February 25, 2008

Field Recordings... Of Dinosaurs!!

Jurassic.jpgYour mission, should you choose to accept it, is to create an album of imagined “field recordings” of dinosaurs. Simple enough? OK, now comes the hard part – get an eminent international sound library devoted to the very serious task of collecting “natural sound sceneries of endangered ecosystems” to release it.

On the face of it, this might seem like a challenge that would fail at the first pitch meeting, but somehow sound recordist Jean-Luc Herelle managed to pull it off with Jurassic Soundscapes, an album of the speculative sounds of these long extinct beasts which was released on the very "serious" Fremeaux & Associes label. (In the liner notes, however, Fremeaux’s head honcho does admit that it “may at first sight appear to be a little ridiculous”.)

What no doubt helped Herelle get this past any furrowed brows at Fremeaux is the fact that he’s got reputable expert opinion on his side. He's consulted paleontologists who’ve given him the low down on the resonant qualities of the morphologies of various dinosaurs and pointed out that dinosaurs are ancestors of modern-day birds. So Herelle, who’s made a career out of recording birds, has pulled out some of his old master tapes, pitch-shifted them down, remixed them, and – hey presto! – he gives us the sounds of paddling plesiosaurs, chattering archaeopteryxes, and growling tyrannosaurs. Here are some samples:

Excerpt #1 – Plesiosaurs and Rhamphorhynchues at a Triassic lakeside (200 million BC)

Excerpt #2 – A Tyrannarosaurus growls during a late Cretaceous storm (64 million BC)

Regardless of how accurate these are (and we won’t know that till we can punch a wormhole into the Jurassic and send in a binaural mike) the album’s a great guilty “field recording” pleasure and you can purchase it from Aquarius Records or Audio Roots.

Posted by Warren at February 25, 2008 12:54 AM | Field Recordings