vacations: year four
follows are the fourth year's worth of one-minute vacations.
you like what you hear, I encourage you to purchase
a copy of the compilation CD that collects these recordings: all
profit from the sale of the CD (about 85% of the cost) goes to charity.
Sales of these compilations netted $275 for charity in 2006; this was donated to the World Wildlife Fund (as an extension of our annual gift).
gratitude to the year's contributors, who shared their recordings
with us, and who agreed to donate the profits of their work to charity.
'When we don't touch, it's as if I were putting my fingers
in my ears. Then I hear the sound that dwells in the
space within the heart: like a river, like a bell, like a
chariot wheel, like the croak of a frog, like the rain,
like the word spoken in a cozy corner.''
Today's vacation comes to us courtesy of contributor Michael
John Noble, who writes, 'Sounds at my apartment window in
Jeonju, South Korea. There are markets directly below me, and
at this particular moment a preacher is spreading the gospel
via a megaphone-laden truck passing by. As he drives away you
can here a clothing vendor preaching for his part the virtue
of his cheap pants. The minor puctuation of a scooter and a
little girl round out the scenario nicely... Recording taken
on December 31 with Soundman OKMII KS microphones and an iRiver
h140 running [third-party open-source] Rockbox firmware.'
ring in the new: a second week of bells. As today's vacation
Gillie writes, 'I made this recording in the summer in Provence
(in the south of France) in a village called Reillane.
Recorded with a Sharp minidisc and a Sony microphone: simple
Ring out the old year: Simon
Eigeldinger of Austria describes this week's vacation, 'A
recording of church bells from Domaso, Como Province, Italy.
My (bad) equipment was a Sanyo ICR-B 180 NX recorder with its
built-in microphone. I had to increase the volume of the recording
because I was a long way away from this church and the built-in
microphone is not the perfect-est! :-)'
second week of song: of today's vacation contributor Bradley
Iverson-Long writes, 'This was recorded during the Celebration
of the Angels concert in Aristotelous Square in Thessaloniki,
the second largest city in Greece. The group on stage in a children's
choir; you can hear a lot of the crowd as sadly I wasn't that
close to the stage. Most people were there to see Sakis Rouvas,
a pop singer, but I think the combination of the crowd mulling
and the high voices singing "Little Drummer Boy" in Greek encapsulates
the Christmas spirit.'
'Driving through the highlands of Michoacan in central Mexico,
I heard the soft sound of a band in a distant field, and I asked
my driver to help me find the source. A few minutes and a steep
ride down a dirt road later, we joined a procession of two hundred
people going to a wealthy bus driver’s house for St. Jude's
festival. When we arrived the friendly owner invited us with
a big smile into the courtyard, where local women (at least
the ones who were not cooking!) gathered on one side of the
house singing a prayer, while men and the village band assembled
on the other side. My recording documents the call-and-response
between the singers and band that went on for over an hour.
For me the charm of this music is in the off-key way the makeshift
band started its performance and that as the day went
they jelled, so that by the prayer session's end, they sounded
well-practiced. Recorded with an Edirol R1 and a cheap set of
binaural microphones from Microphone Madness.' So writes today's
For today's vacation we thank contributor Kirke
Godfrey, who writes, 'Sitting at a local cafe on the Rue
Montiguile in the 2eme arrondissement of Paris on October 5,
2005. It's my first morning after the flight in from Sydney.
The street is paved and partially blocked to traffic, so its
really nice to sit there and simply watch the world (and gorgeous
women) walk by. I don' speak enough French to understand the
conversation at the table next to me; I hope it wasn't too personal!
Recorded on a Sony TVR30 DV camera.'
Winter is here, and with it: 'Sled-dog sounds from the 2005
John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon, an annual race from Duluth,
Minnesota, to near the Canadian border and back. It's cold and
crisp under clear blue skies at a beautiful pine-shrouded checkpoint
where many sled dogs and mushers are catching a few hours' rest.
One by one, the teams gather their strength for yet another
leg in this grueling 390-mile marathon. The dogs are specifically
bred and trained for this, so getting ready to run fires them
up even when they're tired. I'm positioned about fifty yards
down the trail from the place where the teams leave this remote
checkpoint. The dogs bark excitedly until the moment they start
down the trail... Recorded early in 2005 on a Sony TCD-D7 DAT
recorder with a pair of Shure WL-183 microphones in an experimental
head-like array.' The words of today's contributor, accomplished
field recordist Curt
For today's vacation we thank contributor Travis
Nobles, who writes, 'This was recorded September 17th at
the 2005 Ocean
Air Show in Virginia Beach, Virginia, right before the Blue
Angels [military aircraft] demonstration. You can hear the crowd's
reactions to the show so far and the "wooshing" of the Blue
Angels' engines as they taxi to the runway; part way through
the MC's voice comes over the PA system. My recording equipment
was the internal mic on my iRiver compact flash MP3 player,
all I had in the moment.' [As we Americans gather for Thanksgiving
this Thursday, I feel myself stirred anew by those immortal
words from Team
America: "America! F--k yeah!" -Aaron]
Today's contributor, the enviably multitalented Rick
Moody, tells us, 'This recording is of the jetty on the
harbor near my little country house (where I write). I made
it for a friend's "Exquisite Corpse" game last summer. The location
is Silver Eel Pond, Fishers Island, NY; the voices are the African-American
guys who come over to the island by ferry boat to fish on weekends.'
[My birthday is this week, so this is my present! -Aaron]
'It was January 2005, during the Russian Orthodox Christmas,
which we celebrate on the 6th and 7th every year. We have a
place in Moscow called Kolomenskoe, it's a little nature reserve
plus museum of architecture in the open air. That day there
was a bell-ringer there dressed in old clothes: he looked like
a monk really. Three rows of many different size bells he played
on; it was a great sight and I think the sounds are amazing.
I think they are worth your listening.' I think so too. For
today's lovely vacation we thank contributor Elena
M, who recorded this with her Samsung X600 phone. Elena
adds that the sounds at the end are fireworks.
Today's vacation comes to us from Laura
Vitale, who writes, 'When I recorded this I was in Nanegal,
a tiny village in the cloud forests northwest of Quito, Ecuador.
There was a party in town that night and while walking home
I could hear the band playing with the birds and the night bugs.
Everything in the air felt festive... Recorded with an AKG cardiod
mic and a Marantz PMD660 compact flash recorder.'
'Three in the morning in Bloomington, Indiana. The rain is pouring
down onto my roof as I lay still in my bed. I can't ask for
better sleeping conditions! Wait, I really want to record this
before turning in for the night... but by the time I get out
of bed, gather my equipment, and stumble onto the porch, the
rain had ceased and all I have left to record is the fallen
water running through my gutters. Recorded with a Sony MD (MZ-NH700)
and Panasonic 61 Series Miniature Stereo Binaural Mics.' With
that, today's contributor, Zak
Rosen, who I had the pleasure of meeting in person this
weekend, bids us goodnight.
I learned my own love of field recording in Vietnam almost exactkly
seven years ago, so it's with special pleasure that I share
contribution today. About his recording Tim writes, 'This was
recorded on a recent trip to Hoi An in Vietnam. I was riding
my bicycle along one of the main streets of the town and heard
a street vendor. Not sure what he was selling or advertising.
If you listen closely you can hear the freewheel of the bike;
and also near the end the attempts of a cyclo driver trying
to drum up some business. Why he would choose someone already
on a bicycle you would have to ask him! Recorded using a Sharp
MD831 and an Audio Technica AT822 stereo microphone.'
Autumn is in the air, so how about a new coat? You can get one
in today's vacation, which comes to us courtesy of Waco
Moore, who writes, 'August 6, 2004, on the sidewalk in SoHo:
it is sunset and a whole family of hustlers has rolled a couple
of garment racks of coats out onto the sidewalk on the corner
of Broadway and Price or Spring (I can't remember now). They
are barking in true carnival/street vandor fashion and people
are swarming and taking the bait it is a classic New
York moment. Enjoy! Recorded with a Sony ECM-MS907 mic and an
iRiver IHP-120 MP3 player.'
Langstaff writes of today's vacation, 'This recording was
made in May, 2005, during my holiday to St Kilda in the Outer
Hebrides of Scotland. Sitting on the ground near the summit
of Ruival on Hirta, it captures the sounds of the birds, the
indistinct voices of other members of my walking group, the
wind, and the noise of the sea below. It was recorded with a
Sharp MT80 MD recorder and Soundman OKM II binaural mics.'
For today's vacation we thank Ambrose
Pottie who writes, 'I recorded this from my dining room
table in Tepoztlan, Mexico, in March of 2003; the soundscape
includes a banda playing outside at a barrio fiesta probably
a mile away, as well as a solo female singer who is probably
amplified and situated half a mile away herself there
was a Buddhist retreat center in the area and the woman is probably
related to that. There are also a couple of loud firecracker
explosions which occur regularly in Tepoztlan every fiesta
features them prominantly and as there is usually a fiesta in
at least one of the many barrios every day, the fireworks are
more or less constant! Geographically, Tepoztlan is situated
in a canyon with craggy cliffs on all sides, so any sound is
Lemorillon writes of today's vacation, 'Last night, the
14th of July, it was Bastille Day in France, so there were fireworks
in Paris. I made this recording at the end of the fireworks
in the Champs de Mars, behind the Eiffel Tower; I hope the quality
is not too bad; I just bought a Nagra V recorder and a couple
of Schoeps MS microphones to make stereo recording three months
ago since I'm interested by sound and field recording...'
Of today's vacation contributor Greenmachine
writes, 'I recorded this piece in Bavaria, Germany, directly
after the performance of a symphonic orchestra in a huge old
church. People were sharing their opinions all around
it created an interesting ambient noise, which I couldn't resist
recording. Imagine yourself a part of this crowd for a minute...
Recorded with miniature omnidirectional stereo microphones mounted
to glasses and a Sony Hi-MD machine.'
Labor Day in the US, and like many I celebrated it without a
hint of labor. So for today's vacation, the sounds of revelry,
for which we thank Kurt
Tidmore, who writes, 'A regular Sunday evening sesson in
traditional local pub on the north bank of the River Lee, in
Cork, Ireland, where I live. The pub's called Siné, which
in Irish means "there you have it" or "that's all there is."
The musicians are mostly amateurs who gather here every weekend
to drink and play together; the crowd is lively and the beer
flows freely and the music can sometimes go on for five or six
Today's vacation like the ANWR recording earlier this month
features wildlife. It was contributed by gear-blessed Greg
Weddig, who writes, 'This recording was made at a Brant's
Cormorant "blind" in the abandoned Model Industry building on
the west side of the Alcatraz. I made it the evening San Francisco's
KFOG radio station presented their Kaboom fireworks. As the
shells started bursting in air, Western Gulls were silhouetted
against the sky fleeing from their nesting area on the east
side of Alcatraz at the Parade ground. Strangely the many nesting
pairs of cormorants just below the mics seemed more upset at
the fleeing seagulls than the fireworks themselves. After the
final shots rang out the cormorants continued their grunting,
gracking, and growling, as if nothing had happened. Recorded
with a Schoeps MK-21 ORTF pair, via a Grace Lunatec V3, into
a MDP500 MD recorder.'
For today's vacation we thank incoming Grinnell College (Iowa)
Farstad who writes of his contribution, 'This is a recording
of the organ inside St. Paul's Cathedral in London. It was visiting
the city for the first time with my high school in October of
2004 and I was lucky to capture this unique sound environment
during an organist's practice session; a fitting sound event
for the space. Made on a Sharp 1-bit portable MD recorder with
Sony binaural microphones. Enjoy!'
Today's vacation excerpts a twenty-five minute soundscape made
Recordists mailing list moderator Martyn
Stewart, who wrote of his recording, 'I was in the Alaskan
National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in June and I recorded these
magnificent ambient sounds there. Millions of songbirds, waterfowl
and shorebirds inhabit the tundra and costal plains; the ANWR
is a vital breeding ground for many of our birds and is in danger
of being destroyed: Congress opens this month and maybe in September
they will vote to drill in the area. I intend to go to the various
rallies that will be held in Washington DC on the 20th of September;
I made this recording to make people aware of the beauty of
this place. Please oppose drilling in the Refuge and lobby your
congressional rep; I believe ANWR is not just for us but for
our children and our children's children.' [Just so. -Aaron]
For once, how about a really virtual destination for a virtual
vacation? Of today's recording, contributor fluffy
Pennyfeather writes, 'These are some virtual wind chimes
that is, they don't physically exist. In Second Life
someone built physically-modeled wind chimes which behave like
real-life ones, responding to the wind (also modeled with a
simple weather simulation) and to other objects and players
passing through them. Although the recording is technically
artificial in nature, I did record it with my trusty Kenwood
MD recorder (which I use for other field recordings); and it
blurs the line between the natural and the artificial, as the
sound you here was generated by random processes similar to
those of nature... just not in the physical world. I realize
this may not fit into the One-Minute Vacation project, but I
feel that it's an interesting thought experiment nonetheless.'
[Interesting enough to share today, while I'm on an electronica
bender... and the date cries out for it! -Aaron]
Today's vacation comes to us from Andreas
Jonsson, who writes, 'I recorded this in a city centre slot
machine and games arcade here in Glasgow, Scotland, in September,
2004. I happened to be walking past it recording sounds in the
street and got drawn in by the sheer cacophony of bleeps, chirps
and noise a place like this produces. The rather robotic calling
out of bingo numbers only adds to the sterility and overload
of such a place. Amusingly, with repeated listening the chaos
becomes suprisingly similar in places to some contemporary electronica!
Moments after this recording, a security guard forced me to
leave the premises, as I apparently needed permission from the
manager to record there. The relative quietness outside seemed
deafening. Recorded with a Sony ECM-MS907 microphone and a Sony
Today's contributor, composer-with-sound Joseph
Young, takes us into 'a thunderstorm in northern Italy captured
on a recent family holiday. The environment around Lake Como
is surprisingly lush and green given that temperatures are regularly
up in the mid 30's [that's upper-90's for you ametrical Americans
-Ed.] during the summer months. The greenery is comes from the
heavy thunderstorms that occur on a regular (weekly?) basis.
I recorded this one from the window of our flat in a small town
called Lambrugo, when the storm was at its height, using Soundman
OKM binaural microphones and a Sony MZ-N707 minidisc recorder.'
Contributor Ari Noguchi
writes of today's vacation, 'I caught this moment at a temple
in Nara, a very old city in Japan, two years ago. It was very
early morning, sunny but very chilly; the temple and environment
were just about to wake up for the long day. I was trying to
record the sounds of birds, but through the microphone I heard
an old lady striking a bell and chanting in front of an offertory
box. I could tell that she had been coming every morning for
a long time and that this activity was a part of her life...
While I was recording kids came to the temple on a school field
trip, and a man who works for temple also tried to clean up
the street with a broom; but the lady never stopped chanting.
It was a very intense moment.'
For today's vacation we thank Angela
Femia, who writes: 'I caught this using my Fuji digital
camera while travelling in France in September, 2003. We had
just arrived in Reims and found a lovely place to eat outside
in the main square. As we were enjoying our first real "French"
experience a large group of young people walked together through
the area singing and shouting at one another; they sounded like
they were having a fun kind of argument, trying to out-sing
and out-shout each other with their song... what a lovely way
to argue! (Unfortunately I have no idea what they are saying!)'
Today's vacation, a bit of Americana for the American Independence
Day, comes to us from contributor Jerry
Berrier, who writes, 'As my wife and my guide dog and I
approached the Pike Place Fish Market in Seattle in a late morning
in April, 2005, I could hear the sound of a lone singer and
his guitar. My wife told me later that he also had a harmonica
in a holder on his neck and a tambourine placed where he could
tap it with his foot. He could still be heard once we entered
the store, in spite of the high noise level from customers,
workers arranging and selling seafood, and what sounded like
a fork lift. I had been told in advance that workers throw fairly
large fish back and forth between them to entertain visitors;
at the very end of this recording you can hear their banter
as they toss a fresh specimen back and forth! Recorded with
a Sony MZ-R70 MD recorder and a small Sony ECM-DS70P clip-on
plug-in powered stereo microphone.'
Today's vacation comes to us courtesy of Chris
Owens, who writes: 'I recorded this on a Saturday afternoon
in April just outside the local Town Hall in Reading, UK; as
you will hear the recording was started just before three in
the afternoon (British Summer Time for the purists out there).
The focus of this piece, and the intention of my being there
with a recorder, was the chimes of the town clock; it is getting
increasingly rare to hear chimes like this as many have been
silenced to avoid causing a nuisance. A couple of minutes before
this snippet a large lorry thundered by the Town Hall
in my opinion that's a more serious annoyance!'
Summertime, and the living is easy this week courtesy of contributor
who writes, 'I recorded this in Fairfield, Connecticut. I was
sitting on my front porch after dinner. You can hear a plane
overhead, a car go by, some very peaceful birds, and my son
practicing his saxophone. This is one of my first recordings
on my new Edirol R1 compact flash recorder, using the built-in
Multi-modal Swedish artist Wolgang
Peter Menzel sets the scene for today's vacation: 'You are
running in the streets looking around and listening to
the traffic, staring at people, you wonder where you are, all
your senses are touched by new things, smells and impressions
of a complete "differentness" compared to what you are used
to; it overwhelms your person, this slowly getting into this
condition of phenomenological basic behaviour. That is what
happened to me there, at a street corner in the Chinese part
of the former Portuguese colony Macau, at least even
the traffic light sound became something else. Recorded as usual
with my Sharp MD recorder and a Sony stereo mic.'
Today's vacation comes to us courtesy of Kevin
T. Allen, who writes, 'The recording was done in downtown
Calcutta in July 2004. I was looking for a film library in the
center of town and got terribly lost. I passed a row of government
buildings where I saw hundreds of people queued up outside;
on the street were makeshift carts and stands, where people
dictated to men using manual typewriters for their official
paperwork. The sound of the manual typewriters tapping away
outside in the context of the bustling city sidewalk struck
me as beautifully surreal and Kafkaesque, so I pulled the mic
out of my bag so only the tip showed and walked down the street.
It was a real acoustic treat, especially on such a frustrating
day! Recorded with a minidisc recorder and a top of the bottom
of the line microphone.'
past Saturday some friends I met on a tour of Tibet were married
in Vermont; I had the honor of composing their processional
using sounds I recorded on that trip. Today I share one of the
recordings I used: nuns chanting with one-handed self-beating
drums at the annual single-day unveiling of a building-sized
thanka down a cliff side in Gyantse, Tibet. For Kate and Zack,
luminous travelers, who so patiently waited for me to record
this and many other things... Recorded with Sonic Studios DSM-6/EH
microphones and a Sony MD recorder. [Aaron]
today's vacation, second-time contributing phonographer Mark
Ragsdale writes, 'This recording was made on an outcropping
of rock at Haeundae Beach in Busan, Korea, right outside the
Westin Chosun Hotel. The recording was made on a moonlit night
as I lay prone on a rock with my head in a giant crevasse, trying
to capture the gurgling of the sea plunging rhythmically. Recorded
with Sonic Studios DSM-6S/EH mics with WHB headband windscreen,
running into MD.' [The same gear I used to record most everything
on this site! -Aaron]
'This track captures a war protest parade when it reached its
end point at the Boston Commons on March 20th, 2005. The police
helicopter hovering overhead set a tone of tension as the protesters
were surrounded by police motor cops, paddywagons, and anti-riot
police armed with clubs. A drum circle formed right next to
the bench where I had been sitting and recording, and the sounds
of drums, didgeridoos, and chants began to drown out the sounds
of the helicopter... Recorded on a Sony MZ-R700 minidisc recorder
with homemade binaural microphones.' So writes today's contributor,
Boston-area experimental DJ, sound artist, phonographer, and
theremin player Fred
vacation (or rather, a vacation from a vacation, now our vacation...)
comes to us from traveler Damon
Nomad, who explains, 'This is a recording we made on our
honeymoon: these are night sounds outside our window in the
mountain village of Anogia, Greece. You can hear the bells of
sheep and goats on the slopes below the village, as well as
other sounds. Strangely enough, the lady at the car rental place
in Iraklion vainly tried to talk us out of going there, asking,
"why you want to go there? It is not much... just a traditional
village." It ended up being just what we needed, a peaceful
escape from the more touristy sections of Greece we'd already
visited: a vacation from our vacation. Recorded on Sony MZ-R37
MD recorder with a Sony ECM MS907 microphone.'
writes of today's vacation, 'During the summer of 1997 my good
friend James Adrian Stewart came to visit, so we did some camping
on the Puget Sound. To entertain our selves Jim played his bag
pipes and I played with my camcorder. In this moment recorded
at Deception Pass, Jim was around a corner practicing his chops
and I snuck up on him; I really dig how the sound of the waves
gives way to his improvised chops! Recorded with my Sony CCD-TR3000
video camera (great zoom mics!). By the way, I ended up using
this recording as part of an installation I did a couple years
ago called If
Only I Had a Seaworthy Vessel.'
today's vacation, Argentine sound artist Anla
Coutis writes, 'I was walking this afternoon in a street
of Buenos Aires downtown and I heard some great birds; fortunately
I had my minidisc with me and I decided to record them. So here
is one minute of Buenos Aires Street Birds in Action, I hope
you'll enjoy them! Recorded with an Aiwa AM-F5 MD recorder with
an Aiwa stereo microphone.'
Field recordist Rod
Stasick writes of his contribution, 'I have an owl friend
who lives in a magnolia tree just outside my studio here in
Dallas, Texas. Owls have been in the neighborhood for the past
few years and during various stretches of time will make their
presence known. At close to the same time each day my friend
calls to another owl nearby; if you listen closely, you can
hear the other owl responding... This minute was recorded on
March 3, 2005 at about 4:30 p.m., with an iAudio M3 digital
audio recorder that I use for field recordings.'
Landín writes of today's vacation, 'I recorded this when
I passed by a children's playground in a kindergarten in a back
street in Cancun, Mexico. The kids, all Spanish-speaking and
approximately 5 years of age, were playing on a big contraption
toy with swings and slides and monkeybars. What truly captivated
me was the unrestrained voices, the pitches of which differ
greatly from children in Angloamerica; there is a very stacatto
nature to the language, especially from the girls in the playground.
Recorded using the built-in mic on my Apple iBook G3.'
Of today's vacation, contributor Takahiro
Kawaguchi writes, 'This minute was recorded in a Japanese
temple at the moment 2004 became 2005 and was rung in with a
gong: a happy New Year Japanese sound. The specific location
was Shitennouji Temple, in Osaka, which you can learn more about
My recording system is a Sony TCD-D8 DAT recorder and a Sony
condenser mic. I hope you enjoy listening!' [Time of transition
for time in transition: here in California we lost an hour to
Daylight Savings this weekend! -Aaron]
a vacation, from my vacation: a recording I made last year while
skiing here in Australia, as I went up the mountain on a chairlift.
The mic was resting directly on the metal of the chair to capture
the deep thrumming that I could hear when I pressed my ear to
the chair. Occasionally other skiers can be heard in the background.
Made on a Sony MZR-909 with an ECM-MS907 mic, at Thredbo, in
the aptly named Snowy Mountains.' Fall arrives in the south,
but with this recording from Ben
Dixon we in the northern hemisphere bid farewell to winter.
to work today under silver clouds and through a heavy cool rain,
I looked forward to posting today's vacation, which comes from
enigmatic sound artist Ben
Owen, who comments, 'One of the few moments that is taken
to pause in the day is the onset of rain. It is when I stand
by the back door of my apartment [in New York City] looking
out over the yards and obstructed sky to watch and listen.'
Tenney writes of this week's vacation, 'Saturday night at
the Lucky Ju Ju in Alameda, California. Two dozen-plus vintage
pinball machines bright lights flashing, flippers whacking
the balls madly, spinners spinning and every one of them
set to free play! Make a reasonable donation on entry and you
can play as long as you want to talk about bringing out
the inner kid! Plus there's a good jukebox, though the 70's
and 80's songs are decades younger than most of the machines.
The place is a labor of love taken on by an obsessed collector
looking to share his mania; alot of folks are more than willing.
Recorded July 17, 2004, with a Sony MZR-50 MD recorded and RadioShack's
late lamented 33-3028 stereo mics.'
today's vacation, contributor Anders
Östberg writes, 'A demonstration of steam engines in
Eskilstuna, Sweden. Here on an islet the Faktoriet motor museum
is situated: a museum of industry and the history of technology,
including the first fire engine used in Sweden. On the first
Sunday of every month (except in December and January) the air
gets hot and humid when the steam engine demonstrations are
running! Recorded to compact flash on February 6, 2005, with
an Edirol R-1 24-bit WAV/MP3 recorder, using the internal stereo
in Yerevan, Armenia, the night of November 13, 2003, with a
video camera, in the well-kept standard-issue apartment of Rafik
and Gohar, an elderly couple I stayed with for five days. Although
they spoke no English, they welcomed occasional international
visitors as a way to supplement their meager pensions. During
this short clip from the eve of my departure from the country,
they entertain my basic Russian phrases, all the while encouraging
me to pick up bits of Armenian a language of which they
are fiercely proud and protective.' For this week's vacation,
we thank contributor Peter
vacation comes from Tim
Cabassi, who writes: 'This particular snippet was recorded
in January, 2004, from my third floor balcony in Momodani, an
innercity suburb of Osaka, Japan. I am from Australia but I
am currently living and working here with my girlfriend. Thanks
to Justin Brown for clarifying that the sound is from a hot
sweet potato (o-imo) van; o-imo and other vendors (such as yakitori,
skewered grilled chicken usually sold in restaurants) randomly
roam the streets around 10 p.m., which is the time most drunken
salarymen are stumbling home and most in need of a quick bite...
Recorded on a Sharp MD831 with an Audio Technica AT822 stereo
microphone. Hope you like it.'
in New York this week, so how about a bit of local love for
Valentine's, as recorded by today's contributor, Robert
Van Heuman: 'The A Train in New York City, around Christmas
2004. I usually find it very hard to make recordings in subways
as the low frequencies tend to distort the recording. This time,
I experimented with the "Low Sensitivity" setting on the microphone
input of my minidisc recorder and a really low recording volume.
And it worked: I like the rhytmic quality of the announcer,
the fact that he mentions Jersey City (where I used to live),
the baby and the sounds of little childrens toys a Chinese women
is demonstrating while walking through the carriage... Recorded
with a Sony NH900 HiMD recorder (in uncompressed mode) with
OKM II binaural in-ear microphones.' [Regular listeners will
know that binaural means, use those headphones! -aaron]
today's vacation, contributor Lonesomehank
from Montreal, Quebec, writes: 'Recorded February 2nd, 2002,
in Barcelona on a Sharp MT877 MD with Core Sound binaural mics.......
around 8:30 at night...... heard the drone far off and came
across four old men in some sort of burnt-out social centre.......
watched them play through a little window...... they were drunk
and lost in the sound of it all....... heartbreaking / beautiful.........
was recorded outside from the street ...... didn't want to intrude......
the right channel craps out in a beautiful way when I walk off......
crappy mini-plug connector.......'
in 2002: Banger racing season in Smeatharp in the county of
Somerset, England, as gutted old saloon cars painted in lively
colours roar round an oval dirt track, attempting to knock each
other out of the race. Exhilarating stuff but the only means
of recording it I have on hand is my mobile phone: so I send
myself a race as an answering machine message.' For today's
banger contribution we thank quick-thinkig Darren Giddings of
vacation comes from sound artist Bill
Thompson, who originally shared with the phonography
mailing list on Yahoo! groups with these comments: 'Thought
you'd like to hear this: it's a recording of 'hogmanay,' what
the Scotish call New Year's. It's a bigger deal then any other
holiday here, bigger then Christmas; that day everything closed
at 4 p.m. and has been closed all weekend. The recording is
of the boats out on the North Sea blowing their horns at midnight.
Each horn is a different pitch and each boat is at a slightly
different distance and location from the Aberdeen shore, where
I was huddled in the drizzle trying not to move. I drove all
the way back from Manchester (seven hours) just for that 5 minutes
:) and about 10 minutes into the recording I realized
that I had just experienced the turning ot the new year alone,
huddled by a rock in the rain. Ahhh, the romantic life of an
artist... :)' The vacation is an excerpt from a five-minute
MP3 can hear here;
if you like this, you might also like the vacation posted last
year for September 22 archived here...
late summer 2001 up north in Quebec, at St-Michel des Saints:
north enough, we saw aurorae borealis that summer! This is part
of my first recordings, using an MZ-R90 [MD recorder] from Sony
and binaural mics from sound professionals. It was maybe four
or five in the morning, we had to kill that fire because the
summer was really dry, dangerous for forest fires.. So this
is it, water in fire, fire on logs, earth and life...' For this
elemental recording, which ushers in the fourth year of the
one-minute vacations project, we thank field recordist and sound
Kuzyk, who Montreal residents might know from his soundscape
radio program Biophone.