Gentle gurgling of a mountain brook on New Year’s Day. 8am, 1 January 2017, Shindagin Hollow near Brooktondale, New York.
Click Here for direct link to MP3.
Happy New Year! I hope you had a wonderful holiday and that 2017 will break all records in terms of your personal health, productivity, creativity, inner wisdom and peace!
I haven’t been blogging lately, but I sure have been busy, primarily in preparation for a MAJOR RECORDING EXPEDITION that will last 5-6 months and begin at the end of February. I will travel to points westward and record soundscapes at dozens of new locations, homing-in on exceptional wild areas in the following regions:
You may be delighted to know that I am making a firm commitment to SHARE THE RESULTS LIKE CRAZY by chiming-in once or twice a week and posting fresh new recordings, videos, photos and stories in several different ways, including:
And that’s not all … I will also post recordings to my forthcoming online SOUNDSCAPE MAP, which will allow you to visually track my travels and access recordings directly from the map! I’ve already produced a Map Prototype and would love to have your feedback. Note that there’s only one sample recording posted (from North Dakota), but I’m curious if the map works for you (displays correctly) and what you think of the idea.
YOU MAY WONDER HOW I INTEND TO PAY FOR MY TRIP. Well, mostly out of my own pocket, but I sure hope that I can get additional support from those of you who benefit from my work. With this in mind, I’ve set up a Patreon Page, where fans can donate small (or large!) amounts of money on a monthly basis, to help keep me exploring and sharing. Please check it out and make a donation if you like what I do and want me to continue in my efforts to share the “Music of Nature” far and wide! Below is my Patreon “video selfie” which I produced earlier today (don’t forget to turn off the featured audio recording before playing the video):
Well, what’ya think? Do I come across as a complete idiot? Or do you think I did a pretty good job of producing the video? It’s really quite difficult to stand there and talk into a lens, without forgetting what you intend to say (in fact, I did forget a time or two).
Thanks for sharing, Lang. I just watched your video selfie. I hope you can garner enough financial support to continue your work effectively. All the best.
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Good frog calls! Happly to support! Keep up the good work! Keep afloat!
Salwag: Glad you liked my frog imitations! I at least wanted to elicit a laugh or two.
I really liked your video. It brought tears to my eyes and bucks to your campaign. Carry on!
Regarding a sound map, I wish for an archive that we could all contribute to.
Thanks Dan. Happy to make you cry! : >) I think a group sound map is quite possible and I’ve been considering doing that as part of my (currently sleeping) non-profit effort. We should talk about that, perhaps at a meet-up sometime during my forthcoming journey? Possibly a project to kick off a year from now? If everyone posted on SoundCloud, there are ways to input new markers via CSV files that would include GPS locations, plus the information and SoundCloud file that appears in the info box. In other words, contributors would create upload their own recordings and create… Read more »
dear Lang Elliott, at first I need told you happy new year I hope to you good year, good health, to know there is somebody live in so hard place in world listen to you and like your work, it is make me feel calm. you have amazing and beautiful soul ,thank you so much
You’ re welcome Ahmed. Where do you live?
land of the oldest civilization Mesopotamia IRAQ
Happy New Year, Lang! Love what you are doing and especially like the idea of your new sound map. I immediately went to the N Dak site and just immersed myself in the raucous sounds of spring in a wetland. So nice on a cloudy, gloomy Ithaca January day! Hope your adventure west is hugely successful! Looks like you have quite a network of avid fans watching your every move and helping you find the best places to camp, record, etc.
have a super trip!
Thank you Lynn. I too am quite excited about the Sound Map and can’t wait to launch it officially shortly after I begin my journey (with recordings from the Louisiana coastal marshes … then Texas Hill Country … then … then … then).
Lang, great to see you and hear that your beautiful, narrative voice has recovered to its magical timbre. And you lucky, dude, you have hair! You absence over the last few weeks has been evident, so it was gratifying to see you reappear for the New Year! Godspeed with your great work, old friend. Will support the work as I can.
Yo Steven! So good to hear from you! If I pass anywhere close during my trip, I’ll be sure to pay you a visit. Please send me an email and let me know what you’re up to (you have my email, right?).
How pleasant the sound of that brook is and the video is beautiful! Thank you for sharing… : ) ‘Looking forward to more!
sweet sound of natural new year !!!! love it…wish I were there and wish I could put this recording of the calm sound on over and over again as I fall asleep each and every night….beautiful….and I can feel the coolness of the water as it falls over the rocks and pebbles etc. Sweeeeeeet…..nice job, keep up the good work…look forward to your next email of sounds and videos too !! congrats on cancer survival, I too am a cancer survivor a different type though. I also had surgery earlier in life on cervical discs and they went through the… Read more »
Gail: Thanks for you comment. As you may have guessed, my throat cancer treatment has pretty much eliminated my singing voice, which was pretty decent. But I’m okay with that. At least I can speak. There are still so many blessings to be grateful for.
glad to hear about your travels coming up. I think I earlier mentioned my favorite camping site on the Olympic Peninsula, Erickson Beach on Lake Ozetter, a boat in only lovely sand beach camp site with access to the woods and the oceans nearby. My next favorite spot is Arizona sonoran desert on the Papago Reservation near where I grew up. The local mountains are like Island Oases for birds etc and Kitt Peak is a beautiful spot. You may already know about Mike Olbinski musical video of thunderstorms on the Arizona desert ‘Monsoon’ a time lapse video. Good luck… Read more »
Thanks Mark. I just checked out Kitt Peak in Arizona. I also tried finding Erickson Beach … is it one and the same as Erickson’s Bay Campground, which has a very nice-looking marshy inlet nearby?
I’ll have an inflatable kayak, so I could potentially paddle over there and camp for the night. But it looks to be about 3 miles of boating the campground, maybe too long a distance for my “angler’s” kayak? Maybe I could hire someone to motorboat me down there?
Oh I forgot to add my take on whether your video should be edited. I do think the impact of your message would have more effect for new people that may be viewing if was a bit shorter. Maybe the frog and hat portions (though I enjoyed the intimacy myself) could be left out. I think without history of building a relationship through time in videos of you some of us have been so fortunate to see that it may be less meaningful for a person who is familiar with your work but new to you personally. I showed your… Read more »
Deena: Yep … I will no doubt re-do it sometime soon. It’s definitely too long and I also don’t like the part where I’m reading my notes. I’ll await more comments and suggestions before doing a retake. One question though. Do you think I should remove my hat altogether and just let folks enjoy my white mop of hair? Or maybe get a haircut first? Seriously … should I look more groomed and trim or is the wild look more appropriate here?
I think shooting outside is definitely the way to go & that keeping warm is important so that you continue to be relaxed when you speak .. keep the hat! Wild is good in my books .. you are best presented as who you truly are .. a man of nature that blends into wherever he is to capture all the wonders revealed. Sincerity breaks through appearance and shadows it. When I hear and see someone I can sense a business approach sometimes fraught with ego and self importance. None of that comes through in the video .. if anything… Read more »
Wow … now I feel that maybe it’s best not to fiddle with it. Retakes are always fraught with problems.
I like the video just the way it is…wouldn’t change a thing…it’s real and personal….perhaps the future video would be less personal and more of nature sounds…but for the new year first video I think it’s nice to get to know you more personally and getting to know you too!!! I also love the attitude you have about the many blessings you count at age 68 or for any age really, such as: having hair and the new hat, and survival of cancer, and extending your sounds to video, etc. It’s all GOOD !!! God bless you, gail
thank you … thank you!
Your snowy video was perfect. Don’t change a thing. The brown hat looks fluffier; more volume. The blue hat matched your clothes. Either way, wear a hat when you are out in the cold! I know you won’t because my 69-year-old husband won’t wear a hat unless I put it on for him, almost. Your wild look/hair seemed natural and befitting the occasion. You are a natural. Wear a hat in the snow and cold. Stay well.
A message from wild-haired Lang: Thank you Gena!
Yes, let your hair run wild and free! Some people aren’t as lucky as you. 😉
I can truthfully say that your video was as intimate and sincere as only a true friend’s can be .. and as silly as that may sound it’s because some of my oldest and closest friends I communicate with only virtually. I live a fairly hermit like existence by my own choosing fulfilled by some of my time spent with my best friend (my husband Doug). All my other friends live else where. I love living in the hills close to the lake here in Saskatchewan and I have really enjoyed your recordings and look forward to your new expedition… Read more »
Thank you so much Deena for your kind comment … and also for your contribution! So you live on a lake in Saskatchewan? Where might that be? I absolutely plan to visit the prairie pothole region in late spring or early summer, and maybe even Grasslands NP along the southern edge of your province. I would love to find a spot where I can record a prairie grassland soundscape that includes both Baird’s Sparrow and Sprague’s Pipit, heard together in the same recording.
We live in Kinookimaw (there is a webpage with info & history of the area online) which is near Regina Beach .. about a half hour from Regina. We are a couple of minutes walk downhill to the shore of Long Lake which is fairly developed unfortunately but we have a tiny area that is more natural. Also the 7 First Nation bands land that they lease to this small community is surrounded by an area that is not developed (but there are trails) hills and shore line of lake and sheltered bay. Sound Saskatchewan carries unlike any other I’ve… Read more »
Last Mountain Lake National Wildlife Area (at the north end of the lake) looks very interesting. I’m not at all sure I’ll make it as far north as Regina, but I’ll be sure to get in touch if I do. I’ll also check out Trevor’s website. My friend Bob McGuire got good pipit recordings over near Morse and he went to that location on the advice of someone up your way … and I’ll bet it’s Trevor! I’ll check to see.
Your voice sounded fine and, if I were you, I’d seriously entertain Pat Nelson’s hat suggestion. Otherwise, stick with the brown. We’ll happily support your work, even tho you’ll be leaving us for an awfully long time! Donation forthcoming.
: >) Pat’s suggestion is to wear no hat at all: “Personally, I think the head covering Mother Nature adorned you with looks best of all.” Is that what you’re suggesting? I only wore a hat because it was danged cold out there. Also … I could easily scrap the hat-thing at the end, if that seems best. What’s think?
Yes, it is very good to have music of nature again. Thanks so much for sharing! Things are pretty lively here, though, because we’re in the South (Southeast Texas) and we got 108 species of bird over a 2 days period – Christmas Eve, through Christmas day. We took photos (none of them fancy, just for records, of close to 100 of them. The highlight was Monk Parakeets at the Texas City Dyke. They were just “hanging out” with the bronze headed cowbirds and Starlings. 😀 If you get close to Southeast Texas in late February, please let us know.… Read more »
Sara: We (meaning me and my friend Beth) may zoom by Houston mid-day around March 1st, on our way from coastal Louisiana to the Texas Hill Country (Lost Maples Natural Area). I’ll put in a good word to the Bobolinks, but please realize I’m shouting from upstate NY in the middle of the winter, so I doubt any of them will hear me. Do they by chance use e-mail?
So good to receive a new e-mail from you! I’ve missed you and the “music of nature” over the last several weeks. Whenever, I hear a birdsong, squirrel squeak, or frog croak, I try to identify it; wondering what you’d add to my education. Thanks for sharing your story and quest. The muffled snow and “wavelets” on this video are appreciated. We have rain today in Georgia. I wish you the best and Happy New Year!
Gena: Rain today in Georgia? Hmmm … is it perhaps warm enough to get some frogs sounding off? I can’t wait to get down to the Louisiana coast in late February. Spring should be underway by then in the coastal marshes. About twenty years ago, I visited Sabine National Wildlife Refuge right at the beginning of March and there was a lot going on then. So I’m keeping my finger’s crossed.
Hi, Lang, I’m not sure I posted this correctly the first time, so if this is a duplicate, please delete it! — BTW, I made my comment about the canyon wren before I read your mention of it! I’m excited about your upcoming trip and the sights and sounds you will encounter and capture. (I will especially be waiting for the canyon wren!) I’m glad you are feeling well after your cancer encounter – and your voice sounds just fine! As for the hat, I was hoping for a multicolored, handknit one with jester points flopping off the top, but… Read more »
Thanks for your comments Pat. I agree that my video is too long and I may shorten it down the road. But that was about all I could pull off on New Year’s Day. I wonder if others recommend me shortening it, and I’d be grateful for advice on which section(s) I should leave out.
Lang, as much as I like your natural hair unfettered, I would be remiss not to say I also advocate hats — not just for warmth, but also as protection from sun damage in any season. As for what to not include in the video, I have not yet taken time to listen to it again. I was not so much thinking about removing any real content, but perhaps reducing some of the chit-chat or dithering so that people don’t get impatient. (I will confess to being a technical writer/editor, so am used to honing in on the important content… Read more »
How exciting! Your Half Year Recording Odyssey sounds wonderful. I am going to check out your Patreon page after writing this comment to see about supporting your effort (and thereby supporting my own supply of the wonder of nature’s soundscapes by way of YOU and your spot-on sensibilities!) Unfortunately I have not been granted a large budget form Lady Fortune but I would like to share some with you to enjoy your recordings. They really have enriched my depth and joy of experiencing the natural world these past 9 months since I found your site while searching for a recording… Read more »
Thank you Susan! I am sure to run into thrushes, especially Hermit Thrushes and Swainson’s Thrushes in the high mountains and Varied Thrushes in the Northwest. Also thrush cousins, such as Mountain Bluebirds and Townsend’s Solitaires. The Mountain Bluebird has a great aerial flight song given at dawn … sounds much like the flight song of the Purple Martin. I would love to get that in a soundscape. Really, really looking forward to Canyon Wrens! As you no doubt have gathered, I’m very, very excited about this adventure, my longest in a number of years.
Dear Lang, Thanks for your courage asking for bucks! I’ll bring some to your door in a week. Just did the downtown Ithaca bird count – very quiet except for a lot of crows. Leora likes talking about “crow poop on Gamma Ruf’s car.” Good luck with the fund raising!
Thanks Ruth. Hopefully I’ll get some support. Did Christmas Bird Count today with my friend Beth. Got 15 species. Not bad considering we spent all our time in the woods and not at bird feeders.
Sounds like our count – got 16 species only. Lots of bird feeders with nary a feathered dinosaur at them.
Hmmm … usually feeders produce a number of sighting. But I guess not today! Our biggest problem was that we were very close to Rt.13 South, so the car noise made it very difficult to hear anything.