Wild Wetlands (Dubbo) was a collaboration between Dr Greg Pritchard – who has been screening the video around NSW at various locations, Peter Aland – who re-cut the video for the Dubbo screening, and Kim V. Goldsmith, me – who created an 8-track mix of field recordings of wetlands atmosphere, frog song, bird calls, and digitally-produced tonal tracks and sound effects from these recordings, for the Dubbo event. It was screened and performed on 20 October as part of the 2018 DREAM Festival program, on the front of the Western Plains Cultural Centre.
Sounds in the mix were largely gathered from several field recording expeditions to the Macquarie River and local wetlands using a range of microphones including shotguns, XY, omni-directional, and hydrophonic mics, as well as sounds obtained and created in post-production.
The tracks feature some of the threatened bird species of the Macquarie Marshes including the brolga, grey-crowned babbler, Major Mitchell cockatoo, and the Australasian bittern. Layering heavily manipulated sound and tones with ‘quieter’ moments of gently lapping water, chorusing frogs and birds brings focus to those things around us we may not always notice – the hum of life and death underpinning our natural ecosystems.