Wednesday, March 2, 2011

This, you must hear

Lang Elliott is one of the most accomplished recordists of the natural world, of all time. His skills are all the more amazing considering he was partially deafened by an errant firecracker in his youth. If you like birds and nature and have made much effort to learn about it, you've heard Lang's work somewhere along the way.

The following recording should strike most people dumb, at least for a few minutes. Lang made it some time back, in upstate New York along the margins of a peat bog. Taped at that transitional time when darkness gives way to light, it captures the dawn songsters heralding a new day, while creatures of the night sing their final night songs.

Hermit Thrushes are the indisputable stars of the show. Their haunting, ethereal melodies create a rich tapestry of sound so melodic it is hard to believe mere feathered creatures could create it. A pack of coyotes in the distance add eerie but somehow fitting ambience, as do the raucous hoots of a Barred Owl. Lesser songsters punctuate the sound track: soft chew-beks of a Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, the ornately jumbled complexities of an Ovenbird singing its dusk/dawn song, the nasal banjo-twangs of green frogs.

There's more, too. Have a good listen to one of the finest symphonies on earth, RIGHT HERE


Unknown said...

Wow, that recording IS epic. It's funny that you posted that because I just discovered his website like 2 days ago and bookmarked it after I went through a bunch of beautiful recordings : ) I love the sounds so much that I actually invested a chunk of change into a recorder and tried to make my became too much, I am already always lugging around about 20 pounds of photography equipment...I really appreciate the recordings though! it is so wonderful to be able to capture the beautiful choruses in nature (as well as images)...something more to take back to remember the magic of the experience.


Heather said...

Wow, Jim, thank you so much for sharing this. What an amazing recording. I had no idea that Lang even had a blog, so I also thank you for drawing that to my attention.

Jason Kessler said...

It's a crowded field, but this is my favorite bird call. I could listen to it for...well, the rest of my life.

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