11 episodes

My scientific as well as my artistic work is based on a wide range of motivations and ways of approaching the sound of the so called natural world – regardless, whether it’s the sound of an entire habitat or a single animal or the fundamental sounds of the elements.

Singwarte Media Field Notes Patrick Franke

    • Arts

My scientific as well as my artistic work is based on a wide range of motivations and ways of approaching the sound of the so called natural world – regardless, whether it’s the sound of an entire habitat or a single animal or the fundamental sounds of the elements.

    PFR16104 1, 191231, New Year's Eve, Nature Reserve, Germany

    PFR16104 1, 191231, New Year's Eve, Nature Reserve, Germany

    No doubt, fireworks are something exciting for a sound enthusiast. The impact, however to the natural world, pets and people with no interest in extremely loud detonations or certain traumas are devastating - just to talk about the acoustic aspect.

    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. What happens in such a nature reserve during at several hours of massive noise production in medium or large distances around that particular spot?

    In 2012 I made sound recordings during the New Year's Eve fireworks at the same spot called Flachwasserzone Mannhausen located in the Drömling Biosphere Reserve, Saxony Anhalt. For a better spatial location of the events, I have made sound recordings again - but now in a 360 ° format. So this track is a binaural version of an Ambisonics recording.

    Caution! There are naturally very loud peaks in the recording that could damage your hearing.

    • 10 min
    PFR15961, 20-10-2019, Common Crane Grus grus, Germany

    PFR15961, 20-10-2019, Common Crane Grus grus, Germany

    I went to Germany's most famous Common Crane roost north of Berlin recently. My goal was to make sound recordings of a really large number of Common Cranes arriving at roost. In this case around 20.000 individuals. It is certainly arguable whether it is right, in times of continuous habitat loss, to bring people just to these places to reconnect with nature. Since several Common Crane roosts have re-established in Germany, a veritable hype has been created about it.
    The idea of ​​conservation gave way to the desire to make money with a natural resource, with minimal protection for the species and its habitat. So here we are: fields where birds used to search for food on are now crowded with people, small villages look like car parks in front of shopping malls and the roosts themselves are like funfairs, only the wurst stalls are missing. Of course all these people came to this rather rural place by car. For me as a field recordist this meant another time: not a good place for sound recording due to the massive anthropogenic noise. Nevertheless, I recorded some smaller flocks further away instead of the 20.000 at the actual hotspot, yet with considerable noise.
    Stereo downmix from ambisonics.

    • 2 min
    PFR15432, 10-04-2019, wind blowing into a tube, North Sea, offshore

    PFR15432, 10-04-2019, wind blowing into a tube, North Sea, offshore

    So, what do we hear here? Well, it's actually just wind blowing into a tube with one open end...

    • 10 min
    PFR15350, 15-05-2012, European Mole Cricket, African Common Toad, Egypt

    PFR15350, 15-05-2012, European Mole Cricket, African Common Toad, Egypt

    In 2015 I was in Egypt for a few weeks for a survey job. To be honest it was a rather unfortunate trip. The political situation was very difficult, the people seemed to be somehow nervous and anxious. Beside the actual work being able to move freely, e.g. for sound recordings, was only possible very limited. That's why I only made very few sound recordings, actually I have seen and heard only little of the area we were operating in. But, the few recordings that I have trigger quite strong memories and feelings. This happens regularly when I take my time and listen through my collection, but it is rarely so intensely. Interestingly enough, I've only recently noticed this transforming effect, since then I have been trying to take more time for it and that's why I started to share some special recordings here.

    European Mole Cricket Gryllotalpa gryllotalpa
    African Common Toad Amietophrynus gutturalis

    • 6 min
    PFR09436, 06-06-2013, herders, horses, Mongolia

    PFR09436, 06-06-2013, herders, horses, Mongolia

    On expeditions in unfamiliar areas, it might happen that the sheer number of interesting sounds overwhelms you. Especially when no man made noise pollutes the soundscape. In such a situation, I either prefer not to make any sound recordings at all or to quickly decide what to focus on. In a valley in central Mongolia, I was looking/hearing for Godlewski's Buntings. In the very moment I found a singing male, two shepherd boys with more than 100 horses came up the slope - straight towards me. Immediately it was clear that a clean recording of the bunting would never succeed under these circumstances. On the other hand, the chance to record such a large herd of horses would not be that easy anymore - especially since they were still far enough to bring my recording rig well into position...
    Bird species in background: Common Rosefinch, Ortolan Bunting, Eastern Black Redstart, Eurasian Cuckoo

    • 20 min
    PFR15209, 22-07-2018, thunderstorm, Germany

    PFR15209, 22-07-2018, thunderstorm, Germany

    Normally I do not deploy autonomous recording units, except for scientific monitoring. Why? For me, the best part of sound recording is listening during the recording process (actually, of course, a recording would not have to be done at all to do so).

    I was in a marsh area in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern to do a certain job (sound recordings of Whiskered Tern flight calls for my bird ID website birds-in-flight). In the afternoon, I noticed that a thunderstorm came up. Occasions to get thunderstorms recordings without made-noise are rare. So I deployed a second recording kit and continued to do my job.
    Thus, this is a rather improvised sound recording of the thunderstorm, including some typical bird sounds of a Brandenburg marshland: White-tailed Eagle, Greylag Goose, Common Tern, Whiskered Tern, Grey Heron, Great Cormorant, Savi's Warbler, Mallard, Eurasian Coot, Gadwall, Black-headed Gull...

    • 9 min

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