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New sounds by Michael Upton

Michael is a friend of mine who lives up the road and (in my view at least) is New Zealand’s leading electronica practitioner. He’s recorded all over the place, and has generously donated several sounds to the cause.

Contributions

Lake Tarawera dam

This recording features NZ birdlife both native and introduced recorded at Lake Tarawera. Intriguingly, in the background there’s occasionally something that sounds like a sliding door opening and closing.

Cadiz Cathedral parts 1 and 2

Oddly the CM collection already features a recording of Cadiz Cathedral from 2011, when the cathedral was under renovation and I captured the sound of a power drill reverberating majestically. This more intimate recording (“curated” into two separate segments for CM) features an excellent tight echo from an alcove or chapel or crypt or some other chamber.

Rissington Dam

This recording features some nice interplay between avian and amphibian tetrapods.

Taken from the start of the same source recording, here’s the sound of Michael’s jandals thakking against his heels as he wanders away from the recorder. I guess you can hear this compelling rubber percussion anywhere thong footwear is sold, but it’s an iconic kiwi sound, definitely up there in the Kiwiana pantheon alongside such exotic articles as buzzy bees and hokey pokey ice cream, mother fuckers!

Fireworks in Karori parts 1 and 2

This Guy Fawke’s night recording naturally features a (literally) sparkling pyrotechnic performance, but also provides a crepuscular suburban soundscape. There’s even some charming dialogue from some authentic kiwi munters. This recording has it all!

Train and train station (Ella, Sri Lanka)

Again I’ve taken two fragments from a single recording. The first features the ambience of a Sri Lankan train station, while the second contains a train passing by. The aural climax is a flash of doppler flange at the moment the engine passes. Magic!

Car wash, Levin

What this recording shows most keenly is that if you listen to the sounds of a car wash when you’re not actually in the car as it is being washed, they sound remarkably like a granular synthesis-driven piece of sound art.

And that concludes Michael’s contributions.

As we kiwis say, thanks Moykull!

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