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Occasional posts on subjects including field recording, London history and literature, other websites worth looking at, articles in the press, and news of sound-related events.

18 December 2009

A warm welcome to Dave Ackrill and Ben Cripps

MORE OF YOUR recordings have been arriving at the London Sound Survey’s SoundCloud account, and very much appreciated they are too.

Dave Ackrill has been out and about with a Tascam DR-07 recorder and has captured the evening-time ambiences in a couple of London pubs. This is what the Princess Louise in High Holborn sounds like on a Wednesday night:


Dave writes: “The Princess Louise has a lot of glass, mirrors and tiles, which probably accentuates the harsher end of audio frequencies.” That kind of sound is probably more common in pubs from High Holborn in the west to St Pauls in the east, than elsewhere. First, pubs there have traditionally served a well-heeled crowd, so they’re often opulently fitted out. Second, the legal profession is well-represented in the area, and they’re likely to prefer Edwardian-era tiles and mirrors to stay just the way they are.

One day it’d be nice to have a decent-sized array of reference recordings from pubs all over London, even if it means growing a beer gut.

Ben Cripps has got himself an Olympus LS-10 digital recorder and has already shared several of his recordings with the London Sound Survey. In this one, a choppy Thames laps up against the steps leading into the river from Victoria Embankment:


The next recording of Ben’s captures a sound many of us might hear several times a week, yet not register as part of life in the capital. It’s of the squealing, grinding noise inside the carriage of a train making its way slowly from City Thameslink station to Farringdon.


Those really are typical sounds of several routes in central London where the trains crawl along at little more than walking pace. They’re bound up with the ugly backs of buildings creeping past, the railway’s archaic hinterland of iron girders and brick-built huts which can be studied in detail, the impersonal fact of London. Que sera, sera.

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