listen to africa

an audio adventure through africa


Geotag Icon About the sound recordings part I: wildlife sounds

Blog posted by on Jun 2nd, 2009
Huw recording wildlife sounds. © Listen to Africa

Huw recording wildlife sounds. © Listen to Africa

As you may have already seen, this expedition has several focuses, and we’ll be using sound recordings to document a wide range of issues that interest us. In this blog, I’ll explain a bit about the wildlife recordings.

If you watched the film we posted yesterday, “A Time Comes”, you’ll have noticed that I was wearing one of my other hats (a climbing one rather than a cycling one…). Like many people, my interests and passions span several areas but there’s a common theme running through them. That is, a deep love of the natural world and a belief that, as one of my childhood heroes put it: “People protect what they love” (Jacques Cousteau).

Through observation (and the understanding that eventually follows and then increases by the day), I’ve come to admire and want to protect the world that we all live in. I believe that by learning from each other we can increase our overall understanding of this planet’s incredibly complex, fascinating and interdependent structure, which is so robust but at the same time so fragile.

Enough of why I am doing it, and down to how we are doing it. We have an equipment section that outlines the equipment we’re carrying. Being a bicycle expedition, we’re severely limited by weight and bulk and the selection of equipment reflects this. We will be honestly reviewing how it is all performing soon (this is one of many works in progress but we keep getting distracted. At this very moment there’s a bulbul singing its heart out in a palm tree only a few metres away from me.)

There are a few bits of kit we definitely wish we had. We’re still trying to justify them on logistical grounds, but I’m sure we’ll crack and have them sent out by DHL soon. The first is a preamp; sometimes with distant birds it’s hard to get a good recording at decent sound levels. The other is another pair of headphones; we only have one so if one of us is editing sound (usually Bex, the computer whizz) and the other recording, one of us has to resort to ipod earphones (and I can’t get on with them).

The recordings we’re posting on the web site will include as much detail as we can provide (common and scientific names, date, location recorded etc) but, owing to weight and bulk restrictions on the bikes, we have very little reference material with us. Therefore, if you’re listening to them in the comfort of your extensive reference library with high speed internet, please comment and let us know if you disagree with something we’ve written, or have a correction or addition. We won’t be offended! The important thing is to have an accurate record for all to enjoy. (Bex is muttering something about “crowdsourcing wildlife wisdom” but I have no idea what that means.)

So when you listen, please feel free to constructively criticise, comment, encourage, fill in the gaps in our knowledge, get inspired, learn, or just sit back and enjoy.

2 comments
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  1. I noticed that I always write too long and too many sentences (sorry for that!), in comparison to your other friends. It may have something to do with being a foreigner and afraid that I won´t succeed explaning myself right in just a few words in English. I would certainly do better (and shorter) in Portuguese.
    Reading Huw´s comments, please count on my encouragement as I just love yours (and Rebecca´s) spetacular writing – I can actually “see” everything you both write – live and in colour !!!
    Huw`s feeling on “admiring and protecting the world we live in” describes the wonderful work you are carrying on. I can only sit back, enjoy, learn, and wish you both success and happiness always.

  2. Thanks Maria Helena, your words of encouragement are always very appreciated. Please don’t worry about the length of your comments, have you seen the length of Rebecca’s blogs?! We enjoy reading all the comments. Best wishes Huw.

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