I had noticed about a week ago that the sheets of plastic that were being used as temporary roofing at Southern Cross Station made a lot of noise when there was strong wind. Essentially they have replaced all the glass sections of the roof that collapsed under the big storm with giant rolls of plastic. As that part of the city is very windy it spends a lot of the time flapping and blowing in the wind, and in extreme winds it sounds really interesting. I had tried a couple of times to record this, but they were at times when the station was pretty busy so there were a lot of other noises to contend with.
A growing wind storm on a Sunday evening however proved to be a good time to capture some sounds. Our public transport system here in Melbourne is pretty ordinary, and on Sundays the trains are up to an hour apart; terrible if you want to go anywhere, but very convenient if you want to record a quiet station.
What I did find unusual this evening was how quiet people were. I set up at the top of one of the platforms and extended the boom pole as high as possible. I wanted to get as close to the plastic as possible to get a good recording and also to reduce all the other noises around. Normally when I go anywhere with the gear people tend to yell, ask if I am shooting TV or want to say hello to their mum, but tonight just about everyone walked past really quietly, I even had some people stand back and wait for a while as if they didn't want to make any extra noise. This was really great but it was also very unusual as people often either don't notice me, or as I said, purposefully make more noise.
I was very patient as there were still trains and station announcements, so I stood completely still for about 20 minutes while I recorded. Overall I got some good samples. I am not really sure what I am going to do with the sounds. They do have a quality a little like thunder, so maybe I can find some interesting uses for them. Either way they will get added to the library and perhaps someone else can think of something interesting to use them for.
Stephan Schütze has been recording sounds for over twenty years. This journal logs his thoughts and experiences