I have always been an observer - I'm fascinated by oft-overlooked features of our daily life. During the early part of 2019, I started making little audio "snap-shots" - every evening, I went outside and recorded a minute of what was going on with my handheld recorder. I wanted to make a sort of time-lapse for my year, in sound. These time-lapses remind me of where I was each night - as a traveling musician, I have the pleasure of experiencing such varied sonic environments...
Over time, I started venturing out in the daytime - the birds are irresistable to hear, especially in my rural, pond-adjacent backyard. We're home to so many species of songbird, waterfowl, woodpecker, and raptor - it is downright cacophanous here, especially in spring! I used the recorder to capture mysterious sounds - is it an owl? A coyote? A particularly vocal pet? I learned to identify some of the throngs of frogs that occupy our pond throughout the season - the peeps, ribbits, croaks, rattles, and thrums. I also recorded sounds that personally delight me - such as my Postcards from Schweiz, which is a brief collection of sound-memories from my tour of Switzerland.
Perhaps my favorite sound-memories of the year is collected in Pickwick Mill Day 2019. My village (Pickwick, MN) was built around a water wheel-driven flour mill in the 1850s, and my home was built to house some of those working for the mill. The Pickwick Mill still stands, and is open throughout the summer as a museum. What's most fascinating is that the mill is still functional! Though not in regular operation, the Mill's caretakers will occasionally run the water wheel (driven by the damming of Trout Creek, which forms the pond around our house). Every year, the village holds Pickwick Mill Day in order to raise funds for the upkeep of the Mill, and it demonstrates the Mill as it would have been in operation a hundred years ago. The sounds the Mill creates in its 6 floors of works is absolutely incredible, In addition, I took a walk around the Mill Day festivities, capturing some of the steam-engine sounds, the dam waterfall, the bluegrass band performing during lunchtime, and the quiet space just outside the reach of the crowd - my backyard.
In 2020, I continue collecting sounds I find interesting to share with anyone who wishes to hear them. Though the circumstances surrounding the more localized-work are unfortunate, I'm excited to share more sounds local to Pickwick in the upcoming year. They are collected here: Liz in Pickwick!