Categories: music reviews/ reviews/ writing

Whenever I hear or see the words “field recording” I get a little tinge of excitement. It fills me with wonder and interest to discover what might lay in store for me in such a piece of music (or non-music, if you prefer).

I just love the unknown in this genre, waiting for it become known, but still always containing an element of mystery. Perception through sound tells all, but it also tells very little, or rather it tells you a story through a filter. You’ll come away from it with your own take, and it will always be something personal.

I also feel like the proverbial “fly on the wall” when I listen to such pieces. It’s like a secret shared with you. It makes you feel like keeping that secret and never betray it, because it feels special.

I’m going to share with you two particular recordings. There are others I’m currently discovering but for now these two shall suffice. I’d like to mention that there are certain types of field recordings I specifically avoid, some of those are water / river / ocean sounds, and nature soundscapes (like animal habitats, etc). Maybe you happen to enjoy those types of works. That’s fine, however I prefer to explore more unusual or sometimes even quainter pieces. The following are some examples of that.

  • Joseph Sannicandro – 2015 – Oratoire St. Joseph du Mont-Royal
  • Album cover:
  • It can be found on bandcamp, here’s the embedded player:

  • There’s a nice description written by the artist about this album on the bandcamp page itself, you should check it out. I really enjoy this work because it’s got a nice atmosphere and you get the feeling you’re walking right beside him as he makes his way through the oratory and its grounds.
  • Andrea Polli – 2009 – Sonic Antarctica
  • Album cover:
  • This isn’t on bandcamp but there is a detailed description of this work along with a few samples right here. This is a special album because not only does it contain some impressive soundscapes, but it also contains some spoken word / interview type infusions by various scientists and climate experts. The topics they discuss are very down to earth, which might surprise you coming from people of science, but this is also a preconception specifically addressed. Some people may view science in a harsh light, but the talks you hear bring forth a much more human point of view. Yes, the sounds you’ll hear have been captured mainly from the south pole. The description goes into more detail about this. I recommend this very interesting work.