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This post is a simple one. Just a recording of the sea from the beach at Killiney Co. Dublin. No processing or manipulation of any kind. It was quite a windy day and the waves were animated. There was a thick, almost opaque fog creeping in off the horizon. Maybe two other people on the entire beach. I sat at the far end and pressed record and listened.

Soon i’ll be leaving Ireland and taking up residence in the city of Edinburgh for at least two years. It occurred to me that perhaps my collecting of field recordings is a way of gathering memories, the sounds of familiar places before embarking on something new. When I listened back to this recording I could vividly recall the entire setting and revisit my state of mind in those moments. So that is all, the sea, nothing more, nothing less.

 

The Sea

howth

 

Two days ago I caught the DART to the seaside town of Howth. I’d forgotten what it was like out there as it had been years since I visited. It’s a pretty town with a large harbour, multicoloured painted houses and a cliff walk. The horizon in Howth bears an Island and great stretches of ocean. There’s a plaque on the wall of a bungalow claiming W.B Yeats lived there for some time. In 1890 he published an essay in a London magazine called The Leisure Hour stating ‘At Howth, for instance, ten miles from Dublin, there is a ‘fairies path’, whereon a great colony of otherworld creatures travel nightly from the hill to the sea and home again’. Now it seems the place is inhabited daily by tourists. I wanted to record some sounds from this place and it was a task to keep away from the chatter of visiting rotarians taking selfies. I picked a few of the recordings to include here.

 

20 seconds in you can hear the feint clamour of a bell from the town. To my ear this recording is peaceful and quite evocative.

More waves…

There is something very seaside about the accordion…

I applied some processing to water sloshing among the rocks. Some interesting patterns of resonance occurred….

Nice crunching sound from this very Irish beach…

Re-pitched seagulls with reverb. Quite haunting…

The simple ambience of the harbour…

A passing boat heads out of the harbour…

heart howth

 

To conclude, there is something quite meditative about travelling somewhere with the purpose of collecting sounds and as I listened back to the recordings I was instantly transported back to those moments of capturing. This excursion will be one of many and I hope to hone my skills in field recording as this new obsession develops.