Sounds From The Undergrowth - A Taster

Life in the rainforest, from a human perspective, can be quite disorientating. From the chirps of bird calls to the deafening chorus of crickets and the seemingly endless choir of frog songs, together all these sounds ensure that there is never any peace in the jungle. Perhaps the only fleeting moments of silence are the ones following a sudden end to a huge downfall, but even then, the cacophony of noises quickly resumes. With this bombardment of sounds it's very easy to overlook the more subtle noises that make up the bustling world under your feet. I am talking about the sounds from the undergrowth: the hundreds of crawling beetles, the fluttering of butterflies and the tireless march of the ants, to name just a few. Each have their methods of communication and some are audible to our ears if we just stop pay attention and listen. So that is what we did, with the aid of contact and omni-directional microphones to boost those tiny sound waves.

Stripping back the noise to its simplest sound, we attached contact microphones to various size and types of leaves and recorded raindrops hitting them. Then we collected all these drumbeat-like sounds and gave them to our friend and collaborator Alex (Phat Acrobat), who pitched the sounds slightly and created this funky rhythm to which we have built our video.

The result, is the following:

As Nick says, this is just one spice, but there is a bag of mixed spices waiting to be sorted, chopped up and combined in just the right way to give one hell of a curry. The translation of which is, be patient because we are working on a much bigger number of sounds and images to bring you a better, longer, funkier version of this and shed light on those sounds often trampled under foot.

Nick & Greta, Oropendola Productions