Baldy Mountain Landscape  by Lang ElliottThree Swainson’s Thrushes singing in Subalpine Fir forest. 7:20am, 28 June 2017, near Baldy Mountain to the east of Oliver, B.C. in the Okanagon Valley Region.

As most of you know, I gathered soundscapes throughout the American West last spring and summer. Toward the end of my trip, I traveled as far north as British Columbia, homing-in on the Okanagon Valley region. Recording was difficult due to breezy weather, but there was one calm morning and I managed to snag an excellent binaural soundscape featuring Swainson’s Thrushes singing in Subalpine Fir (Abies lasiocarpa) in the mountains to the east of Oliver, B.C.

NOTE: Please listen over headphones for the most realistic 3D listening experience.

This delicious soundscape features the songs of three thrushes, set against the rush of a distant brook to the left and the intimate gurgling of a much smaller stream to the right. Toward the end of the recording (6:50), a Mule Deer fawn gives a series of six nasal cries while moving through the forest (at least I think these are the calls of a deer fawn; let me know if you disagree).

The Swainson’s Thrush (perhaps more appropriately referred to as the “Olive-backed Thrush”) has a beautiful, flute-like song that I believe is ever-bit-as-musical as the songs of its cousins, the Hermit Thrush and Wood Thrush. I would describe it as an upward spiral of ethereal, flutey notes … a uplifting and heavenly melody that is accentuated by the soothing sounds of mountain brooks.

What’s nice about this binaural soundscape is it’s spatial fullness … with the three thrushes sounding off from different distances and directions, and the water sounds adding even more width and depth to the sound-stage. This was intentional … I placed my microphone carefully to balance the water sounds and minimize the loudness of the nearby thrush. I’m quite pleased with the resulting balance, though I might be tempted to push I should dampen the loud thrush bit.

Please also let me know what you think of this soundscape. Should I add it to my growing collection of recordings that are suitable for relaxation and meditation? I think I should, but I’d like your approval first.

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