/ Farming and Food

Soundscape: Putchers, Kypes and Stopping Boats

This is my first soundscape for AFL. It was the first oral history recording I listened to and I immediately loved Allan’s voice and story of hardship and decline. I picked it because Allan and I are related. He is my father’s cousin. I’ve never actually met Allan, but I see his brother Harold at football regularly.

I love the bleak / exposed estuary landscape from between Littleton and Aust Cliff where Allan used to fish and I went out to capture this one Autumn morning when the wind was blasting across the treeless levels.

The piece is composed of nearly 30 different tracks of sound. I recorded the wind against a variety of different obstacles (tufts of grass, the walls of the fishing hut, the banks of the levels) and the sound of myself wading through the mudflats. You can hear traffic on the bridge and aircraft overhead. Present throughout is the curlew, one of the most distinctive sounds along the estuary.

As it progresses, the piece shifts perspective from the widescreen, wind-blasted levels of grassland down to the water’s edge and finally beneath the surface of the racing incoming tide using hydrophones.

David Howell

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© 2019 A Forgotten Landscape: A Heritage Lottery Fund Landscape Partnership Scheme.

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