Early last month we met a fascinating sound recordist. Peter Handford was was a pioneer of the craft of field recording. The post focused on one of his most notable accomplishments: documenting the vanishing sounds of steam trains. He is deeply respected for the breadth of sound he gathered of a subject few of us will ever hear in person again.
Every day new technologies make older ones extinct. What other sounds are at risk? Only last month the Western Black Rhino was considered extinct. The World Wildlife Fund lists dozens of endangered animals. Without care, these animals, as well as the sounds they make, will be at risk.
One organization has dedicated itself to preserving sounds like these: the British Library. Its Wildlife and Environmental Sound Archive gathers, catalogs, and shares bird, animal, and atmospheric nature sounds from across the globe. Wildlife sounds curator Cheryl Tipp has the important task of managing these field recordings.
I’ve been curious about the British Library’s Sound Archive for quite some time. I reached out to Cheryl Tipp to see if she would like to speak about her work and the archive itself. She kindly agreed.
So, today we have a very special Q&A. Cheryl Tipp provides a fascinating look at documenting, preserving, and sharing sound recordings from the archive. She shares special clips from the archive, insight on bird and wildlife recordings from the collection, as well as bonus advice: tips to help you record wildlife sounds and organize a sound library collection of your own.