Bumble Project Launched

Bumble is an ongoing search for the sounds of the UK's bumblebee species.

The long-term project consists of a series of location-based recordings with interwoven, narrative voice-overs. I'm hoping to record all 25 UK bumblebee species, including the recently reintroduced Bombus subterraneus; this is a huge challenge and could take years, but I'm determined to get there.

As with all of my work, it's best enjoyed in quiet moments, away from noise and ideally with a good-quality loudspeaker system or pair of headphones.

Recordings to date have been added to a dedicated Google Map (embedded below). For the first time, you can navigate through a project geographically by clicking/tapping each pin and following the link to the relevant project entry. In the future, I hope to modify this map to incorporate layers of technical and conservation-focused metadata, which should provide additional context.

The first project entry, Beginnings, is available now:

http://www.markfergusonaudio.com/bumble/beginnings

I'm incredibly grateful to the Bumblebee Conservation Trust for all their help and support with this so far.

Updates in the coming weeks, as each entry is uploaded.

Enjoy!

MF

 

Ashland Publicity

I've received some incredible feedback from listeners worldwide for my latest recording project, Ashland. Thanks to Matt Mikkelsen and Palmer Morse at  Spruce Tone Films all the way over in California for sharing the work on their Being Hear Facebook page.

I've also had a recent mention from the Bumblebee Conservation Trust on Twitter, regarding a suburban bumblebee recording that was played just over a week ago on BBC Radio 4.

Spring is here in the UK, so I'm putting the finishing touches on several custom recording rigs for my next project and getting set for some superb dawn choruses in the Cotswolds and farther afield.

Watch this space for more info.

MF.

BBC Radio 4

Tune in after 9am this morning to hear one of my suburban bumblebee recordings on BBC Radio 4.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4

Thanks to Poppy Damon and Jonny Dymond at Broadcasting House.

MF.

Plastic Competition Entry

Pleased to announce that my short environmental film Plastic has been selected for entry in this year's NaturVision Short Film Award, The (In)Finite Nature of Plastic.

The award honours the film that best critically examines the use of this problematic material, its prevalence in the ground and water, and its threat to living creatures.

MF.

Ashland Launches

My latest recording project, Ashland, is now online.

It features the first of a series of topographically-focused 'stormscapes': single, immersive stereo recordings exploring notions of space, place and landscape representation.

All material was captured in Drumnaph Nature Reserve, Mid Ulster, Northern Ireland. I spent over a year in pursuit of the right sounds and two months assessing all recorded material before I was finally satisfied with my work.

Please listen, share and enjoy (with headphones and quiet surroundings).

MF.

Ashland

Work has begun on my latest recording project, Ashland. Featuring a fresh sonic and narrative perspective on one of our best-known native UK trees, it should be available in early spring 2018.

Unfortunately, I've had to postpone work on a related short-term project around Dartmoor due to anthropogenic disturbance in the recording area; if the situation improves, I plan to revisit in the future.

I'm also developing a number of specialised recording methods for bumblebees and making plans for nocturnal red fox recordings.

Updates on everything soon.

MF.

Owls, Bats & Editing

It's been a superb autumn for recording, but it hasn't all been plain sailing.

During a hike through woodland, I nearly lost thousands of pounds' worth of audio gear after slipping on a rotten branch and falling forwards (I was lucky I didn't break my arm). When fog thickened without warning on another trip, I got lost, had to find my way through thick scrub and slippery rocks in the pitch-dark, then had to jump over an electric fence without knowing exactly where I would land!

Despite these challenges, I've been rewarded with some incredible experiences. Highlights include: common and soprano pipistrelle bats feeding close to a small deciduous copse in a Cotswold meadow; a pair of tawny owls swooping through beech trees at dusk, framed by water droplets falling onto a carpet of decaying leaves; and strong, northerly winds filtering through a mature, crispy, late-autumn woodland canopy.

Careful editing for all of these recordings is ongoing, and many will form part of an exciting new project in late 2018.

Updates to come!

MF.

2017 Series Uploaded

The 2017 sound series is finally here!

www.markfergusonaudio.com/sounds

Six, hand-picked recordings, made using some of the finest audio equipment available and meticulously curated as part of my ever-growing sound library.

Featuring:

Listen, enjoy, and please let me know what else you'd like to hear.

MF.

 'Bumblebees'. Photo by ©entomart [Attribution], via Wikimedia Commons

'Bumblebees'. Photo by ©entomart [Attribution], via Wikimedia Commons

Creative Field Recording Interview, with Paul Virostek

Paul Virostek at Creative Field Recording recently interviewed me about my year-long recording project around WWT Slimbridge.

Paul is a world-renowned field recordist, and it was a privilege to be asked about my approaches to capturing sounds around one of our most important wetland nature reserves.

Read the full interview here.

Editing | New Project

I've taken some time away from the field to edit and curate the significant body of recordings made during the spring and summer period. Selected sounds will be uploaded as part of a 2017 sound series in the coming months, so keep an eye on the blog for updates. Around this, I'm preparing equipment and researching isolated locations along the Severn Estuary for autumn and winter recordings; target species this year include teal, black-tailed godwit, barnacle geese and a range of other wildfowl and wading birds.

Green Space has been played just under 700 times, and has been entered into a couple of short film competitions. Thanks to all for listening and watching!

Work has also begun on a new, short-duration project, focusing on an ancient (and very peaceful) location in Dartmoor.

MF.

 Blackthorn flowers (close-up).

500 Plays

Green Space has had over five hundred plays in two weeks.

Green Space is a short environmental film exploring themes of noise pollution and green infrastructure in our cities. Using a combination of uniquely processed time-lapse sequences and ambient stereo field recordings, the film is structured around a series of hard-hitting juxtapositions, designed to highlight relative levels of environmental noise in green and traffic-congested urban areas.

Thanks for all the support!

www.markfergusonaudio.com/green-space

http://vimeo.com/markgtferguson/green-space

MF.

BBC Radio 4 'Slow Radio' Feature

My subterranean recording of coastal waves and sand at Cushendun Bay, Northern Ireland was played on BBC Radio 4's 'Slow Radio' feature this morning.

Skip to 17m 50s to listen (sign-in required):

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b091s7q7

As usual, thanks to all at Broadcasting House, London. Special thanks to Paddy O'Connell and Duncan Barber.

MF.

 Cushendun bay, Northern Ireland.

Green Space Launched

After six months of work, Green Space has officially launched.

Green Space is a short environmental film exploring themes of noise pollution and green infrastructure in our cities. Using a combination of uniquely processed time-lapse sequences and ambient stereo field recordings, the film is structured around a series of hard-hitting juxtapositions, designed to highlight relative levels of environmental noise in green and traffic-congested urban areas.

Check it out here.

The film is also available on Vimeo: http://vimeo.com/markgtferguson/green-space.

MF.

 Screen-grab from 'Green Space' audio-visual work.

Green Space

Work continues on Green Space (my latest environmental film), which explores themes of green infrastructure and noise pollution in our cities.

Using a combination of adapted microcomputers, high-level programming languages and recording equipment, I'm building on the overall aesthetic of Plastic, which was selected for screening during the opening ceremony of the NaturVision Film Festival 2016 in Ludwigsberg, Germany.

Updates soon.

MF.

BBC Radio 4 Feature

My recording of a submerged branch (made in Northern Ireland's Sperrin Mountains) was played on BBC Radio 4 this morning, as part of the 'Slow Radio' feature. Skip to 19m 50s to listen:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08xxd8s#play

Thanks to all at Broadcasting House, London. Special thanks to Paddy O'Connell and Edward Drummond.

For additional context, check out the full recording and accompanying notes here.

MF.

 Submerged branch in a small stream in Northern Ireland's Sperrin Mountains.

New Work Underway

Following the success of Slimbridge and its ongoing promotion worldwide via prominent conservation organisations and the media, I've begun a new audio-visual work exploring themes of green infrastructure and noise pollution. Using a combination of customised microcomputers, high-level programming languages and advanced recording equipment, my intention is to examine our relationship with nature in urban environments through sound.

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Praise for Slimbridge

It's been just under a month since Slimbridge was launched. People from all over the world have been listening, and I've received some incredibly positive feedback and words of encouragement.

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Slimbridge Launched

My latest extended recording project featuring sounds from the UK's flagship Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust reserve is online. Thanks to everyone who made it possible!

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