Dorian Wind Recordings

by Darcy Spidle

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1.
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Front Door 06:40
4.
Kitchen 07:47
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Basement 08:47
6.
Generators 02:46

about

On September 6th, 2019, Hurricane Dorian hit Nova Scotia. My family and I were lucky not to lose more than a big patch of our front roof to the storm. Other folks in the province lost windows, cars, and even whole buildings.

The day before Dorian, the municipality issued a voluntary evacuation order for people living on both the eastern and southern shores outside of Halifax; our small village of West Chezzetcook was included in the evacuation.

We live in a 120-year-old saltbox house in front of a large salt marsh. The marsh fills with the sea twice a day but isn’t exposed to direct ocean swell, which means we are relativity safe from the biggest danger: storm surge. The winds here, however, can be violent, especially when they come from the east, which was the forecast for Dorian. We’d been through a few big storms, and it’s always unnerving. But this would be by far the most powerful storm to come our way since moving in a decade ago.

My wife and daughter went to town to ride out the weekend. I stayed. I planned to do what I could to protect our house, certainly; I also had a papillion puppy, two cats, a beta fish, and a mystery snail to take care of. But I mostly stayed to record the wind.

Wind recordings are notoriously difficult. You can’t actually record wind. You have to record the movement of wind against physical forms – like trees, water, grass, rocks, buildings, etc. In my experience, regular wind isn’t dynamic enough to make for vibrant audio. 120 kilometres an hour winds gusting to over 150 kilometres an hour is a different story. This kind of ferocity brings out the acoustic potential of all it encounters.

So for six hours while Dorian passed through Chezzetcook, I recorded. I had headphones on for most of the storm, amplifying the already stomach-churning noise that shook every wall of my house. It was a sensory overload, to say the least. As I write these album notes by candlelight, the night after, and listen to what I captured, I’m still rattled.

I recorded in various areas of my house as the storm passed through. And just tonight, I recorded–from my back porch, under the stars–the hum of all the generators on my road. A plane flies overhead. Trucks drive by.

Three days later the power came back on.

This collection is free to download, but if you choose to pay, I’ll donate half of your offering to the Nova Scotia Nature Trust, a provincial organization that protects coastal wilderness areas in my region. Thanks so much for your support.

credits

released September 11, 2019

For weekly dispatches from the field, subscribe to my Lands and Waters channel on Youtube. www.youtube.com/channel/UC7irutY2PplZgiQqbgw48JQ

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about

chik white Nova Scotia

Darcy Spidle has long used the moniker chik white for various art projects. His latest efforts centre around the jaw harp, a pancultural, ancient instrument steeped in mystical allure. Inspired by sound poetry, noise, free improvisation, Dada, nature, and the human voice, chik white harp explorations aim to conjure visceral experiences. ... more

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