Caught by the River

Blowin’ in the Wind

Cheryl Tipp | 16th August 2012

illustration by Jon McNaught

Our friend Cheryl Tipp has braved the elements to put together an online weather report – she tells us all about it here.

We Brits love nothing better than a good moan about the weather. Rightly so in many cases. Either it’s too hot or it’s too cold; there’s too much rain or not enough of it; we’re snowed in or blown to buggery. In honour of this national pastime, I decided to put together an online collection of field recordings dedicated to various meteorological phenomena. The aptly named ‘Weather’ collection (not much imagination used there) features the varied sounds of wind, rain, thunderstorms and even snow and can be found hanging out in the Environment and Nature area of British Library Sounds. The recordings included in the collection capture both the natural processes themselves and the effects they have on surrounding objects. Take rain as an example. What does rain sound like? Well, this rather depends on what the raindrops are falling on. The pattering of gentle rain in a tropical forest sounds a lot different to great globules hitting the head of a grumbling commuter sheltering under a soggy copy of The Evening Standard. This almost endless variety is why we have so many examples of rain in the archive – because each recording will be slightly different and therefore unique. The same can be said for everything else we have in the wildlife sounds collection. We never have just one example of a species or habitat if we can help it. As the old adage goes, variety is the spice of life.

So, if you find yourself at a loose end and fancy having a listen to some rather lovely weather recordings from around the world, why not head over to British Library Sounds and see what we have to offer.

Rain_CBTR excerpt

Cheryl Tipp continues to be the curator of wildlife sound recordings at the British Library.