issue #3 ::: autumn 2012


Sunrise in the Sukau rainforest
(132:40)
Recorded during October 2011 by the river Kinabatangen, Sabah, Borneo from 0430h
Sennheiser MKH 8040/30 middle and side array to a Nagra ARES Pll recorder at 48kHz 16 bit .wav

The Sukau rainforest is a relatively narrow strip of primary forest either side of the banks of the river Kinabatangen in Sabah, Borneo. Access to the forest floor is very difficult as there are no trails, however at the back of the lodge where I was staying there was a narrow old and decaying boardwalk that led, snake like, through the dense undergrowth and out into what felt like another world. Each morning for over a week I left my lodge around 0400h and set off carefully along a zig zag pattern of soft and splintered planks into the velvet darkness. Either side of the red glow from my head torch fireflies and other unknown bioluminescent insects blinked and flashed their alien languages whilst dead ahead the small piercing red reflecting eyes of hunting bats streaked, missile like, directly towards me. On several mornings my GPS guided me to a favourite looping curve at the furthermost point of the 2Km trail where I could stop and fix my mikes in a tree whilst trying to bat off the myriad host of mosquitos that quickly find anything warm blooded that is stationary. I rigged and set away the recording before quietly moving off, my ears straining to hear the distant songs of gibbons, the shrieks of macaques and the low whistle of a pitta. Sunrise, such as it is 30m below the canopy, is also accompanied by the slow drip of  condensation percolating down through the grey green gloom from a canopy 30m above as the forest is slowly revealed. – Chris Watson

Sunrise in the Sukau rainforest is published by Touch Music
http://www.chriswatson.net

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