8 Tracks — 100 minutes total
Of all the sounds of nature, the changeable voices of the wind are among the most atmospheric and immersive. Whooshing, hissing, blowing, flowing, over and around us, wind washes thoughts from our minds and helps calm us within.
Wind Songs features eight tracks with over 100-minutes of combined sound. Recordings have been chosen for their wide sound-stages. Some tracks are augmented by stream gurgle, lakeshore waves, bird or insect sounds. All are alive and moving, supremely relaxing.
Note: Play tracks at low volume for relaxed meditation; raise the volume if you want a more engaging and powerful listening experience.
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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.)
In early February, a sudden snowstorm drops two feet of snow, followed by high winds with powerful gusts. We head into the hills and soon find ourselves in the middle of a spruce stand, looking up at the wildly swaying limbs. A small stream trickles nearby, the sound of the water largely muffled by the wind and snow.
The sights and sounds are breathtaking … the snow blanketing the boughs of large spruce and the wind rushing and roaring down the hillside in huge rumbling waves. At times we are concerned by the intensity, wondering if a tree might fall. But we hold our ground and relax, focusing our attention on the unbridled power of this glorious elemental sound event.
February 2, 2018 at 4pm. Shindagin State Forest, near Brooktondale, New York. Recorded by Lang Elliott.
Cattail Wind Dance
One of our favorite destinations is Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in southeastern Oregon. On a windy evening in mid-June, we sit at the edge of a huge cattail marsh. The wind bends and buffets the sword-like leaves, which make swishing sounds as they rub against one another.
Bird sounds are sparse, but we are delighted by the chattery songs of a marsh wren and the sudden grunts of a Virginia rail. We also hear the songs of a red-winged blackbird, song sparrow, and common yellowthroat.
We smile and embrace this unique soundscape. So refreshing, the feeling of the wind blowing hard against our faces. So entrancing, the cattails dancing wildly before us.
June 17, 2017 at 8pm. Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, near Frenchglen, Oregon. Recorded by Lang Elliott.
Wind Over the Ridge
While exploring the mountains of Virginia, we spend the night at Massey Gap in the Grayson Highlands. Although calm at dusk, the wind picks up during the night and by dawn and stiff breeze blows over the ridge.
We walk across an open, grassy meadow, hunkering down at the base of a huge boulder. At first there are no bird sounds, but then we hear the throaty caws of several crows, and see them perched in a distant grove. Soon a catbird begins singing, from dense shrubs at the edge of the boulder. And then a crow flies our way, fighting its way through the wind.
We close our eyes and dream of taking flight ourselves, launching into the wind and riding it for miles, up and over the mountain range and into the valley far below. But suddenly we’re shaken awake by an eastern towhee, his vibrant drink-your-tea, a clear invitation to return to the here and now.
May 28, 2000 at 6:30pm. Massey Gap, Grayson Highlands State Park, Virginia. Recorded by Lang Elliott.
Wind in the Hemlocks
It is early May in Texas Hollow, in the rolling hills near where we live. We stand at the edge of the boggy pond in a grove of towering hemlock trees. Cool wind blows steadily through the canopy, gusting at times. Canada geese honk, one pair circling overhead.
The soundscape is all-encompassing, with wind reaching out and around the whole. Spring peepers call from the pond’s edge and various birds sound off … red-winged blackbird, common yellowthroat, song sparrow and dark-eyed junco. At one point, briefly, we hear the nasal notes of a wood duck.
The ground beneath our feet is spongy, the cool air invigorating. Spring, not yet fully formed, will soon explode in all its glory. We celebrate this special moment in time.
May 8, 2016 at 6am. Texas Hollow State Forest, near Burdett, New York. Recorded by Lang Elliott.
Cicadas, Wind & Waves
In late summer, we spend several days along the shore of Lake Ontario, relaxing and enjoying the different moods of the lake. One warm and breezy afternoon, we walk a trail at the edge of the lake and come upon a grassy meadow with scattered cedars.
Cicadas buzz and crickets trill from the treetops. Waves splash against the shoreline in the background. Wind blows all around. Resting in the shade of a large cedar, we fall into a trance, half asleep and half awake, thoroughly awash in this wondrous elixir of sound.
August 25, 2016 at 3pm. Robert G. Wehle State Park, near Henderson Harbor, New York. Recorded by Lang Elliott.
On a cold and windy night in October, we travel to a remote forested area to immerse ourselves in primal sound. The wind, strong and gusting, passes through the forest in rumbling waves. A few leaves are still left on the trees, and at times we hear soft snaps and crackles as they are blown loose and drop to the ground.
There are no insects singing, nothing but cold hard wind blowing. The landscape is bleak. Autumn has come to an end. We feel a hint of sadness and are humbled and awed by winter’s gripping voice so loud and clear.
October 23, 2017 at 11pm. Shindagin State Forest, near Brooktondale, New York. Recorded by Lang Elliott.
In mid-May, we spend the night camping near Clingmans Dome (6643 feet), the highest mountain in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. At dawn, strong winds blows over the mountaintop. We saunter along a trail through dense spruce forest, listening for birds.
In a small clearing where trees have blown down, we encounter a winter wren, singing its excited silvery song from a perch on a dead limb. As the wind settles, a junco trills and we hear the sweet whistles of a black-capped chickadee. Several crows soon show up, calling loudly, and we hear scratching sounds made by a red squirrel, pawing at a tree trunk. Next, a catbird joins the orchestra. The wind picks up again and minutes later a black-throated blue warbler lands nearby, his rising, buzzy zhree-zhree-zhree thrilling our ears.
Such an interesting and informative soundscape, featuring a well-rounded mix of birds found at high altitudes in the southern Appalachians. Being avid birders, we are grateful to behold this mountain-top symphony of sound.
May 18, 2000 at 7am. Spruce Trail near Clingmans Dome, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, near Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Recorded by Lang Elliott.
In early March, on a dark cold night, we head to the forest to experience the sound of wind blowing steadily across a steep hillside. We are impressed by the low frequency rumble that we feel deep in our bodies … a constant humming drone that provides a backdrop for the shifting, changing wind.
In the understory, small beech trees still hold dry, stiffened leaves. Gusts of wind cause the leaves to vibrate and shake against one another, giving rise to a variety of high-pitched snaps, clicks and brushing sounds.
We know that spring is in the making, but this solemn night song chills our bones. Is this winter’s last breath, the icy season’s final refrain?
March 2, 2018 at 8pm. Shindagin State Forest, near Brooktondale, New York. Recorded by Lang Elliott.