Sennheiser MKH 60
Boom Pole array
We decided to go for a drive today with no direction in mind. We drove through a lot of the area that had been damaged by the recent bush fires and it was very sobering. Huge areas of land had been burnt and it was sad to think what people had lost in the event. It was however really positive to see how hard people were working to rebuild, and the determination after such a terrible event is a credit to the communities affected. As always I was carrying all my gear with us. I didn’t expect to be able to record much in the bush fire effected areas as even wild life would take sometime to return. As we travelled further south we left the worst effected areas and did find something worth recording.
Alpacas! Driving down a road we came across a large property with what we initially though were Lamas. We stopped the car to see if they made any sounds worth capturing and found they made all sorts of interesting sounds. We talked to the owners who were really helpful and even gave us some roses to feed to the Alpacas. One of the male Alpacas was making all sorts of noises, and the smaller ones made some cute sounds as well. I think I may have discovered the inspiration, if not the core sound material for the Tauntauns in The Empire Strikes Back. These things made some very similar noises. They are really friendly animals and the wool from then is the softest material I think I have ever felt.
The owners originally got them to keep the grass under control on their property as Alpacas need very little maintenance, but then they decided to start using the wool. They very politely explained all sorts of things about Alpacas while I recorded them eating, snorting and grumbling. This was one of the best animal recordings I have done for a long time.
Stephan Schütze has been recording sounds for over twenty years. This journal logs his thoughts and experiences