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Listening to art. Playing with audio. Sounding out technology. Composing in code. Rewinding the soundscape.

The White Noise of Summer

Leslie Rollins in the field

This is not an industrial variant on synthesized white noise. It is not a composite of fractured random sonic particulate across the audio spectrum. Well, it is, but it isn’t synthesized; it isn’t the result of software or hardware. This crunch, this rumpled-paper sonority, this harsh, brush-like texture — it is a simple field recording. The subject of the microphone is the interaction of wind and grass. Writes Leslie Rollins, of Berrien Springs, Michigan, in a brief accompanying note:

A recording of wind moving the tall, brittle grasses which occupy the dividing line between the sandy shore and the beginning of dune elevation in Warren Dunes State Park. It was a blustery day with constant wind rustling the stalks. I was able to wedge the two contact microphones at the base of two clumps and they held them, almost like a clothes pin, while the wind whipped the tops. I was surprised how sharp and pointy the drier stems were as they jabbed me while I got the microphones in place.

Perhaps most remarkable is the sheer length, the uninterrupted consistency.


Track originally posted at More from Rollins/337is at

By Marc Weidenbaum

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