Tuesday, January 25, 2011

New Zealand sounds and photos are coming!

Why does New Zealand rule for nature recordists? Because it's QUIET. The quietude is profound that you can hear it, if you know what I mean. And by quiet, I don't mean devoid of sounds, but devoid of distracting artificial background sounds made by artificial sources. Read on.

Over the years, I've become attuned to every little noise in my environment, making quick little judgments about whether or not I could make a recording in the space where I find myself at any particular moment. Any place that someone might say is "quiet", I'd say listen again, and see if you can hear traffic, airplanes, an occasional motorcycle, etc. And surely enough, they'd come back and say that it isn't so quiet after all!

I listened closely while I was traveling about the South Island of New Zealand, and I can honestly say that the whole time I was in the countryside and wilderness, I never heard any planes flying overhead. A place with no flight paths? A nature recordist's dream. Even Alaska had float planes flying over every half hour.

And with so few major highways, there was rarely any traffic noise, either. And there must be some ordinance against Harleys, because they were thankfully absent.

And with no traffic, there is no rush hour! "Sweet As!", as the Kiwis would say. They're so laid back they don't even hit the roads until 9 AM.

And so with every daily 5 AM waking, I would notice, in addition to how profoundly peaceful it was, the consistency of the morning birds' routines. 5 o'clock was virtually silent. 5:15, the bellbirds started their song: Bing, bong, bing, bong, bing, reverberating through the canopy, unaccompanied by any other species. 5:30, the chattering of tui (a native songbird) and various sparrows entered the soundscape, gradually growing stronger through the 6 o'clock sunrise, and then waning, so that by 6:15 there was very little going on at all. A spectacularly short-lived dawn chorus!

Expect that I will be releasing 3 new soundtracks from my New Zealand expedition. Two will be of dawn birds; one from the West Coast, and one from Southland. And the third will be the sound of gently lapping waves on the shores of Lake Te Anau, the largest lake on the South Island.


  1. i love the podcasts you have on itunes. i have a few downloaded, but i find myself listening mainly to the "rejuvenating rain" meditation because i find the sound of rain so soothing.
    thank you :)- jane

  2. Jane, Thanks so much for listening to the podcasts. I appreciate your taking the time to leave feedback. Happy Meditating!

  3. I really like the sounds, but love hearing your voice on top, is that something that I can look forward to?

  4. Thanks Anonymous for your comment. Right now the Meditation Getaways, which are available at moodstreams.com, are the only tracks that have my voice on top of the nature sounds. If you're referring specifically to New Zealand sounds, those aren't included in the Meditation Getaways series, but I am able to make customized soundtracks containing whatever sound you want, and even whatever voiceover you want. If you're interested, just contact me using the contact form at moodstreams.com. In the future, I might make more Meditation Getaways than what I already have, but, honestly, I need some fresh ideas for new "adventures". Take care!


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