Edinburgh January 2019
A selection of maps, and descriptions of sound walks and recording locations from my journeys.
My four recording sessions took place in four locations around the beautiful Princes Street Gardens. This is a green area running between Princes Street and the mound. Located at the far end of the park is the beautiful Ross Fountain, this was installed in the park in 1862, it’s quite low down from the street, so noise from the buses, trams and cars on busy main road is kept to a minimum, though there is quite a bit of sound from the railway line that runs into the nearby Waverley Station. The sound from the fountain helps to mask what sound can be heard from the road.
It was a particularly cold day, though beautifully sunny there was also a very strong wind that added to the chill. Consequently my recordings were quite short. I used a Sound Devices 744T recorder and a stereo pair of DPA4060 microphones. I had Rycote windjammers fitted to the microphones to help reduce sound from the wind.
I really wanted to record the one o’clock gun. This is a cannon fired from the battlements of the castle at one o’clock each day. The firing of the gun dates back to 1861, it was introduced to enable ships harboured in the Firth of Forth to set the maritime clocks they needed to navigate the world’s oceans. I set up my gear on a bench approximately 50 metres down a pathway from the castle car park, overlooking Waverley Railway station, the Scott Monument and Princes Street. I’ve never heard the cannon fired before and didn’t know whereabouts they actually fired it from, I wasn’t really sure whether I’d hear anything more than a little pop. It scared me half to death when it did go off. The location was thankfully quite sheltered from the wind, though I was feeling distinctly cold toward the end of the forty minute session. There was a piper playing across on the far side of the gardens, the sound of his playing was carried over on the wind.
My final session was still in the gardens and just across the road from Waverley Station, it was quite short owing to the early onset of hyperthermia.