The Rime - Field Notes from Amble
Matthew Tuckey, summer 2021
As part of this initial R&D period, I have been working on location in Amble and the surrounding coastline to make new field recordings. Amble has been a favourite recording location of mine for a while, so I was glad to spend some concentrated time here – and to become better acquainted with its ice cream and fish & chips!
You can hear a selection of these recordings below, including hydrophone recordings (underwater microphones) - of dolphins chasing fishing boats on their way out of the harbour, the clanging of masts in the boat yard with wind whistling through the rigging, and the gentle flooding of spring tides on Warkworth Beach. I was joined by Corrie Livesey as my field assistant and sound librarian – responsible for the editing and categorising of weeks of recorded material.
The tracks contain layers of subtle sounds with a generally wide frequency and dynamic range, and some are recorded in binaural, so listening with headphones is essential to get the best experience.
Each track name contains a what3words location so that you can, if you wish, stand and listen in the exact location where this recording was made.
What can I hear?
The first track is a hydrophone recording of a pod of dolphins just outside of Amble Harbour. These unexpected visitors were already leaping and dancing in the water when we arrived at sunrise. They are quite distant but fortunately sound travels approximately five times as fast in water as it does in air, so we were able to get some good recordings. One particularly adventurous dolphin followed a returning fishing boat past the breakwaters and briefly came in line with our hydrophones at the mouth of the River Coquet.
We then move onto the sound of fishing boats on their way in and out of the harbour, recorded from Amble’s south pier at high tide as the sun rose on the town. Whilst dolphins leap from the water, the occasional sea bird dives in search of food.
This is followed by some brief stormy waters recorded over the breakwaters, as an incoming spring tide crashes over the rocks.
Further inland, nestled behind the lifeboat station, we hear the wind whistle and whip through the rigging, and the clanging of masts from boats in the marina boat yard.
Heading north to the sand dunes on Warkworth Beach, the gentle flooding of a spring tide swallows up the shoreline as the summer sun rises on Northumberland.
Finishing off at Wellhaugh Point, looking out at Coquet Island, water gently drips onto the rocks below at a low neap tide in the distance.
Original field recordings by Matthew Tuckey, assisted by Corrie Livesey. The track's were edited for distribution by Corrie Livesey.
Album cover photo by Corrie Livesey. Track photos by Corrie Livesey and Matthew Tuckey.
With thanks to The Ambler, CALM Theatre Sounds, Gareth Fry Ltd, Sunday for Sammy, SPUTNIK, and Arts Council England.
all rights reserved.