A COUPLE OF recordings recently arrived at the London Sound Survey DropBox on SoundCloud. It felt like being the man on the desert island who finds not one, but two messages-in-a-bottle on the beach at the same time.
The first was a nicely-timed recording on the theme of one of London’s lesser rivers, the Quaggy in Lewisham. It was kindly shared by its recordist Richard Sanderson:
Richard recorded it in March this year at Manor Park in Lewisham. He’s picked a good recording spot where the water makes two distinct sound sources: a constant high-pitched hiss as if under pressure, and a deeper, busier trickling and gurgling.
Do have a look at Richard’s long-running Baggage Reclaim blog. He writes on post-punk, English folk music and dance, plus some south-east Londonism.
The second recording comes courtesy of Sam Appleby, who captured the sounds in Battersea Park one morning:
I’d guessed this to have been recorded around 7am. There’s a commotion among the birds at the park’s lake, joggers and cyclists rush past from time to time, and the jets are beginning to stream towards Heathrow. But no, according to Sam the recording was made at 9am.
These then are the sounds of that brief and curiously empty time of day when most people are commuting to or arriving at work, and the parks and residential streets are deserted.
A sample of Sam’s photographic, performance and urban studies work can be found on his website – among other things there are some good photographs from Dungeness and Romney Marsh made to draw parallels with the popular image of the American Midwest’s isolated gas stations and shacks.