From Buchan Skies

From Buchan Skies

Music by Haworth Hodgkinson

High Moss HM 013 (73:35) • Released 27 June 2017

Music composed, performed and recorded by Haworth Hodgkinson in 2017

Cover from a photograph by Haworth Hodgkinson

Album © Haworth Hodgkinson 2017

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From Buchan Skies (2017)

I often remark that where I live in Central Buchan I get more passing air traffic than road traffic, an observation that is reflected in From Buchan Skies.

During June 2017 I made a series of environmental recordings at different times of day and in different weather conditions. The basis of this piece is a recording made on the afternoon of 8 June starting at about 3pm. The afternoon was dry and sunny, but also windy, and the main sounds I captured were birds and aircraft. An ornithologist would probably be able to provide a much more detailed list of the birds than I can; the aircraft were mostly helicopters ferrying personnel to and from oil and gas installations in the North Sea. Other sounds you may notice are the wind in the trees and occasional passing road traffic. The original unedited recording is heard throughout the piece, but I have enhanced the drama by sampling some of the sounds, particularly the aircraft with their initial steady drone as they approach and the inevitable Doppler shift downwards as they pass overhead. I then built up layered repeats of these samples at different speeds.

Is this music? Sound art? Something else? I don't know, and I'm not too concerned for it to fit into any particular pigeonhole. For me, the human creative element was the sampling of the aircraft and the building of these samples into a very slowly developing canon that gradually accumulates up to 24 voices. For the most part I left the birds to do their own thing in their own time.

Notes © Haworth Hodgkinson 2017.

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