Friday, May 1, 2009

The Wonders of Spring

We're in the midst of Spring here in my home region of New England, and as I was going to work at my hypnosis clinic in Maynard, MA this morning, I noticed leaves on the trees for the first time this year! The sounds of the season are in full abundance, and these days I wake up to all manner of chirping outside my window. This also means, of course, that Spring nature recording has begun in earnest.

I'm thinking, how could I possibly match such a productive recording year as I had last year? It's going to be tough, especially since many of my most peaceful (i.e. undisturbed by man-made sounds) recording sites in MA were hit by a huge ice storm this winter, which resulted in a lot of fallen trees, and consequently less habitat for many of the songbirds that I recorded last year. I suspect that this is why many of my early recording attempts this year at my old reliable sites have produced much sparser sounds. With fewer birds around, there's simply a lot less going on in some of these early Spring recordings. That's not to say they can't turn into spectacular relaxation soundtracks. I actually prefer relaxing to more spacious sounds myself. There's a lot less "pizzazz", but with less subject matter to pay attention to, there are fewer distractions to prevent you from completely zoning out. Sometimes having too many sounds is like trying to listen to several conversations at once. It's quite a mental commitment. Some people would argue with that, preferring a immersive blanket of sound to completely captivate the mind and block out stray thoughts.

In any case, yesterday I recorded in a coastal scrub forest, a new site for me, and captured exactly the kind of sparse bird sound recording that I love and others hate. This particular area was not hit by the ice storm or anything, but has naturally sparser, lower-growing trees and vegetation and is dryer than the typical New England forest. Because of this, the songbird population is somewhat different there, and I recorded some birds that did not appear on any of my previous recordings. It's pretty exciting for me. I know, it's the little things.

Expect some new Spring soundtracks soon!


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