Song Meters

The first academic work I ever co-published was an eco-acoustics baseline, and it was with the incredible community of Hartley Bay (Gitga’at First Nation). Over 14 months (2013-14), we used SM2 Song Meters to record ambient sounds in Gitga’at Territory, programming the units to record for 1 min at 15 min intervals. Recording features were set at 22,050 Hz in 16 bit monaural, wav file format. This monitoring protocol allowed us to record a range of acoustic phenomena across a spectrum of elements (e.g. nocturnal storms, dawn chorus, bracing wind, lapping water), when human traffic is generally restricted in the Territory. To ensure no harm to the trees in Gitga’at Territory, we fixed the SM2 units to trunks using bungee cords and left the units alone as much as possible. 

Listening back to the archive we generated elicits strange memories. These recordings are now more than 6 years old. They gesture to a different  time and place, a different set of histories and possible futures.  The full 350,000 plus audio archive remains in the Band Office in Hartley Bay, but here’s a one minue sample I was allowed to share from a site along the Douglas Channel, near the top of Hawkesbury Island, on a late summer morning (7:15 am, to be exact) in 2013…   

Another stormy day on the Coast. Check batteries and get back to the boat!

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