Sound and vision blog

06 November 2012

Blowin' in the Wind

Cheryl Tipp, Curator of Natural Sounds, writes:

Wind can adopt a number of different sonic guises depending on what it interacts with. Take, for instance, this recording of wind blowing along a typical residential street in North London:

http://sounds.bl.uk/Environment/Weather/022M-WA07032X0032-0002V0

Here the wind manifests itself as an undulating whistling as it is forced through gaps in a letterbox. The sound changes when we step outside the confines of our homes as other influences begin to take over. This recording of wind blowing through yacht rigging still has that whistling quality, yet metallic elements are introduced to the sound picture as the fluttering rigging strikes the masts:

http://sounds.bl.uk/Environment/Weather/022M-WA09020XXXXX-0203V0

The relationship between wind and foliage is perhaps a neverending discovery of acoustic creations. The type of leaf, the season and the kind of tree / bush all work together to create a sound unique to that place and time.

Windy_Trees_-_geograph_org_uk_-_323532

This recording showcases the sound of a strong wind gusting through trees on the Isle of Wight:

http://sounds.bl.uk/Environment/Weather/022M-WA07032X0022-0009V0

A softer atmosphere is created in this next recording, where the wind whips through dried grass and reeds on a Scottish marshland:

http://sounds.bl.uk/Environment/Weather/022M-WA10012XXXXX-0693V0

More examples of wind recordings can be found in our Weather collection. This selection showcases over 100 field recordings that feature different kinds of weather, from rain and snow to wind and thunderstorms, and together highlight the British Library's growing collection of environmental sounds.

(Image: Martin Smith)

 

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