Voices Of The Gulf Islands
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Voices Of The Gulf Islands, ‘Islands anywhere seem to evoke a gentleness‘
If you have ever stepped foot on one of British Columbia’s Gulf Islands you will understand the charm, tranquility and uniqueness of these special places, Islands anywhere seem to evoke a gentleness.
When I first went to Quadra and Saltspring Islands, this is what I felt, they each have a timeless quality, where deliberate slowness seeps out of such places.
Both islands also have some very unique sounds and while I had time to sample the islands culture my main reason for visiting was to search out the rich soundscapes of their many hidden wild gems. ‘Voices Of The Gulf Islands’ is the best of many hours of recordings from Saltspring and Quadra Islands nestled between British Columbia’s mainland and Vancouver Island.
The album will take you from high mountain tops to sheltered coves, an old growth forest ravine and a rainy dreamy wetland. Many of the sounds contain water in its many states, lazy swells, bubbling brooks, rain or a calming cove at first light. I hope you enjoy this album as much I did recording it!
1. The Cove, First Light 14.18
Recorded in a quiet cove on Quadra Island, British Columbia. It is first light, the spring morning chorus is building, the microphones sit underneath huge old growth Cedars overlooking the Salish Sea. We first hear gentle waves and then distant birdsong. The calming sounds are a relaxing mix of ocean and nature and give us a quiet entry into the soundscapes of the Gulf Islands.
2. Spring Rain 7.31
There is nothing like the relaxing sounds of rain and the song of the Pacific Chorus Frog. I found this location on Saltspring Island during the day and returned at dawn to record them singing, as luck would have it, a morning rain shower added a lovely depth to this recording.
3. Bird Song Beneath The Old Growth 6.43
In many of my recordings I like to find the sweet spot and placing the microphones underneath coastal old growth and near to the dream like quality of sounds that come from a sheltered cove gives a richness to the soundscape which you can hear in this recording from Quadra Island. Bird song, old growth forest and ocean mix to give us deeper, relaxing listening experience. This track is a continuation of track 1, but with more of an emphasis on the overall soundscape of the cove later in the day.
4. Summit Breeze On Mount Seymour 3.56
Recorded at the top of Mount Seymour on Quadra Island, here we are up amongst clouds that roll by over distant snow capped mountains on the mainland, hearing the gentle breeze through stunted pines as the bird song echoes up from the forest below.
5. Forest On The Edge Of The Ocean 7.02
This track comes from the very popular and lovely Ruckle Provincial Park on the Southern tip of Saltspring Island. The soundscape was simply full of the warm sounds of spring. I set the microphones up in the shelter of the old forest at dawn about 100m from the ocean and allowed them to capture the birdsong for well over an hour and 20 minutes, this is the very best of that recording. Around this area is a very unique and rare eco-system, The Garry Oak forests, only found in this Southern area of Vancouver Island.
6. Morning In The Ravine 2.40
On Saltspring Island you can find the Garry Oak forests, these are small remnant areas of a rare, unique eco-system only found in this Southern Part of Vancouver island. What you hear are the sounds from a deep ravine edged by old growth on the periphery of the Mount Maxwell Ecological Reserve which was designated to preserve the significant Garry Oak forests of the area.
7. Beyond The Driftwood 1.49
In ‘Beyond The Driftwood’ we are back in the forest, away from this small cove in Quadra Island but close enough to the water that we can still hear the swell of the ocean at high tide. It is later now and the chorus carries a lightness and joy found in the ‘later’ singers of the morning as well as the bees feeding on wild flowers.
Images from the recording of this album.