Oct 09, 2018, 03:06 PM

Locusts reimagined by Kenneth Lyons.

"The file selected for me was chosen at random. When Stuart sent me the title/file number, I was very keen to hear the recording though I was not at all expecting to hear the sounds I was to hear in it. Having developed tinnitus over the past year, I have often described the sound I hear to folk when the tinnitus is peaking as ‘like having a plague of locusts buzzing and panning around in my head”. Oh the irony … and the challenge! The original sound recording I was allocated to work with is predominately 5 mins of locusts making a racket of static with only three moments of a clearly discernible human presence in the landscape : a car passing, a plane passing overhead and a short burst of male voices. Those three human/mechanical sound elements, distinct as they are from the hiss of the locusts was where I began this composition. My first attempt to develop a sound piece for this project was firmly in the realm of ‘ambient’ with an intention to smooth out and sweeten the locust static to counter the ever present sound of my tinnitus by using a range of effects in my DAW. It worked. However, in the last few seconds of the original source recording, there is a sound of what may be a cart going over a wooden bridge. The ‘clunkiness’ of this moment inspired me to bring some beats into the piece. I cut up these ‘clunks’ and constructed some intricate rhythmic patterns which form the drum patterning and some of the, what I call, ‘blip phrases’ which are peppered throughout this final mix of ‘CAMBODIMENTS’. All the sounds heard, including the beats are sourced from the original sound recording and put through a myriad of effects. No external or proprietary sounds or beats are employed."

Part of the Sounding Nature project - for more information, see

Photo by Joshua Hoehne on Unsplash