peter toll - 'movement (holkham)'
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movement (holkham) peter toll
On the North Norfolk coast sits the village & estate of Holkham. A large Hall & park to the South and to the North a Nature Reserve, owned by the Earl of Leicester who still resides with his family at Holkham Hall. The reserve is managed by Natural England covering around 4,000 hectares, consisting of a whole range of habitats, from green pastures, marshes, pinewoods, sand dunes, and the beach.
It’s a very popular location for dog walkers, Bird watchers, horse riding and holidaymakers heading for the beach.
For this album I tried to record the natural, wildlife setting of some of these habitats with as little interference from humankind as possible. I wanted the listener to feel that he/she is floating in time & space. Pausing at each different location, quietly listening to the wildlife and energy of each position, before gently moving on to the next.
It was an interesting and at times magical experience making these recordings. I hope this album conveys some of that magic and atmosphere of this beautiful place, to you the listener.
Recorded at different times during the winter months over a period of two years.
movement (holkam) # 1
a) Fallow Deer At Holkham Hall (00:00 -14:02) recorded October 2010 between 22:00-4:00am
A cold winter night, inside the hall grounds at Holkham. It’s a new moon, so there is very little natural light. Owls are calling and a group of female Fallow deer approach under the chestnut trees. Every hour or so the doe call to each other (Sometimes calling continuously for around ten minuets.). Eating sweet chestnuts, which are falling from the trees above, one of the doe approaches my pair of DPA microphones, gives them a good sniff before retreating for a short while.
With the rutting season just beginning, it’s time for the buck to make an appearance, making his deep calls (very close to me at one point!) and shaking a few trees.
A few coughs and a sneeze from a doe and back to the owls & cries from waterfowl on the lake nearby, before heading a mile or so north. In the direction of the sea, where the marsh meets the woods.
b) Edge Of Marsh & Woods: dead of night (14:02 - 21:33) recorded September 2011.
Another cold, still night, cries from a Muntjac deer and Tawny owls are out hunting. The wood & marsh becomes a hive of activity at night time for Shrews & other small mammals. All kinds of splashes and vocal sounds on the edge of the marshes, from these small creatures. The distant sound of waves crashing increases as the tide comes in. Then louder sounds from a Muntjac deer, walking through the reeds and water, pausing to chew on a branch of a tree.
A call from a Tawny Owl almost seems like a wake up call for the Ducks, Cows, distant Robin and the Geese to air there voices and signal the beginning of dawn.
c) Geese At Dawn (21:33-28:25) recorded December 2011.
Every winter, thousands of Pink Footed and Brent Geese come to stay in this area. Amongst the sound of Pink Footed Geese calling and the ruffling of there feathers, there’s the tick, tick of a Robin in a near by hedgerow as the sun starts to rise. Geese are very easily startled, if one fly’s off they all follow. Suddenly there off, thousands of them taking to the sky, calling.
As they fly in to the distance, other bird sounds take their place, before heading back to listen to dawn at the woods edge.
d) Edge Of Marsh & Woods: dawn (28:25-33:37) recorded September 2011.
As the sun rises, the sounds of Owl, mammals and Deer heard earlier in this position have been replaced with calls from Pheasants, Wren, other birds and Cows. A few distant Squirrel calls from a pine tree and it’s a good time to enter the woods and make them the next location.
movement (holkam) # 2
e) Pinewoods (00:-09:37) recorded January 2012 10:30am.
The Pinewoods at Holkham contain three types of pine tree, Corsican, Scots and Maritime. It’s usually a quite, still area, but on this overcast day there’s a fairly strong South East wind blowing. The sounds of a Squirrel climbing up a tree, is taken over by hundreds of pine trees blowing in the wind, creating an amazing sense of space, which I tried to capture on this recording.
The wind calms a little and a beam of light pierces through the clouds, bathing the trees around me in warm sunlight. Maybe because of a change in temperature or pressure, a new sound begins amongst the wind, pigeon and squirrels. Popping & cracking sounds, as Scots pine begin to discharge there winged seeds. Gently showering down, catching the sunlight as they fall, landing all around me.
A truly magical moment!
A small flock of Herring Gulls fly high, calling overhead and lead me towards the woods edge and the vast open space that is the dunes, beach and sea ahead.
f) Beach & Sea (09:37-17:15) recorded January 2012 11:00am
A bird (possibly a Firecrest) calls on the very edge of the wood, next to the dunes. Straight ahead lies the beach, which at this moment in time is deserted. The roar from the north sea brings me ever closer to the sea; finally listening under the waves.
SENNHEISER MKH30/40 MICHROPHONES (M/S SET UP)
SENNHEISER MKH70 SHOTGUN MICROPHONE
2X DPA 4060 OMNI MICROPHONES
2X JrF HYDROPHONES
2X JrF C SERIES HYDROPHONES
EDIROL R4-PRO RECORDER
LARGE FLASK OF COFFEE!
my thanks to: Glyn Ingram and Holkham Hall Estate. Jez riley French, Chris Watson and Piers Warren for all the
knowledge I gained on the Wildeye location field recording courses.
special thanks: Jez, for giving me the opportunity & vision for making this album happen.
Katya & my son Ewan, for being so patient with me leaving the house at all hours!
Peter Toll is a composer, musician and wildlife sound recordist. Fascinated with the sounds & rhythms of the natural world, a long interest in sound recording and a great lover of nature, he releases wildlife field recordings in there own right, as well as incorporating them into his music.
Peter has composed music for film, TV, installations, theatre and the dance scene. Other artists have also used his field recordings, in their own films, documentaries and installations.
For over ten years he was a member of the audiovisual group Addictive TV, composing and performing all over the world, including the roof of the National Theatre London, Centre Georges Pompidou Paris and an installation & performance at The Museum of Contemporary Art Shanghai China.
website: www.tollymusic.com facebook: www.facebook.com/petertollmusic field recordings & music: http://soundcloud.com/tolly-music email: email@example.com
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