Often when you want to make a field recording, it’s like the entire world sets out to make sure your recording efforts will fail. At that very illusive moment suprème the neighbour’s dog will bark, an aircraft will rumble, batteries will die, some far too cheerful hikers will laugh right through it, the wind decides to participate – all to obscure my delicate subject in ear shot. Many of us types will recognise this.
Yesterday was different.
I wanted to record the Stenaline ferry hoot. It echoes superbly through a vast area. Firstly, its sound reflection get smashed to pieces at Lower Fishguard harbour, then will reflect back from Dinas Head, followed by Cat Rock in Newport, to a far reflection all the way from Cardigan Bay.
There I was – in time for the Ferry departure, perfect recording location, no sigh of wind, all dogs were on a break, battery was charged, no air traffic. Just utterly utterly perfect.
And then the Ferry didn’t hoot.
This is what it sounds like when the ferry doesn’t hoot.