The wires themselves are multifaceted and the often discussed aeolian tones are one of many interesting aspects. The Wires are also nature’s microphone, a true environmental sonification. Much animal life intereacts with them e.g. insects (spiders, mozzies), birds and cows have all had a play too!
The rainfall recordings made at WIRED Lab are also very beautiful. Water dampens the vibrations of the wire. Water and morning dew will generally stop them from singing or vibrating. However, in light or short patches of rain the vibrations may not be completely dampened. The sound of the rain drops hitting the wires can be heard at varying amplitude levels. On the occasions when a drop hits a piezo pickup a loud click is generated. the interaction of water with the earth cable crocodile clip can produce dramatic changes of bass/earth hum amplitude.
Wind is a notoriously difficult phenomena to record with microphones. Another unique aspect of The Wires is the ability for the wire system to convey the sound of the wind. On a number of recordings made at WIRED Lab, and of course on alan’s earlier recordings, it is remarkable how well the sound of the wind is conveyed through the wires to the pickups. A mix of environmental phenomena can be heard in this short “Weather Mix” a five minute weather sounds mix from the Wedding Wires and the Gully Wire. This recording includes a multi-layered mix of natural weather pattern sonifications : rising and falling wind patterns, rain storms (heard as cracks and pops when water strikes the pickup, and as zaps/pings/crackles as the rain strikes the wire) and wire resonance tones induced by the wind.
WIRED Lab - Weather Mix (2009)
Another aspect we aim to investigate in the future is the reception and recording of ionospheric whistler waves, which are an interesting physical phenomena. See for example :
The Solar-Terrestrial Environment.
By John Keith Hargreaves
Stephen P. McGreevy’s ground-based ELF-VLF audio recordings