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Recording Location: Whitehill, Nova Scotia
Album Length: 44.06 mins
High Quality Mp3 download
With this 2012 album release Mark has taken a leap from his traditional genre of Nature recording towards developing ‘found sound’ into an artistic expression of his interest in our own connection to a way of life that has all but died in rural Nova Scotia. As the last of the ‘Pioneers’ grand children pass on, we are left with unrecorded stories and disappearing buildings. Homestead is the audio ‘story’ of these places today.
Left To The Wind, is a track from the ‘Homestead’ work, to be released in Summer 2012, it is a collection of soundscapes and found sounds mixed into one track with accompanying tonal atmospheres and voice. Recorded on location in and around a 110 year old barn that now stands vacant near the artists home in Nova Scotia, Canada. This place and many like it hold a connection to the past, to those who came before us, through the soundscape found today in and around this old building we find meaning in the present.
Goldenrod comes from recordings of an old pasture in rural Nova Scotia, Canada, now grown up which is home to migrating Bobolink and American Goldfinches. As a thunderstorm moves across the Western horizon and with it a rain shower in late June, we hear the gentle song of the Bobolink, Song Sparrow and Goldfinch as they feed and call in the fields. Edited and mixed to relax and renew, this track combines natural recorded sound with ambient tones that evokes the tranquil timelessness of the summer.
Fair Oaks is an old Pioneer homestead that has long fallen in. All that remains today are the foundation of the original house, the orchard and vacant fields returning to forest. The ambiance of this place is quite special. It is high up on a hill and surrounded by forest on all sides, when the morning chorus is in full swing, there is an echo which seems to give a timeless quality to the soundscape. If you listen carefully you can hear the Church bell from the village just over a mile away. These sounds were all recorded at Fair Oaks on Sunday mornings, although now deserted I think you will agree that as this land returns to nature it is becoming full of life once again.
The Pasture, Old pastures are slowly swallowed by the encroaching forest and as the years go by they eventually make a return to woods. This field recording was made on the edge of an old pasture where a fence still stands. Recorded in two parts and mixed we hear the morning chorus in late March and underneath the drone of the wire fence as it ‘sings’ in the wind. ‘The pasture‘ is a symbol of what was but also the change in the landscape from nurture by the Homesteaders to a slow return to Nature.
Bills Car. For over 45 years there has been an old upturned car on a stone pile near one of the homesteads in this area. The car belonged to ‘Bill’. How the car got there was discovered after talking to my mid 70?s father in law who told me that Bill liked to race and one day crashed his car. Bill survived to tell the tale but the car was a wreck and was hauled down over the hill to the stone pile, where it has now sat for decades, slowly rusting away. These sounds tell the story of the car and of Bill, all recorded in, on or around his car during a snowy early spring morning, some 45 years after the incident.
April morning was recorded before and after sunrise over a 3 hour period on the very edge of the farmland but within sight of the old homestead here in Whitehill, Nova Scotia. This place was once pasture and is now a lovely wetland where wild Iris bloom each summer, surrounded by White Spruce and Alders. It is also the source for the small stream that flows through an old growth forest over a mile away. The wetland has a rich soundscape, attracting many birds. What you hear is the morning chorus with added guitar, it is a simple track which evokes joy and a lightness in the heart.