Sennheiser MKH 60
and R09 handheld
Today will go down in history as the hottest day on record in Melbourne with a top temperature of 46 degree Celsius in the city centre. It will also go down as one of the most devastating days in Victoria’s history as bushfires all over Victoria raged out of control in the incredibly hot dry and windy conditions. At the time of writing this over 100 people had lost their lives and over 70 properties had been destroyed. Anyone witnessing these events either directly or through news reports will understand how unbelievably tragic the events of today were. Not relevant to sound recording but something I felt the need to mention if for no other reason than in honour of those who lost their lives.
One aspect of today’s weather was the incredible wind. Not only was it 46 degrees today but the wind for most of the day was blowing at gale force. This made walking outside feel like you were in a blast furnace. I had noticed in the past that days with strong wind caused the apartment building we live in to resonate dependant on wind direction and strength. Today was just such a day and so I went down to the car park level to try and capture some of the sound.
The car parking in our building takes up the first three levels, and is generally open to the air on all sides. Metal sheets with thousands of holes in them work like screens between the inside and outside areas. On some days the wind causes the screens to resonate as it passes through all the small holes. Today the force of the wind was so strong that the entire building was resonating like a giant pipe organ. The actual sounds were pure tones being produced by each screen area, but because there were a lot of screens the overall effect was creating harmonic chords. The chords where often very dissonant as the different tones clashed, but very occasionally there would be interesting combinations that made great chord sounds. I was originally only going to record about 5 minutes of this effect, but when I got down there it was so interesting that I recorded over 30 minutes of material. At times the volume was very loud as the wind got so strong. It was like witnessing some strange contemporary piece of music.
Stephan Schütze has been recording sounds for over twenty years. This journal logs his thoughts and experiences