Club Meetups, Old and New
It’s been an intention of mine, ever since I started The Sound Collectors’ Club, to organize a club meetup in London; to create a chance for members to get to know each other better than just virtually over the internet.
I finally got round to making this happen for the first time a few weeks ago back in April when the current theme was Echo Space. As I explained in a post at the time, I ended up choosing the Rotherhithe Tunnel as our glamorous destination and when the agreed upon day arrived I was happy to be joined by @eesn and foster.fog.
I tweeted the above pics throughout the evening; en route to the pub where we met up, I stopped riverside hoping to get some good London skylines. Unfortunately this proved tricky thanks to the endless flow of pleasureboats blaring music which carried surprisingly far up the river after they had passed by. No matter, after a swift pint at The Grapes, we headed off to the tunnel. The results are now uploaded into the Club’s ‘Echo Space’ set if you want to check them out – all 15 minutes of it before we succumbed to the fumes and retreated back to the cleaner confines of The Narrow pub nearby for beer to wash the grit from our mouths!
Many thanks to Georgi and Tom for making the effort to come along; I look forward to hopefully catching up with you both again at future meetups.
Speaking of which, my plan for the next meetup is based around the club’s ‘Wind’ theme which was started a couple of months ago. This stems from a recent trip to Kew Gardens with the family, where I was struck by the wide variety of trees that were there and, because it was a windy day, how different they all sounded blowing in the breeze. Kew Gardens is a very big place, so I was thinking that if a few of us met there and each took a separate section of the grounds then there could be the potential to create the mother of all ‘wind in trees’ collections when we pool our results in the club’s ‘Wind’ set!
Any feedback on this idea would be much appreciated; as far as I can see, potential problems are as follows:
- Choosing a windy day.
- Planes. The day I was there the plane noise was pretty minor. However flight paths change all the time so there’s no guarantee that this won’t be a problem.
- Kew Gardens is pricey to get into (£13.90).
One alternative I’ve found to Kew, if these problems make it an unsuitable location, is Winkworth Arboretum in (or near) Guildford. This could solve the problem with plane noise (it can’t be worse than West London, surely?!) and is cheaper (£6.20, though you’ll pay more for travel).
If you’re interested, let me know your thoughts in the comments below, like last time, and we’ll take it from there.
I went on a recording workshop with Chris Watson at Kew last year and the results were pretty much useless because of the relentless planes, literally one every 2-3 minutes right overhead.
But I was also there with my family a few weekends ago and it was really quiet. I really missed having my zoom recorder with me then, as like you said there are some beautiful sounds around. Some friends who live in Richmond said it’s more of an exception to get a quiet day though. It’s to do with the flight path and also the wind direction – both pretty unpredictable.
I will think of an alternative too, it’s a great idea
May 26, 2011 at 8:12 pm
Hi Raoul, yeah I’m going to do a bit of research on flightpaths and try and figure out what sort of odds we’re dealing with, but any other alternative place suggestions, like Winkworth, are welcome. There are plenty of forests, etc about but the key thing about Kew is the vast diversity of trees in one place which obviously provide a great variety of sounds.
I’ll keep you updated as soon as I get a sec to do a bit more research.
May 28, 2011 at 7:17 pm