SUTTON PROJECT

This set is the follow-up to The Ouse Washes Project.
All the sounds were recorded in or around the village of Sutton-in-the-Isle, Cambridgeshire.

The difference between The Sutton Project and The Ouse Washes Project is that not all the recordings here were made with conventional microphones. A number of them employ alternative, often self-made, recording methods, including contact microphones, hydrophones, ultrasonic and electro-magnetic induction pickups, and a binaural dummy head microphone.

In this way, aspects of the Sutton soundscape not immediately apparent to the human ear are revealed.

On Discs 1 – 3 the only post-recording effects used are the occasional high and low pass filter; on Disc 4 other, more dramatic, effects are used, as described.

This project includes all the tracks released on the album Ambient XI: from The Sutton Project (FORG 31, 2020).


Disc One

The pieces on this disc each illustrate a single location or area of the village of Sutton-in-the-Isle, now in Cambridgeshire, although the recordings within each one were made at different times and in different ways. No effects were applied to the recordings, except where specifically indicated.

1. Station Road [10:02]
Although this piece is entitled ‘Station Road’, the recordings come from Station Road (for the cricket and horses); in (literally) and around local site of interest Stanker’s Pond; the site of the old railway station; and (for the larks) in the fields between Sutton and Haddenham.

Locations: The old station and surrounding fields, 4.5.16, 6.5.16; Stanker’s Pond, 4.5.16, 6.5.16 & 26.8.19; Station Road, 11.11.18 & 25.11.18; The Cricket Field, 5.8.17
Microphones: Electret microphones and preamp by Ian Brady; Self-built binaural dummy head microphone; Self-adapted Roland WPM-10 WearPro earbud microphones; Self-built piezo-element hydrophones; Self-built preamps.
Recorder: Marantz PMD660.
Editing applications: Audacity and Apple Logic Express on Apple MacBook and MacBook Pro.

2. St Andrew’s [10:40]
This piece is based on recordings made in the High Street, and in and around St Andrew’s Church.

Locations: High Street 19.4.17, 11.11.18, 26.8.19, 28.11.19; St Andrew’s churchyard 19.4.17
Microphones: Electret microphones and preamp by Ian Brady.
Recorder: Marantz PMD660.
Microphone and recorder: Zoom IQ6 and iPhone SE.
Editing applications: Audacity and Apple Logic Express on Apple MacBook and MacBook Pro.

3. One Day In Summer [10:04]
This piece was not really recorded on one day, but represents events that could have occurred on a single summer’s day, beginning with the dawn chorus; a morning spent shopping, walking in the High Street and visiting an event in the church; an afternoon at ‘Picnic in the Park’, and fireworks in the evening.

Locations: High Street & St. Andrew’s Church 8.5.16 & 26.819; The Brook & The Recreation Ground 31.8.19
Microphones: Electret microphones and preamp by Ian Brady; Self-adapted Roland earbud microphones; Self-built preamps.
Recorder: Marantz PMD660.
Editing applications: Audacity and Apple Logic Express on Apple MacBook and MacBook Pro.

4. Simultaneous Sutton Gault [10:38]
This piece is so-called because the main part of it consists of simultaneous recordings made with an iPhone and an ultrasonic ‘bat detector’ recorder, which picks up ultrasonic sounds and lowers them to a frequency within our hearing range. These two recordings are played at the same time, with only the balance between the two adjusted during the piece. Either side of this are recordings of running water - the road was flooded on the two days I recorded there - a helicopter observing the floods or the recent works on the flood banks, and general ambience.

Locations: Sutton Gault, 19.11.19 & 28.11.19
Microphone: Ultrasonic recorder assembled from Franzis Bat Detector Kit with self-built preamp.
Recorder: Marantz PMD660.
Microphone and recorder: Zoom IQ6 and iPhone SE.
Editing applications: Audacity and Apple Logic Express on Apple MacBook and MacBook Pro.

5. Sunny Sutton Gault [10.05]
Although the recordings which go to make up this track weren’t recorded on the same day, one thing these days had in common was that they were all sunny, hence the title of the finished piece. Quite a few different recording methods are used; in this case the ultrasonic recorder was used with an aerial enabling the radio to be picked up when brought near wires running down a telegraph pole.

Locations: Sutton Gault, 2.7.18, 22.7.18, 26.7.18 & 28.11.19
Microphones: Electret microphones and preamp by Ian Brady; Self-built piezo-element contact microphones; Self-built piezo-element hydrophones; Ultrasonic recorder; Self-built electro-magnetic induction pickup device; all with self-built preamps.
Recorder: Marantz PMD660.
Editing applications: Audacity and Apple Logic Express on Apple MacBook and MacBook Pro. Low-pass filter (steep slope, c.2.5kHz) applied to the hydrophone clips to remove some high pitched noise.

You can listen to Disc 1 of The Sutton Project here


Disc Two

The three pieces on this disc are each of a single time and a single place in Sutton High Street, edited down to about 20 minutes from single continuous recordings of between 90 and 180 minutes. No effects were applied to the recordings, except where specifically indicated.

Microphones: Electret microphones and preamp by Ian Brady
Recorder: Marantz PMD660
Editing application: Audacity on Apple MacBook Pro

1. Saturday Morning [20:52]
Original recording runs from 4.30am to 7.30am on 8.4.17

2. Sunday Afternoon [19:13]
Original recording runs from 12pm to 2.30pm on 12.4.20

3. Friday Afternoon [20:21]
Original recording runs from 4pm to 5.30pm on 7.4.17. High-pass filter (shallow slope, 200Hz) applied throughout to remove low-frequency rumble from traffic.

You can listen to Disc 2 of The Sutton Project here


Disc Three

Each of these pieces includes recordings made at different times and different places in and around Sutton. Methods used to obtain recordings include conventional microphones, contact microphones, hydrophones, ultrasonic and electro-magnetic induction pickups. No effects were applied to the recordings, except where specifically indicated.

1. A Windy Day [10:08]

Locations: Two places along the New Bedford River between Sutton Gault and Mepal, 2.7.18; Two places in Sutton High Street, 10.8.19, 11.8.19 & 5.4.20.
Microphones: Electret microphones and preamp by Ian Brady; Piezo-element hydrophone and pre-amp.
Recorder: Marantz PMD660.
Editing applications: Audacity and Apple Logic Express on Apple MacBook and MacBook Pro. High-pass filter (steep slope, 500Hz) applied to one of the 18 clips to remove wind noise.

2. A Rainy Day [9:16]

Locations: Along the New Bedford River between Sutton Gault and Mepal, 2.7.18; Sutton Gault by the Old Bedford Bridge, 26.7.18; Hermitage Lock, Earith, 25.8.18; Sutton High Street, 18.4.20.
Microphones: Electret microphones and preamp by Ian Brady; Self-built piezo-element contact microphones and pre-amp; Ultrasonic recorder with self-built preamp.
Recorder: Marantz PMD660.
Editing applications: Audacity and Apple Logic Express on Apple MacBook and MacBook Pro. High-pass filter (steep slope, c.400Hz) applied to the hydrophone clip to reduce low-frequency knocking sounds.

3. High Street, Wednesday Evening [27:16]
This piece is made up of 3 separate recordings, one of which was actually a Sunday, but overall it sounds like a Wednesday evening because it has two recordings of bell-ringing practice at St Andrew’s church.

Locations: Sutton High Street, 19.4.17, 25.11.18; St Andrew’s churchyard, 19.4.17.
Microphones: Electret microphones and preamp by Ian Brady.
Recorder: Marantz PMD660.
Editing application: Audacity on Apple MacBook Pro.

You can listen to Disc 3 of The Sutton Project here


Disc Four

These pieces include recordings made at various different times and places and involve post-recording effects where indicated.

1. Hermitage Lock I [11:26]
The same location called ‘Earith Lock’ in The Ouse Washes Project. This piece is edited together from 3 types of recording: conventional microphones, contact microphones and hydrophones, on 2 different dates in August, 2018.

Location: Hermitage Lock, Earith, 1.8.18 and 25.8.18
Microphones: Electret microphones and preamp by Ian Brady; Piezo-element hydrophones; Piezo-element contact microphones; Self-built preamps.
Recorder: Marantz PMD660.
Editing applications: Audacity and Apple Logic on Apple MacBook and MacBook Pro. High-pass filter (steep slope, c.60Hz) applied to one of the contact microphone clips to reduce low-frequency noise.

2. Hermitage Lock II [3:34]
This piece is a single edited recording made with contact microphones attached to the metal railings in the centre of the lock complex. No post-recording effects.

Location: Hermitage Lock, Earith, 1.8.18
Microphones: Piezo-element contact microphones and preamp.
Recorder: Marantz PMD660.
Editing application: Audacity on Apple MacBook Pro.

3. Hermitage Lock III [3:12]
This piece is a single edited recording made underwater using hydrophones. No post-recording effects.

Location: Hermitage Lock, Earith, 1.8.18
Microphones: Piezo-element hydrophones and preamp.
Recorder: Marantz PMD660.
Editing application: Audacity on Apple MacBook Pro.

4. Hermitage Lock IV [3:15]
This piece is a short edit from a contact microphone recording, slowed down to about a quarter of its normal speed.

Location: Hermitage Lock, Earith, 1.8.18
Microphones: Piezo-element contact microphones and preamp.
Recorder: Marantz PMD660.
Editing/Processing applications: Audacity and TimeToy3xtreme by Marcel Wierckx on an Apple MacBook Pro.

5. Horses, Birds & Bells [8:38]
Four short (c.30sec) recordings from other tracks in the Project were combined and manipulated on the computer; the resulting recording was edited down to produce the final piece.

Locations: Sutton (various dates and places)
Microphones: Electret microphones and preamp by Ian Brady.
Recorder: Marantz PMD660.
Editing/Processing applications: The Black Widow by Andy Murkin on Apple MacBook; Audacity on Apple MacBook Pro.

6. Sutton Gault Black Widow I [11:05]
Four short (c.30sec) recordings from other tracks in the Project were combined and manipulated on the computer; the resulting recording was edited down to produce the final piece.

Location: Sutton Gault (various dates)
Microphones: Electret microphones and preamp by Ian Brady.
Recorder: Marantz PMD660.
Editing/Processing applications: The Black Widow by Andy Murkin on Apple MacBook; Audacity on Apple MacBook Pro.

7. Sapling Water Mill [3:27]
Similar to Sapling Windmill on Ambient VII (FORG 22, 2015), this piece uses 4 very short (c.30sec) clips from a recording made on a day when the mill at Anglesey Abbey was in action.

Location: Lode Mill, Anglesey Abbey, 26.2.20.
Microphone and recorder: Zoom IQ6 and iPhone SE.
Editing/Processing applications: Sapling by Sineqube and Audacity on an Apple MacBook Pro.

8. The Mepal Cow [3:07]
I found myself in Mepal without any of my recording equipment, when I heard this unusually vocal cow. I managed to record a few seconds on my iPhone.

Location: Mepal, 25.6.18
Recorder: iPhone
Editing/Processing applications: REplay PLAYer by Karlheinz Essl on Apple MacBook; Audacity on Apple MacBook Pro.

9. Wicken Fen Black Widow I [4:59]
Four short (c.30sec) recordings were combined and manipulated on the computer; the resulting recording was edited down to produce the final piece.

Location: Wicken Fen, 6.3.20
Microphones: Electret microphones and preamp by Ian Brady.
Recorder: Marantz PMD660.
Editing/Processing applications: The Black Widow by Andy Murkin on Apple MacBook; Audacity on Apple MacBook Pro.

10. Sutton Replay [6:36]
So-called because it’s made up of 8 extracts from other tracks in the project*, 6 of which have been treated in the application REplay PLAYer before being edited together.

Locations: Sutton High Street, including the churchyard
Microphones: Electret microphones and preamp by Ian Brady.
Recorder: Marantz PMD660.
Editing/Processing applications: REplay PLAYer by Karlheinz Essl on Apple MacBook; Audacity on Apple MacBook and Apple MacBook Pro.

*Tracks used: St. Andrew’s (Disc 1); Friday Afternoon (Disc 2); A Rainy Day & High Street, Wednesday Evening (Disc 3).

You can listen to Disc 4 of The Sutton Project here


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