Patrick Franke takes an exciting scientific approach to his recordings often giving them a loosely narrative structure. For example his recordings made at the start of April 2020 of several hundred starlings Sturnus v. vulgaris compress the sounds they make in the morning and again at night, allowing us to make comparisons between the two types of call.
He says: ‘During the morning recording session I realised that those songs were differently from those uttered at night. At night the birds arrive at the roost and look for a suitable corner to sleep. Whilst doing this they (sing) territorial songs whereas in the morning one can hear birds uttering social or conversational songs all together.’
The recording of this is fascinating. Starting with clear melodic chatter and turning darker and more desperate for the final part.
Franke is as intrigued by natural phenomena asI was when I heard his recording of cracking and groaning ice. Anyone who thinks seemingly static phenomena don’t have an interior life should take a listen.
Berlin-based Franke uses one field recording to highlight the impact fireworks have on the natural world, pets and people and his recording proves quite disturbing. Without the visuals this isn’t the sound of a big joyful celebration - more like hearing the response of nature to the bangs and pops on a far-off battlefield.
‘In the past few years there have been many studies on the health effects of fireworks made in urban areas, but surprisingly little in rural areas or in nature reserves.’ he says.
‘What happens in such a nature reserve during several hours of massive noise production in medium or large distances around that particular spot?’
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