Outside-In: Jonathan Coleclough

i’ve today added a new recording to the Outside-In compilation, this time by sound artist Jonathan Coleclough. If you’re not familiar with Coleclough’s work, i can’t recommend it highly enough; there are a couple of freebies available on Bandcamp, and beyond these i would cite two of his early works, Cake and Windlass, as being among his finest creations. Before turning to Coleclough’s Outside-In contribution, if you have a recording you would like to be considered for this project, please see the Call for Recordings information at the bottom of the article.

Coleclough’s recording was made beside a stream called Holy Brook. He says this about the recording:

This recording was made on 28 March 2020, at about 2pm on a windy afternoon. The location is a small bridge over the Holy Brook, Coley Park, Reading, UK. Latitude 51.442113, Longitude -0.987193; Ordnance Survey map grid reference SU 70489 71944.

The recording was made using in-ear stereo microphones (Roland CS-10EM) under fluffy wind-muffs, so you get a good stereo image listening on headphones.

The long-form approach heard in much of Coleclough’s work, particularly its ambient sensibility, has a bearing on this recording, i think. There’s a certain kind of stasis in the ongoing burbling current of the water, which nicely smacks against the continual changes heard in the moment-by-moment sounds of the water, its small-scale splashes and splooshes. i really like how, at first, it seems as if the recording has been quite drastically low-pass filtered, though it soon becomes clear that this is merely a side-effect of the location, and the calls from nearby birds (particularly a nearby robin) are extremely bright and clear. In that respect it almost sounds like two separate worlds, a kind of intimate ‘inner’ world captured in the apparently limited sound palette of Holy Brook – the water of which often has a woody quality akin to log drums – and an expansive ‘outer’ world beyond. It’s a lovely twin focus.

All of the recordings featured in Outside-In are available to download or stream; there’s no charge for downloading, but you’re free to make a payment if you wish, and all proceeds made will be shared among the contributors.


Call for Recordings

If you have a recording you would like to be considered for Outside-In, the guidelines are very simple:

  • approximately 5-15 minutes’ duration – long enough to allow some decent immersion;
  • no obvious editing – recordings can be discreetly edited but should generally sound like a single recording, with no sudden cuts;
  • no indoor or underwater recordings – all in the open air;
  • no speech or overt human noises, apart from perhaps in the distance or as a part of the ambiance/surroundings;
  • the recording doesn’t need to be made using high-end equipment, but should be good enough to be enjoyed transparently, without attention drawn to its shortcomings.

Please note: the idea is that the recordings were made before the lockdown, but if you would like to make one that reflects the current, quieter state of the world – without breaking any local rules on going outside in the process! – then that’s absolutely fine.

To send your recording, please use the 5:4 Contact form and in the “Your Message” section please include the following:

  • a download link to your recording (via WeTransfer, or equivalent), which should preferably be in compressed lossless format (e.g. FLAC – no lossy recordings!);
  • information about the place, time and situation in which the recording took place – as much or as little detail as you would like to share;
  • a Google Maps link to the exact/approximate location where the recording was made.
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