As my contribution to this year’s World Listening Day, here are three recordings of a fence I made at a Sandwell Valley Country Park just North of  Birmingham. This is an ongoing study of the park which, due to its proximity to both the M5 and M6 motorways, does not afford very good air recording opportunities. Instead I have been focussing on contact mic and hydrophone recordings.

Each example is slightly different:

In the first one the microphones are attached to the smooth top wire and you can hear the low singing drone of the wind blowing across the wire. The higher frequency taps and scrapes are the sounds of the long grass moving against the fence.

In the second example the microphones were attached to the top barbed wire as I struck and plucked the smooth wire in front (as in the photograph). I assume the vibrations were being transfered via the wooden fence posts to which they were both attached. There are some very low frequencies in these sounds that will be better appreciated on headphones or loudspeakers with a wide frequency range.

Finally, in the third example, I moved the microphones onto the top of the wire grid formation that forms the main fence structure,  this gives a much stronger impression of the grass moving against the fence.

All the recordings were made with contact microphones by Jez Riley French.