I can’t give you sound bites to these two amazing (amazing amazing amazing) pieces of music but the downloads are very cheap and well worth the investment.
The Compost and Height Split Series are a group of recordings coupled in with another recording. Compost and height carry a lot of interesting sound music. This series is actually sold out, but they will send you the download link very cheaply if you would like to have a listen.
This particular recording is of David Dunn’s recording of Harvester Ants, and Patrick Farmer and Sarah Hughes recording of BLack-Headed Gulls and Mallards.
Here is the notes for the David Dunn recording:
David Dunn | Western Harvester Ants (Pogonomyrmex Occidentalis)
Two forms of sound making have been well documented in ants:drumming against substratum and stridulation using specialised organs adapted for this purpose. The resultant sounds appear to serve four particular functions: alarm, recruitment, termination of mating by females, and modulation of other communication (usually chemical) and forms of behaviour. Ants stridulate with the hindmost body section, the gaster, which sports a ridged patch that rubs against a neighbouring file-like edge. When the gaster is raised and lowered, it produces a stridulatory chirp from the scraping action.
This is one of the most incredible sounds I’ve ever heard. It isn’t anything like you’d expect. The sound is something of a cross between a scratch and a squeak that starts almost with a cicada style chirp but quickly evolves into this intense furious scraping sound. The flurry of activity and the sound it produces is mesmerizing. I know this may sound odd, but I found it relaxing and I used it to lull me to sleep on several occasions.
Here are the notes for the Farmer / Hughes recording:
Patrick Farmer and Sarah Hughes | Is | Unprocessed field recording
A contact mic/hydrophone recording made on a frozen lake in Oakmere Park, Potters Bar, on 31.12.08. at 8:30 am
This is an entirely different experience to the ants, but one that is just as haunting. The sounds have been recorded above and below water, the cross over moment between two separate communities – good fences make good neighbors! The sounds aren’t what you would expect. This is not filled with the cheeps and quacks of ducks. This is the busy underwater paddling of … what do you call Ducks legs and feet anyway? The sounds are subterranean – sounding at times more like a light-sabre than animals in their natural environment. I couldn’t make out a difference between the two communities, but there is certainly a lot of movement and the two groups seem to be interacting with each other. My question throughout this piece is how they were able to do this without being the major disturbance themselves?