On 21st November 2012 I took out with me a large and a small set of cheap bamboo chimes and two sets of Woodstock (quality, metal) wind chimes. I hung the chimes on small low branches of a particular well situated stunted tree at Sharp Tor just by the Hunter's Path, which overlooks the over-steepened valley (popularly known as the Teign Gorge, though it is not actually a gorge) very near Castle Drogo. In reality the rocky crag rather blocks off the view and most direct sound from the River Teign at the bottom of the valley, and at this spot it was necessary for me to have the recorder facing the other way, back towards the Hunter's Path.
The background sound of the River Teign was actually quite a bit louder on this day than it would normally be, because there had been an exceptional overnight rainfall, which had caused quite widespread local flooding events, and thus today the rivers were all very full.
This recording is of the two sets of bamboo chimes, which I had purchased locally in Exeter for just a few pounds each, plus the Woodstock Gregorian Chimes. The bamboo chimes both have rather imprecise tuning, but nonetheless, the large set gives some semblance of a whole tone scale (which is bound to sound interesting when used together with other chimes), and the small set, although seeming more indeterminate in its tuning, adds in a tritone and other 'interesting' intervals to the range of the large set. I have chosen always to use both sets of bamboo chimes together. This combination has an interesting and 'earthy' sort of sound, which, to my ears sounds nice 'as is', but also gives really interesting effects in combination with some of my metal chimes, which I myself at least find really beautiful.
The Gregorian Chimes are the tenor version, precision tuned to a Gregorian chant scale, and their refined ethereal, 'liquid' tone and precise tuning contrast beautifully with the dry, earthy rattlings, clatterings and 'donkings' of the bamboo chimes.
This is a 5-minute excerpt from the 37+ minutes full recording.
This photo shows my recording studio for 21st November 2012 - on Sharp Tor, high up on the north side of the Teign Gorge. The sets of chimes visible are the Woodstock Gregorian Chimes and Chimes of Pluto.
Recording made with a Sony PCM-M10 on a Hama mini-tripod, using the built-in microphones covered with a Rycote Mini Windjammer. I have used a graphic EQ profile in WavePad to compensate for the slight muffling of the sound caused by the Windjammer. I also used a 3dB reduction of lower bass frequencies in order to lighten a bit the odd very strong wind gusts catching the microphones. I caution that the wind noise in the microphones is bound to sound too intrusive when this recording is played back through speakers / headphones that are prone to boominess; good quality hi-fi speakers with extended and flat bass response are really needed for any of these recordings really to sound right. Please also note that the volume level of this recording has been carefully adjusted for listening purposes, and ALL my recordings so far are meant to be listened to with a volume setting that would give a realistic level for playback of CLASSICAL music (a large but not exceptional symphony orchestra). If you have the right volume setting, you should not need to change that setting from one recording of mine to another.
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