8 Tracks — 101 minutes total
Inland Waters features eight tracks that characterize the variable sounds made by water along the shorelines of large inland lakes, especially Lake Ontario. Soundscapes from two other locations are also included, to create a “super-album” that is over 100 minutes in length!
The moods expressed range from calm and gentle to powerful and threatening. Some tracks feature rhythmic waves, while others are characterized by random splashing, swishing or gurgling. All are extremely spacious. If you’re interested in 3D immersion, you won’t be disappointed.
Note: For a supremely meditative listening experience, choose the “Looping the album” playback option and then enjoy the entire sequence as tracks transition smoothly from one into the other.
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NOTE: This album is also featured in Pure Nature 3D Audio, a FREE app for Apple mobile devices (iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.)
Late one August we explore the Lake Ontario shoreline shortly after dusk. The lake usually has lots of wave action, but on this occasion, the sea is calm. At first there is no wind, but periodically we feel a light breeze on our faces and hear the gentle rustle of tree leaves overhead.
Small waves wash-in more or less randomly, splashing and bubbling as they flow over rounded stones. Snowy tree crickets give pulsating chirps from nearby shrubs, while other crickets trill and chirp at higher pitches.
The soundscape is eminently soothing, a laid-back, rather low-key expression of the changeful voice of the lake.
August 29, 2014 at 10pm. Lake Ontario, Robert G. Wehle State Park, near Henderson Harbor, New York. Recorded by Lang Elliott.
Cypress Water Dance
In mid-June, we visit Lake Phelps, a 17,000 acre body of water which is situated in the vast swamplands of eastern North Carolina. In the afternoon, we follow a trail near the lake and soon discover a boardwalk that leads into the swamp forest at the water’s edge.
The soundscape is special indeed. Swells from the lake flow into shallows cluttered with bald-cypress trees, known for their drooping limbs and fluted trunks that flare-out at the base. The water burbles and gurgles as it flows over the broad flutes … a random churning that delights our ears.
Birds also sound off. We hear the high-pitched seet-seet-seet-seet of a lone prothonotary warbler and then spot the bright yellow bird, singing from a low limb in a cypress. A yellow-throated warbler chimes-in from the canopy.
What an engaging waterscape … all the slushing and slurping, augmented by avian songsters that make their homes along the swampy shore.
June 11, 1994 at 3pm. Lake Phelps, Pettigrew State Park, near Cresswell, North Carolina. Recorded by Lang Elliott.
One evening while walking the clifftop trail along Lake Ontario, we hear extremely low-pitched thumps or whomps, coming from quite a distance away. As we continue along the trail, the sounds get louder and finally we home-in on their source.
At an overlook with step-like ledges below, we are able to climb down almost to the water. To one side we discover a large, cave-like hollow at the base of the cliff. As each wave washes into the hollow, it crashes against the back wall to create a loud and thunderous whomp!
We sit on the ledge next to the hollow, close our eyes, and tune into the feeling of the soundscape in our bodies. What a pleasurable sensation … low-pitched vibrations that resonate deep within.
September 2, 2012 at 9pm. Lake Ontario, Robert G. Wehle State Park, near Henderson Harbor, New York. Recorded by Lang Elliott.
Lake Ontario Nightsong
It is early September. In search of new expressions of the Lake Ontario soundscape, we rise in the middle of the night. Crickets trill excitedly from shoreline grasses and shrubs. The sea is relatively calm, but there is a slight choppiness, and waves seem to wash-in randomly.
We are drawn to a section of the shoreline where we hear resonant, low-pitched sounds, as if water is splashing into a metal barrel. The source turns out to be a small hollowed-out area underneath a ledge.
The nighttime soundscape captivates us. The bright drone of the insect musicians. Water voices, irregular yet somehow rhythmic and balanced. Low pitches and high pitches, entangled, intertwined.
How lovely, this fleeting moment in time!
September 2, 2012 at 1am. Lake Ontario, Robert G. Wehle State Park, near Henderson Harbor, New York. Recorded by Lang Elliott.
During a gray day in the middle of the winter, we visit a natural area bordering Lake Ontario. Nearly two feet of snow covers the ground. We position ourselves about a fifty feet from the lake, sitting comfortably on a log near a small stream.
Waves arrive at the shoreline at an angle, their crashes progressing along the shore from one direction to the other, for a pleasing spatial effect. At times, we notice the subtle gurgles of the stream, but only during the quieter intervals between waves.
We brave the cold for nearly an hour, entranced by the winter scene and the cleansing quality of this highly rhythmic soundscape.
January 21, 2018 at 10am. Lake Ontario, Sterling Nature Center, near Sterling, New York. Recorded by Lang Elliott.
On the first day of September, a huge storm passes over Lake Ontario, with heavy rain and wind. By dusk, the storm has moved on, but there is still a stiff breeze and large waves continue to buffet the shoreline.
To protect ourselves from the wind, we stand behind a thick patch of cedars a short distance from the top of a cliff. This mellows the voice of the raging sea, somewhat dampening and smoothing the explosive low-frequency sounds of the pounding waves.
We are completely in awe of this turbulent expression of the lake, so wild, majestic and untamed.
September 1, 2016 at 10pm. Lake Ontario, Robert G. Wehle State Park, near Henderson Harbor, New York. Recorded by Lang Elliott.
While exploring Lake Ontario in dead of winter, we visit Fairhaven Beach, hoping to find a unique sound-experience. As we approach the lake, we are surprised to discover that free-floating ice-chunks have accumulated here, reaching far out into the lake. Some chunks are quite large, but there are also smaller fragments, along with ice balls and slush, all of which move slowly up-and-down as foot-high swells wash-in toward the shore.
The sound is captivating … sizzling swishes and rustling sloshes made as chunks slide against one another, enlivened by the periodic loud splashes of water when large wakes collide with the icy edge of the lake.
January 21, 2018 at 2pm. Lake Ontario, Fair Haven Beach State Park, near Fair Haven, New York. Recorded by Lang Elliott.
Hart Mountain Lake
During a trip to Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge, we stop of Hart Lake, a huge 7300 acre natural lake basin that borders the edge of the refuge. There is a light breeze, and small waves are cresting throughout much the lake.
We sit in the grass next to a rocky bank. A lone cricket chirps and western meadowlarks sing. The waves are choppy and hit the shoreline irregularly. We close our eyes and soon become absorbed in the splashing, gurgling and plunking of the water as it washes against the sharp-edged rocks.
June 14, 2017 at 4pm. Hart Lake, next to Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge, near Plush, Oregon. Recorded by Lang Elliott.