Natural Radio: the electro-magnetic vibrations of Earth's Magnetosphere.
Cause: solar particles hitting earth; lightning traveling the magnetic field.
One night while chaotically clicking the WildWildWeb, I stumbled onto Steve McGreevy's Natural Radio sounds. The noises are caused by solar particles (and other electro-magnetic phenomena) interacting with Earth's magnetic fields (also the cause of the Aurora: the Northern and Southern Lights). The sounds are electro-magnetic radio waves vibrating at frequencies in our hearing range. But you can't hear e-m waves without the right gear. And Steve's got a van full. He catchs the Natural Radio waves with two big (60-foot circular) antennas (made of car primary wire); then runs their signal into an amp, changing the e-m to soundwaves, then out to his recorder and speakers.
I tracked Steve down and asked to join his next sound-gathering expedition. Several months later, we hooked up at a campground on Belly River in southern Alberta's Waterton Park (reception is best in northern latitudes, and at least 5 miles from electric lines). There, Steve made his first stereo, and his first digital recordings. I made a show from our talks and his tapes for National Public Radio (USA) Lost and Found Sound. A longer version ran on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation series Outfront. But my favorite is a short mix of Steve's voice and recordings with Jeff Arntsen's music. It's called... Sun Song: 56K |28K | 14K (2:44)
Natural Radio Recordist: Steve McGreevy.
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audio © The Wandering Jew