Only a few hours before leaving the territory of Laos.
A month has passed and I couldn’t prolong my stay, my passport was stuck In Indian Embassy pending they want to give me a visa.
Crossing a border is always accompanied by the feeling of not having seen enough, especially passing beside many beautiful things. I ran out of time to go to the extreme south, where the Mekong river gets lost between 4000 islands before continuing its journey to Cambodia.
I started walking the northern mountains that are still very wild, then the center with its old colonial cities such as Luang Prabang or Vientiane to finally end in the imposing Khammouane southern valleys .
This small country surrounded by 5 borders is one of the wildest of South Asia. There are only 6.5 million inhabitants of which 33% distributed in three major cities. A small density for lots of nature, perfect for a sound recorder.
Unfortunately, these landscapes are changing quickly, Laos is booming. They build with turn of arm, burn forests to make way for cultures and northern ethnic slowly migrate to the cities.
After this brief, a little sound journey through these excerpts:
How not to resist the charms of Thailand, land of smiles and good mood!
Hospitality, kindness and humor seem to be the three qualities that define the best Thai people.
The ancient kingdom of Siam has many faces :
Bangkok, megalopolis of 10 million people who lived in a crazy rhythm both day and night.
The south and hundreds of exotic islands with white sand bordered by a abounding nature.
Then comes the north with the second biggest city, Chiang-mai and the grandiose mountainous land of the Golden Triangle.
Finally, the east part, Isaan region where remains ancient Khmer royal kingdom, but especially one of the most beautiful natural park I have ever seen, “Khao Yai National park “.
With a lot of patience and walking, I saw wonders, I did not expect to find such a rich nature, I am very impressed, an audible and visual treat!
During this trip, I tried to cover most of the territory by performing multiple entries and exits at different places and different seasons.
Here are some excerpts from my findings:
North West showed me once again new faces of this incredible country, India ceases to amaze …
I passed through five states:
-Uttar Pradesh where is the historic city of Agra and its majestic Taj Mahal.
-The Rajasthan very quickly because of the stifling heat.
-Delhi, The hyperactive capital with 16 million inhabitants.
-The Punjab, near the Pakistan Sikh religion center.
-Himachal Pradesh, in altitude, away from heat, noise and pollution.
Kashmir was still far away and the roads were not open this season, the best way to get there was to conduct a one-week trek but courage missed me. I stopped in Mcleod mountains, new “capital” of Tibet in the state of the Himachal Pradesh.
Now it’s back to reality but full head of beautiful images, smile on my lips and full of motivation.
Here are a few moments of this journey:
Music and ceremonies :
Villages and quiet cities :
Public spaces :
India is an amazing hunting area for a sound recorder.
Considering the size of this country, there is a wide diversity of rural and urban environment.
I went with a couple of miniature microphone, DPA 4060 omnidirectional, very discreet, light and especially practical. A part of the records has been achieved by placing the microphones on a cap.
My only regret is to not have bring a pair of cardioid mic.
It will be for the next trip, no doubt !
The hardest part was to record nature scenes between trucks, horns and million residents, it is difficult to find quiet places, even at 5am.
Here are some samples of my records laid end to end .
Jungle and forest :
Train stations :
Winter often results in a hard battle against the cold, my first catch of the year is based on this striking theme.
It all start at home with the old boiler that hardly send warm in pipes:
The flow is a calcified radiator and the impacts come from vibration of a cello string, pitched and reverberated. Everything was recorded with two new acquisitions, hand made piezo pickups made by a Canadian.
It continues in the mountains around Grenoble for a night hike:
In the dark night, nothing beats better than a homemade fire torch for light.
It was made with dipped liquefied wax on toilet paper, awfully effective result!
To stay as light as possible, I only took my handy-recorder with me.
This experience has to be re-iterate equipped with my full gear as soon as possible!
Participative sound documentary conducted as part of a workshop proposed by Phonurgia Nova this summer at Arles, south of France.
I don’t tell you more, good listening:
From a Turkish journey on the road last summer with a amazing meeting point between Europe and Asia. An incredible diversity of landscapes, cultures and traditions it all brings and awakens the senses of its visitors. What an unusual and surprising journey. from Istanbul through the plains of Anatolia and Aegean coast, sound travel on the west part of the country during Ramadan.
Interested by these sounds?
Faunethic Turkish sound library is avaialble at sonniss.com.
36 high quality sounds, recorded and edited at 24/48 khz