this particular sequence, was very much of an experiment, with a quite loud river noise and the chimes sound tending to be buried within the river sound except when wind gusts came along and made the chimes more frisky. This recording, and its other 'siblings' taken at this location, then, needs to be perceived NOT a failed chimes recording, but a recording of the river sound with chimes in the midst of it. Generally I would want quieter river sound against the chimes, but actually I had little choice here, because when I sought to get just slightly up the slope, a little more removed from the river, I lost the wind, and so could not use the chimes there anyway. But in any case this was an interesting experiment, and I could come back here another time with more favourable wind conditions and get a more restful balance of river and chimes.

The chimes in this recording are the Woodstock Gregorian Tenor Chimes, tuned to a Gregorian chant scale, which gives them a bright and 'grand' sound.

This is a 5-minute excerpt from the 15+ minutes full recording.

Recording made with a Sony PCM-M10 on a Velbon mini-tripod, using the built-in microphones covered with a Rode Dead Kitten windshield. I have used Audacity to apply a custom EQ profile to correct for the high frequency muffling caused by the windshield.

Please note that only very good speakers / headphones with a very extended and flat frequency response will do this recording real justice. Please also note that the volume level of this recording has been carefully adjusted for listening purposes, and ALL my recordings so far are meant to be listened to with a volume setting that would give a realistic level for playback of CLASSICAL music (a large but not exceptional symphony orchestra). If you have the right volume setting, you should not need to change that setting from one recording of mine to another.

(Later note: This recording - with better sound than here - is on one of my commercial CDs, and can be found in my e-Store.)

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