SENSES: Mark Ferguson’s Inspiration Gallery

JULY  1ST – 31ST


for the Nature Sounds Challenge
courtesy of Mark Ferguson

Worn Bumblebee Wings

Outside one of southwest England’s busiest shopping malls, I came across a lengthy strip of lavender planted on the edge of a public car park. There were at least two hundred bumblebees working their way along the entire strip, with early, buff-tailed, white-tailed and common carder workers well represented. 

When I returned later in the week to record, I noticed that many of the bees’ wings were badly worn (the result of months of general wear and tear). This track attempts to convey the overall condition of the wings, with their less powerful, characteristically mellow buzzes. 

Also featured on Humble, Track 5. Notes adapted from album.

Lapping Waves

The sounds of freshwater lake waves, gently lapping and splashing against basalt rocks. Recorded along the edge of Kebble Lough on Rathlin Island, Northern Ireland.

Nettle Vibrations

I recorded the internal vibrations of this leafless nettle stalk using two contact microphones, clipped directly onto the main structure of the plant. The microphones picked up the internal sounds of the nettle as it swayed back and forth in strong gusts.

Cotswold Dawn Chorus

An excerpt from the mid portion of a dawn chorus, recorded in a Cotswold valley at around 4am. Two microphones were placed near a small stream, which was running through the middle of the valley. The sound of running water helped add some spatial context to the avian vocalisations emanating from nearby woodland.

Common Cuckoo

This male cuckoo was recorded in Dartmoor National Park, after an entire year of preparation and thought about where to position my microphones.

Also featured on Avian, Track 1.

Creaking Ancient Hazel Tree 

The delicate creaks of an ancient hazel tree. Two miniature omnidirectional mics were clipped near a point of friction between two coppiced stems, allowing both the internal creaks of the tree and the wider soundscape to be recorded simultaneously.

Common Ravens

A territorial dispute between two pairs of ravens, recorded after a lengthy wait in Northern Ireland’s Sperrin Mountains. The four birds had their quarrel, then left. A parabolic reflector was used to isolate the raven calls, from a concealed position amongst conifer trees.

Also featured on Avian, Track 6. Notes adapted from album.

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