January Record Trip Overview: Turangi, Taupo, Waikato and Mapara

Dave and I have returned from our first recording mission of the year. Though we have been on many record trips together, this is the first time that we have been purely off our own steam and with no attachment to a particular film or project.

Typically, we only get away from our dark studios when we have specific sounds we need to gather. Such as with our trip down to Invercargill and the Caitlins in 2011 to collect ambiences from locations specific to the film Dave was working on at the time, Two Little Boys. Though that was a fantastic trip and we got some great stuff for our library of sounds, it was still all about what we needed to achieve for the film.

This time, it was all about us. We had no plan, we simply set off and took each day as it came, not knowing what we would end up with. We spend so much time working on other peoples art, it is about time that we use our skills to make art for ourselves. So in a way, it feels like this is our first real record together that is just for us. The start of a new beginning that is all about a more personally invested mindset towards our art.

Our idea to start selling sound libraries is coming from a place that is more about enjoying the process of what we do and sharing the sounds we love, than it is about trying to make money. Having said that, sound is our business, so whatever we eventually put together as a saleable product will be nothing but the best we have to offer. Dave and I are committed to our craft and I can’t wait to see what we can create together.

I’m still figuring out how to run the journal side of the process. As I sat listening to the spaces we recorded I started taking notes on my phone. These were both technical notes, detailing what we were capturing and the mic array used, but I also jotted down little ideas and thought processes I was having at each location. My hope is to be able to use the blog to share some of these thoughts with you.

There is no activity quite like recording sound. (Activity may be the wrong word, given that it involves more sloth-like sitting positions as well as comments like; ‘my leg has gone to sleep,’ or ‘my bum is numb.’)

Sitting still, trying to be as silent as you can, while actively listening to the world around you makes for some very inspirational, introspective and sometime downright loopy daydreams. I often say that our work in dark studios, working long hours is balanced only by the moments of zen contemplation offered by going out to record sounds. Hopefully this year there will be more of that balance in our lives.

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