Submerged Branch | Unidentified species

Northern Ireland, September 2015


For this recording, I attached a contact microphone to a partially submerged tree branch along a fast-flowing section of the Golan Water in Northern Ireland’s Sperrin Mountains.

Listening from the riverbank with my headphones, the branch’s complex internal sounds were revealed: a series of dull, iterative impacts against a nearby rock; continuous, low-frequency vibration in the strong current; and (with the wood acting as a kind of natural hydrophone), the underwater bubbling of the river.

Submerged Branch was played during BBC Radio 4's Slow Radio feature on July 16, 2017. Listen here, from 19m 55s (sign-in required):

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