Jewel Wasp to Pipe

Today I was sat on my verandah watching Jewel Wasps crawl across the tiles. Not feeling energetic enough to trek to a location to record, especially before my night shift at “The Muleyard”, especially as my rechargables need recharging, especially as it’s really hot, and especially as I’ve walked  Shark’s Valley twice  and Jacob’s Ladder three times this week. I have a radio jingle to write, asked of me by a friend who hasn’t heard the music I actually make, I don’t want to write a jingle, I also don’t want to let them down, they made me pancakes, will do it later. I also have a radio show to make, an opportunity to make something cool, using the sounds of the island, I’m looking forward to finishing it, but not now. 
It’s too hot to slob out, to do nothing.
I want to record the cactus and rust, but they make no sound. I want to make a sound like cactus and rust. What sound can make you think of cactus and rust?
I watch a Jewel Wasp (a shiny green parasitic wasp from Africa that seeks out to control the minds of cockroaches, there are  plenty of both) climb a beam to the tin roof. I sip coffee.
The last week has been torrential rain, intermitent but regular. Today is hot. Things are dry. The gutters are dry. The pipe that drains the gutter water is dry. I stick a microphone in it. A cheap microphone I brought years ago for £10 from Maplin. I felt more comfortable being a bit brutal with this mic, I’d be too scared to use my semi-expensive ones. 
I use a machete to stuff it further into the pipe. I put the recorder and headphones on the ledge, arms reach from the verandah chairs, I go round and take my seat, I lean forward for the headphones, I hit record.
The pipe acted as a plastic digereedoo. An echo chamber. The sound of cars passing, the wind, Myna Birds, Finches, Cockerels, and barking dogs are all filtered into a synthesizer like resonance. The sound of a car passing, in the pipe, is the sound of 3 cars passing slighly out of phase. The sound is subtle, but obvious. Strong wind makes the best sound. I will record more, I will record more today and on a windier night.

Author: On A Bench

Documentary Sound and Location Recordist, Artist

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