I had intended to blog from day one of the Hear The Forest project. However, upon arrival in the WMNF, I found that I was 30 minutes, by car, from a public internet connection – and just a bit too busy trying to establish a toe-hold as this project officially launched. Now that things are “in process” and now that I’m better connected, here are a few thoughts and observations…
Water! I can’t remember the last time I was in a place where waterways and bodies of water were so ubiquitous. Add to that the fact that so many of these sources of water are inherently musical – indigenous drones, essentially – it’s not surprising that I have spent some enjoyable time recording them. A couple of favorites have been the South Fork of Hancock Branch (Greeley Ponds Trail) and the cascades along Yellowjacket and Smarts Brook trails.
People! I have had so many memorable encounters on the trails. In fact, there are far too many to recount here. I’m happy that some folks permitted me to record them. But, other encounters, which were not recorded, have also been fun. Here’s one:
Hiker (addressing me): “Are you making your own soundscapes?” Me: “Something like that.” Hiker: “I used to listen to that ‘ocean’ CD when going to sleep. Man, that would put me right out!”
(Brief pause while I considered that as a new business for myself…)
Hiker: “Makes a difference with those headphones, huh?” (He was referring to the Beyer ‘phones I was using to monitor the recordings.) My own response surprised me: “Yeah…(they are) life-changing!”
Finally, after a day that included a morning run and two hikes to recording sites, I returned to a very busy Lincoln NH, and pulled up to a restaurant. Next door was a busy ice cream stand, where the patio furniture was sheltered by large Coca-cola umbrellas. I was so thirsty that I walked over to the stand, stepped up to the counter – where I saw another Coke sign against the back wall – and with a smile, I said, “I’d like a Coke.” The (completely serious) response from behind the counter: “We don’t have Coke.” Keeps me laughing…
Thanks for all you who have been sending the sweet and supportive emails! Every suggestion for a place, or sound, to record will make it to our “To-do” list.