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For me nothing is as pleasant as laying in the grass on a warm summer day in good distance from human activity, looking at the sky and listen to the wind wipe the grass until I fall a sleep.
This is something I did the 30th of July 2017 when I decided to visit places I remembered as a child, almost 50 years ago. It was at my grandparents´ farmland, Efri-Brú, which they owned most of the last century.
About 2 km northeast of the farm is a place named Hvítingshæðir. There is an old ruin of sheep shield, surrounded in grass field and remnants of old fence. This sheep shield in Hvítingshæðir was one of three or four sheep houses in distance from the main farm buildings. These sheep shields were usually built in places where it was easy to mow and keep hey for sheep during the winter months.
There is not much going on in this recording. Many decades have passed since farming was in the area and most birds are quiet this time of the day. So gust is playing the main role in the recording.
This was one the first recording I did with my parallel MKH8020/8040 AB setup in Rycote windshield. It was recorded on four channels with 50dB gain and HPF at 80Hz.
Quality open headphones are recommended while listening at low to mid level, or in speakers at low level.

(mp3 256kbps / 48Mb)

Recorder: Sound devices MixPre6
Mics: Parallel Sennheiser MKH8020/8040 AB setup
Pix: Canon EOS-M
Location: 64.111163, -20.972373
Weather: Dry, sunny, light clouds, 3-5 m/sec

Auglýsingar

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It was very nice weather this evening. The downtown was almost overcrowded with people which was shopping or just walking around to feel and smell the atmosphere of Christmas.
It was calm so the town smelled strongly of cloves, toasted knead, spirit, red vine, beer, all kinds of perfume, tobacco and even weed…and what is never missing in Reykjavik, a smell of exhaust from traffic.This was perfect weather to catch the sound of the Christmas rush hour.
Just 30 second after I start the recording, I heard beautiful singing voices. There were six singers of female song group „Jólabjöllurnar“.
I placed my self around 4 meters from the singers. Behind me was the audience on their walk who stopped for a moment to listen. The heavy background noise is mostly from car traffic, as usual.
This recording is captured with DIY binaural microphone rig which I just finished to prepare several hours before the recording. It contains two matched pair of parallel Primo EM172 capsules, connected to LOM phantom power adapter (see pictures).
I spent two hours walking around recording this evening. I noticed some audible time error between left and right channel in 30-40° around the rig which means the rig needs some changes in the future. But the funny thing is this time error sounds like a perfect „sound effect“ in combination with this well trained singers.
This was recorded on Lækjatorg square in Reykjavik town center between 9 – 10 pm.
Quality open headphones are recommended while listening at mid level.

Lækjartorg á Þorláksmessu 2017

Það var ótrúlega gott veður þessa Þorláksmessu. Miðbærinn var líka troðfullur af fólki, sem liklega skiptist jafn milli Íslendinga og útlendinga sem voru að versla, sýna sig og sjá aðra.
Þar sem ég gekk austur Austurstræti og var var nýbúinn að ræsa upptökutækið þá mátti heyra fagran söng frá Lækjartorgi. Ég gekk á hljóðið og þar var þá sextett fagurra kvenna að syngja jölalög.
Ég mátti til með að ná þessum söng á upptökutækið og gerði það þar til yfir lauk.

(mp3 256kbps / 44Mb)

Recorder: Sound devices MixPre6
Mics: Primo EM172
Pix: Samsung Galaxy6

Location: 64.147388, -21.936692
Weather: Calm. Cloudy, 1°C

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It was a BBC article „’Worrying alarm call’ for world’s birds on brink of extinction“ which reminded me about several recordings I have made of seabirds in cliffs. This recordings are not many or interesting, but who knows how this cliffs will sound in the future when the climate change has changed or destroied the livelihood for many bird species.
So what ever about the quality of this recording is, it can be valuable in the future. Just imagine if we had been given the opportunity to record the Great Auk before it became extinct in the mid- 19th century. It would have been wonderful.
We are loosing some animal species almost every month on the planet. So it is very important to record as much as we can of the biosphere now and in the future…even though it is as likely the recordings will disappeared after several years for just „technical reason“.
„Krýsuvíkurbjarg is a wave-cut cliff that rises from the sea in the lava of Krýsuvíkurhraun.
There are many bird nests found there, approximately 60,000 pairs consisting of 9 kinds of sea birds. The black-legged kittiwak (Rissa tridactyla) is the most common one, a common migrant found in many places in Iceland. It’s population in Iceland is estimated to be about 630.000 birds, what is an interesting fact since the population of people is only 330,000 in the country! The estimated number of kittiwaks in Krísuvíkubjarg is about 21,000 birds.
Common murre (Uria aalge) is a large auk also found in Krýsuvíkurbjarg. They make no nest, their single egg is incubated on a bare rock ledge on a cliff face. Their breeding can be very tight up to 70 birds on each square meter. Interestingly, the young are considered ready to leave their nest only three weeks old, but the male bird teaches the young how to hunt in the beginning. The estimated number of the Common murre in Krýsuvíkubjarg is about 20.000 birds
There are other kinds found on the cliff, but with smaller amounts of birds.The razorbill (Alca torda), The thick-billed murre (Uria lomvia). The northern fulmar (Fulmarus glacialis). The Atlantic puffin (Fratercula arctica) can be found there, but is not as common as it is in Vestmannaeyjar. The European shag (Phalacrocorax aristotelis). The European herring gull (Larus argentatus) is there and the black guillemot or tystie (Cepphus grylle). Above the cliff edge other kinds can be found like the purple sandpiper (Calidris maritima) and The snow bunting (Plectrophenax nivalis).“ (discover.is)
This recording was made 11th of July 2016.
Quality open headphones are recommended while listening at low to mid level, or in speakers at low level.

(mp3 256kbps/39Mb)

Recorder: Sound devices 744
Mics: DPA4060 in „binaural“ setup
Pix: Canon EOS-M
Location: 63.832656, -22.091189
Weather: Cloudy, NW 3-5m/sec, 13°C

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Októberbyltingin var bylting í Rússlandi árið 1917. Hún er kölluð svo vegna þess að hún fór fram í október skv. júlíanska tímatalinu sem þá var í gildi í Rússlandi en samkvæmt gregoríska tímatalinu var dagsetninginn 7. nóvember, og er miðað við þann dag þegar byltingarinnar er minnst. Októberbyltingin var vopnuð uppreisn í Petrograd (núna Sankti Pétursborg) og kom í kjölfar febrúarbyltingarinnar sem hafði gerst sama ár. Októberbyltingin steypti af stóli bráðabirgðastjórn Aleksandr Kerenskij og færði völdin í hendur ráða sem var stjórnað af bolsévikum. Í kjölfar byltingarinnar kom fram nýtt stjórnarkerfi byggt á nýjum hugmyndum sem leiddi af sér stofnun Sovétríkjanna. (Wikipedia)
Að sama skapi þá breytti byltingin í Rússlandi allri pólitík á vesturlöndum, því í kjölfar hennar fékk almenningur auknar kjarabætur, heilsugæslu og betra skólakerfi frameftir síðustu öld.
Vinstri menn á Íslandi fjölmenntu og héldu upp á þennan viðburð í Iðnó 7. nóvember 2017 með skemmtilegri samkomu þar sem haldnar voru hressilegar ræður, kveðið og sungið á víxl í tæpa þrjá klukkutíma.
Að sjálfsögðu mætti ég með upptökutæki og tók upp viðburðin meðal gesta í miðjum sal. Sú upptaka sem hér heryrist eru tveir dagsrárliðir sem áttu sér stað eftir hlé. Annars vegar er það ræða Vésteins Valgarðssonar og svo lokaatriðið þar sem allir sungu Internationalinn, öll sex erindin þar sem Þorvaldur Þorvaldsson leiðir sönginn og frændi hans, Þorvaldur Örn Þorvaldsson, spilar á gítar.
Því miður er hljóðkerfið í Iðnó afskaplega lélegt. Hljómgæðin eru því skelfileg þó upptaka hafi heppnast með ágætum.

October Revolution 100 years anniversary

At the 7th of 2017 many socialists and other left wing folks in Reykjavik calibrated the 100th anniversary of the Russian October Revolution.
The program included inspired speeches, poetry and songs and singalong songs that lasted for almost three hours. This recording contains two of this programs, an Icelandic speech and then singalong song of The Internationale in full version in Icelandic.
I think I need to apologize for the poor sound quality in this recording but it is mainly because of the sound system of the house.

(mp3 224Kbps / 37Mb)

Recorder: Olympus LS100
Mics: Primo EM172 (Binaural)
Location: Iðnó, Reykjavík
Pix: from the www

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Á örfáum árum hefur ójöfnuður aukist gríðarlega á Íslandi, einkum frá aldamótum, þó upphafið megi rekja lengra aftur í tímann.
Eignir og auðlindir þjóðarinnar hafa sópast til örfárra einstaklinga. Nú er svo komið að aðeins 5% þjóðarinnar á jafn mikið og hin 95%. Ef nánar er farið út í þetta þá eiga 20% landsmanna 90% allra eigna og þar með eiga 80% landsmanna aðeins 10%.
Þessum ójöfnuði hefur verið stjórnað af orfáum ættarklíkum, eins konar Oligarch, sem hafa alla tíð komið sínu fólki til valda á Alþingi í „frjálsum“ kosningum. Það sem verra er, þeir hafa svo í gegnum tíðina komið sínu velvildarfólki í allar mikilvægar stöður í ráðuneytum og stofnunum ríkisins. Þessu fólki er svo ómögulegt að skipta út þó almenningur kjósi annað.
Þessar valdaklíkur eiga líka flesta fjölmilðana sem eru verulega litaðir af áróðri og heilaþvotti oligarkanna.
Eftir bankahrunið í október 2008 hefur spillingin í samfélaginu sífellt orðið augljósari þrátt fyrir að öllum fréttum og upplýsingum um slíkt sé haldið í lágmarki á fréttamiðlum oligarkanna. Fréttamönnum sem fara út í slikt, er sagt upp störfum eða þeir lögsóttir. Vísað er til alls kyns óljósra laga, kerfisvillna, þagnarskyldu eða málum einfaldlega ekki svarað.
En hægt og sígandi hefur spillingin samt sem áður verið dregin fram í dagsljósið. Þökk sé fólki sem hefur þor og þolinmæði til að berjast fyrir réttlæti, og vinnusömum fréttamönnum sem hafa þorað að leita sannleikanns. Samfélagsmiðlar hafa stöðugt minnt á einstök mál sem litlu óháðu fjölmiðlarnir kryfja til mergjar.
Ekki verður farið nánar út í einstök spillingarmál hér, en meðfylgjandi upptaka var tekin upp 4. apríl 2016 á mótmælum á Austurvelli þegar upp komst að þáverandi forsætisráðherra, Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson og spúsa hans, höfðu tengst aflandseyjareikningum. Hann sagði svo af sér daginn eftir þessi mótmæli. Þáverandi fjármálaráðherra Bjarni Benediksson, var lika flæktur í ýmiss konar brask en að vanda slapp með ótrúlegum hætti.
Nú þegar 9 ár eru liðin frá bankahruninu þá eru valdaklíkurnar sem ollu hruninu enn við stjórn á Íslandi. Þjóðin er tvíklofin. Annars vegareru það þeir sem vilja breytingar og bætt samfélag og svo hinir, sem láta stjórnast af áróðri, yfirgangi og græðgi oligarkanna.
Upptakan er góð áminning um að íslenska þjóðin þarf nauðsynlega að takast á við breytingar. Þjóðin verður að fara að tileinka sér jafnrétti, samkennd, jöfnuð og bræðralag.

(mp3 224Kbps / 52,5Mb)

Recorder: Sound devices 744+302
Mics: Sennheiser MKH8020/8040 in parallel ORTF
Pix: Canon EOS-M
Weather: Calm, sunny, 5°C
Location. 64.146982, -21.939978

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Two years ago, when I was recording in Skaftafell National Park, I noticed that Redwings sing differently between two places in the park. In the forest around Skaftafellsheiði, above the campsite and the information center, the redwings sing quiet „normal songs“ as most Redwings do in Iceland. But in nearby valley, in Morsárdalur in Bæjarstaðakógur forest, most of the Redwings colony start their song with two long tones before the „normal song“ starts.
I have search my recordings for something interesting. What makes it different and what is common with this Redwing songs which will probably bring me, or someone else, to further research.
But I will not talk about it here, because that will be another story.
By slowing down the recording four times (1min > 4min) it makes a totally new soundscape. It sounds like a rain forest full of screaming monkeys. It opens my mid for different understanding on birdsong. Redwing’s song is much more complex than I thought. They are far from being singing the same melody or make a simple message all the time. It sounds more like a complex language.
It does not matter what they are doing. Are they speaking to each other, sending messages or singing a complex song to the crowd, it always leave the question: What are they doing and what does it all mean?
Following recording was recorded last summer in Bæjarstaðaskógur. You can hear this special Redwing start his song with its two tones before he continues with a „normal“ song.
In the normal speed recording at 2:40, you will hear a rumble from the Morsárjökull glacier which was about 10km away
Background noise is mostly from streaming water in the mountains and the Morsá river.
Quality open headphones are recommended while listening at low to mid level, or in speakers at low level.

Normal speed.
(mp3 256kbps / 12Mb)

Slow speed (4x).
(mp3 256kbps /41Mb)

Recorder: Sonosax SR-X4+ (24/48)
Mics: Sennheier MKH20 (AB40)
Pics: Canon EOS-M

Weather: Light cloud, showers around, calm, 10°C
Location: 64.058877,-17.024021

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First weekend of August I traveled to Ísafjörður in the northwest of Iceland. From Isafjörður I took a daytrip with a boat over to Hesteyri which is located in a nature reserve named Jökulfirðir.
The weather was splendid so it was ideal to bring the recording gear with me and record the atmosphere at Hesteyri. This time I brought with me my newest mic setup I built inside Rycote stereo AG windshield. It is a 40cm spaced AB rig (AB40), a two stereo channels with parallel MKH8020/8040, which is slightly angled outward (around °5).
In Hesteyri I record in several places in a small area. Two of them was on the beach where the waves gently plays the music on the coastline during the rising tide. One of this recording is posted here below.
The wind was about 3-6 m/sec, blowing parallel among the coastline so the wind hit only the other side of the windshield, not front of it.
I used MixPre6. The gain was at 50dB, High pass filter on MKH8020 was 120Hz and on MKH8040 80Hz.
The microphones were placed on tripod 60cm above the ground. During the recording the tide rise so in the end the waves went under the rig.
Background noise is mostly the sea waves further outside the fjord and rivers behind and allaround the fjord. Sometimes the boat is knocking on the pier, 200 m away on the left side.
In post I lower the gain -5dB on MKH8020 and rise the gain +5dB on MKH8040 to keep the audible gain between the mics close to be equal. Use again Hi-Pass filter at 100Hz to minimize wind rumbling noise. and then normalized all three audio clips to 0dB. No low pass filter or noise reduction was used.
Both MKH8020 and MKH8040 sounds pretty similar in this recording, so I guess someone will ask:“ Why use four mics when two seems to be fine?“ “ Why making this four channel rig with this expensive mics?“ The short answer is this. The 8020´s are detecting sound from all 360° while 8040´s is only detecting 180° front of the rig. So if there was something behind the rig, like traffic noise it would been clearly audible with 8020´s, but far less with 8040´s. At this time (in Hesteyri) it was only a silence behind the rig so this is not a ideal recording for omni – cardioid comparison.
Field recording is mostly „once in a time – moment capturing“. So having a two different stereo recording of the same event, it is more likely either recording is OK. Two different recordings also give several opportunities in post.

MKH8020/8040 mixed together.
(Mp3 256kbps / 38Mb)

Only MKH8020
(mp3 256kbps / 5,3Mb)

Only MKH8040
(mp3 256kbps / 5,3Mb)

Recorder: Sound devices MixPre6
Mics: Sennheiser MKH8020/8040 (AB40) in Rycote AG (See pictures)
Pics: Canon EOS-M

Weather: Sunny. Light breeze 3-6 m/sec, ca. 14°C
Location: 66.333261, -22.873719