170531 Waves to Plane - matthew piers robertson • photography writing creative toronto

A video that's about three and a half minutes long and presented entirely for the audio track. The sound – and its single image – was recorded at the Leslie Street Spit earlier this month, and this might be one of my favourite field recordings. Good headphones or proper speakers will bring out its character the best.

The audio-only file is also on Soundcloud, but I like sending out soundcloud links about as much as linkedin invites. 

The sound starts with us on a cobble beach of brick and ceramic, close to the artificial stones rattling and chiming as the waves roll across. From there we step back and find a slightly quieter section where the waves meet gently sloped concrete slabs, and about when we first hear the birds we take another step back for a slightly more expansive sound field. 

Then the birds start again, perhaps with the hooting of an owl – all I know is that, growing up in the city, I've never heard it before. We're away from the rough edge of the lake now, near a wetland with all of its varied activities.

Gradually we hear the city reimpose itself. A beat from a party carries across, and a passenger plane comes in to land at the island airport. The sounds from the wetlands are noticeably subdued while the plane is overhead; whether they are drowned out or pause to avoid the competition isn't a question I can answer.


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