Monday, July 09, 2007

Miami Vice

Project Harvest Diary


Flew out of New York into MIA (Miami International Airport to civilians) and spent three sweaty and irritable days recording beautiful people having a good time as we lugged equipment around in tropical weather. Still it could be worse and I think Craig now wants to live here (for this week at least). Went down to the Everglades and despite wearing supposedly the best insect repellant money can buy (according to the Costa Rican Pharmacist we bought it off) still got royally chewed up by mosquitos. Got some good swamp noises though and also some of us swearing as another mosquito sucked our blood.

Thus we came to the end of our American Tail, bloodied, bruised but unbowed. We have gone our separate ways for a two week holiday; I to Mexico and Craig to Costa Rica. We will be back in blighty soon, with a bagfull of stories and a casefull of sounds.

Hasta Luego.

New Yoyk New Yoyk

Project Harvest Diary


Drove out of Canada and returned to the U S of A after a thorough interregation by immigration officials and made our way down through New York state (which is really nice), nipping into some neighbouring states along the way. Recorded a biker rally at Lake George on the way down and arrived in New York and ditched the van on Monday 11th June.

Spent a week recording in New York highlights including a session at Grand Central Station, trying to not get arrested or shot recording on the subway without permission, reocrding baseball in central park and god-botherers in Times Square. Recorded the diner where Sally simulated orgasm to Harry and also Comfy Soup and Burger where Adam Sandler took his adopted son in 1999 classic comedy "Big Daddy". Even found time to nip up the Empire State on our day off. I do not know where we find the time.
Project Harvest Diary 1st - 8th June


Algonquin National Park was our first stop after Toronto where we recorded a variety of forests, swamps, rapids, lakes, reservoirs, birds and super loud insects. Armed with a can of Mosquito spray, this didn't seem to deter them and myself and Joss must have lost about a litre of blood between us over that weekend not to mention the itchy lumps that covered our bodies. Ontario have really strange alcohol laws and you can only by booze from a beer cash-and-carry which is extremely expensive so Ontario was a sober weekend.
On Monday we got up at the crack of dawn to get some early morning forest atmospheres, had a good scratch and then headed off to Montreal.
We had the first two days off and it absolutely rained buckets, winds not short of gale force, followed by thunder and lightning. We soldiered on though and went to see what the big city had to offer us. We went downtown to have a look around a few shops and then walked to old town to sample a pint of locally brewed ale (what else is there to do on a rainy day?).
We went to see the new film Severance in the evening and it was pretty funny although every film we have watched out here so far has been British.

The following day we went to the Planetarium but unfortunately we missed the last film show in English so we decided to sit in on a French-speaking version. Fifty minutes of it. Needless to say the only thing that I managed to translate was "big planet" so that was a waste of my time and money.
On the Wednesday we recorded on the Metro system, shopping centres, a cathedral, train station, city parks, old town cobbled streets, bars, coffee shops, restaurants and the port. The following day we concentrated more on individual sounds and recorded an industrial street cleaner, hydraulic generator, garden fountain, lock and chain rattling on various doors and a variety of individual construction site sounds such as a steam roller, JCB and some welding sounds. We also did some undercover recording in Banks, department stores, shops and in a food court.

We are going to try and gain access to the Formula 1 Grand Prix tomorrow and then make our way down to New York recording on the way.
Harvest Diary 31st May 2007


Hit the road again and drove up through from Louisiana to Chicago stopping off to record red-necks in Memphis at the World BBQ Championships and forests and diners in Mississippi. Arrived in Chicago and spent a few hours trying to find somewhere to park, eventually succeeding on finding somewhere a mere 25 minute walk from the hostel on our 3rd attempt. Spent a week in Chicago recording the famous overland trains that run through the city, sneaking into the Academy of Art and recording a very long Memorial day parade on Saturday.

Left Chicago and drove up through Michigan stopping at a campsite in the middle of nowhere in Kalamazoo county. The place was hicksville and we left as early as possible in the morning having been kept awake with their whooping and hollering and blasting out of "God Bless America".

Stopped off at Niagara falls, sneaking in some mics and recording the loud white noise that the falls produce. We now find ourselves in Toronto where we will be spending a couple of days before heading through to Montreal
The deep south and beyond.

Project Harvest Diary 3rd May - 17th May


We hit Kansas and headed for the local bovine Auschwitz to record some crazy machinery and generators. The cattle didn't really have much to say though unfortunately. We headed down to Fort Worth recording some plains, fields and birds on the way before boarding the old steam train.
Results were excellent even if I say so myself even though I came close to decapitation as I hung out of an empty carriage window recording the tracks. So far some great train sounds recorded out here!
That evening we went 'undercover' once more to sample the local Rodeo.
It seemed more than a coincident that ever single cowboy fell off in the time limit, yet the last cowboy of the evening stayed on that god damn bull too long if you ask me.

The following day we headed to Ennis to record the All Harvey Drag Race and got some awsome sounds in the can. We were given access to the side of the track as they raced past at the speed of lightning and we also recorded in the stands, by the bikes themselves before racing, "backstage biker hangout" and some announcements over the speakers.
After recording bits and pieces around Texas we made our way to New Orleans in Louisiana which turned out to be an absolute blast!
The first day we boarded the paddle steam boat to get some great sounds in the engine room, the paddle wheel itself, announcements over the speaker, deck and dining area atmospheres and a beat of all the loud horn. HOOOONNNNK.

We later recorded the canal street ferry which was so so and later recorded the world famous street cars. Also in our time in the city we recorded various parking lot sounds, generic city sounds, hotels, bars, restaurants, around the amazing French quarter, drunkards in Bourbon Street and some generators and elevators. We met some great people at the hostel and went out on saturday
evening and awoke with sore heads on the sunday.

We left the city to hit the swamps only to get stuck in the middle of the worst thunder, lightning and rain ever. To make matters worse the windscreen wipers broke so we had to keep pulling over when the rain got too heavy. We booked into a motel and recorded some thunder before retiring after a hot shower. The next morning things got worse as the van wouldn't start up at all. As a result the got towed to an "auto shop" so we hired a 4*4 to record and to get us to the swamps to get some atmospheres.
Journey To The Centre Of A Continent

Project Harvest Diary May 2nd 2007


We made ready to leave California and venture forward into the American heartland. With 3000 miles plus, several mountain ranges, many thousand police and many millions of strange Americans between us and New York we breathed a deep breath and put our foot on the gas. Not much happened as the van crawled forward at 15 mph. We limped it to a garage where they tweaked the bit that makes it go and we were back on our way. Stopped briefly in Reno but were given short shrift by the various casino owners who were unwilling to defy state law for a pair of young rascals on the lamb. We cracked on for the very long and very boring drive across Northern Nevada, the landscape briefly punctuated by the odd petrol station / casino. Drove up through part of Idaho into Montana and arrived at our next scheduled stop of Yellowstone National Park.

Spent the day recording geysers (not the sort you get in sound studios in Soho, the wet type), cranes, bubbling mud pots and all sorts of other geo-thermal rumblings. Stayed the night at Chuck's RV Site in West Yellowstone. Upon meeting us showed us some pictures of some Grizzly Bears eating an Elk that he had just killed, probably with his bare hands. Asked him where there was to get some food in town and he advised to go to a place which "you guys will love" as there are "8 chicks to 2 dudes!!!". Why he didn't just go for the more obvious ratio of 4 to 1 I don't know. As it turned out it was the only place open in town and was a quiet family restaurant. Maybe Chuck hadn't been there for a while.

Got up the next day and started the long drive through Wyoming to Colorado, stopping to record as we went getting freight trains, oil pumps, forests and frozen lakes amongst other things. Stayed the night semi-illegally at a camping area that was closed for the season (there was nothing saying we definately couldn't stay there) because the other campsite in town seemed to be inhabited by people who lived there and there were several large dogs roaming around. Spent the night in fear of grizzly attack instead in the hills.

Drove down to Denver where we had a couple of days to celebrate Craig reaching the grand old age of 24. Recorded in the town yesterday but uninspired by the sonic make-up of Denver we cracked on and now find ourselves a mere 150 miles or so from the Kansas border.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Project Harvest Diary: 16th - 19th April


We stopped off in Santa Cruz and did some recording at the beach and got some freight trains that rumble through the town. Cracked on to San Francisco and stayed in a hostel in Chinatown so we ended up eating Chinese food every day.

Spent Monday recording in the downtown part of San Francisco and in Chinatown recording all sorts of city sounds and getting hassled by people trying to extort money from tourists. One particularly stood out as he was like Michael Caine in "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels", pretending to be some kind of Australian aristocrat who's wallet had been stolen by an African whilst slumming it downtown getting brunch (a nice touch I thought). As a result he needed $20 for a taxi back to his hotel. Why he couldn't just get the bus for $1.25 I don't know. Recorded in Chinatown as well so now we don't need to go to China because we have Chinese conversations and even a traditional Chinese band / Dragon dance.

Tuesday we had organised a recording session at a wind-swept Pier 39 in the morning and we had access to an arcade (bleeps and money clinking, we also won 2 postcards and a plastic spider ring), the marina (wind whistling through masts, rope and wood creaks) and a restaurant and kitchen (Mexicans cooking, fridge sounds, conversations over lunch). After that did some recording along the waterfront, managing to get a fishing boat engine from 1906 and crab sellers amongst other thing.

Got up at the crack of dawn the next day to record San Francisco's street cars and electric buses. Craig's immediate reaction to being woken up was to shout a torrent of abuse that would make a whore blush but after calming down we got some good stuff and went on to record in a bowling alley with mixed results because of the racket made by the pensioners bowling league that was going on at the same time. Stopped off to record some traffic at the Golden Gate Bridge and at Golden Gate Park on the way back and we are heading off to Reno after we have copied off all our sounds and sent them back to the Iceman at Wave HQ.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Project Harvest Diary 6th April - 11th April


Well, where do i start? Our time in LA has been mind-blowing to say the least!!! We flew in on the Friday and waited about three hours at BA Cargo dept. to pick up our recording gear and then got a cab to our hostel on Venice beach. Our room was really nice and everyone there was friendly!
The next day (rest day) myself and joss took a trip into the anti-climax of Hollywood strip! Its not anything like you would imagine and at one point i had to push Joss off the walk of fame sidewalk to prevent him from stepping into a heap of freshly laid dog turd. Nice! We went to a cool guitar store, had a hearty meal in a hip dinner and then hit the bars! I've always heard of Sunset strip and its amazing history as the buzzing music scene it once was back in the day where Guns and Roses played the Wisky-a-go-go so we ventured on down to see what all the fuss was about! We went to the Rainbow where Lemmy from Motorhead and Slash drink all the time but unfortunately they were nowhere to be seen! I've heard tales of Lemmy propping up the bar with a hot chick on either arm and being the only person in the world allowed to smoke in this non-smoking venue! That's rock n' roll. We later went to the Roxy music venue to watch some bands and i met a really nice girl called Aimee that night who i met up with in my free time which was really cool!

Monday we stated work and recorded a bunch of beach atmospheres, sounds of crashing waves, cafes, bars, restaurants and later recorded individual car sounds in a car park! The next day we recorded some fire engine sirens, union station, downtown LA including a swanky hotel, an indoor market and general street/city bustle sounds! Wednesday was public transport day recording some great tannoys on bus and underground as well as individual doors/rails and the usual atmospheres to capture the journey! I also got permission to record the massive LA public library and got some great room tones and elevators! All in all a good time has been had and we look forward to hittting the 101 to San Francisco.

Bye Bye for now

Friday, March 30, 2007

Project Harvest Diary: 30th March


Its been a fairly quiet month in terms of recording as we have been busy planning and getting permission for interesting things to record in America. Hopefully this time next week project harvest will be flying to LA - watch this space for blogspot U.S.A styleee.
We have done the odd bit of recording this month. Joss recorded inside Tate modern and I had the joy of recording St Patrick's day parade in Central London (although i left my camera at home) and the red carpet of the U.K premier of Wild Hogs feat. John Travolta, Ray Liotta and Tim Allen at the Odeon Leicester Square. For some reason (god only knows why) Right Said Fred strutted there stuff down the carpet and i got a camera pointed at me by the Paul O'grady camera crew! Watch this space.....

Friday, March 02, 2007

Project Harvest Diary: 2nd March 2007


Greetings bloggers, we have spent the last week or so of editing and recording various office sound effects in the studio with the help of new harvester Ashley 'The Ice Man' Smith who has created quite a buzz on You Tube recently for his editing antics. It was 28 hits last time we checked but still counting! I headed out to some stables near South Woodford yesterday to record my friend Gill's Horse Jasper (pictured). Me and Jasper spent some time negotiating on the recording fee and we eventually agreed on 3 apples. I thought he was going to call the whole thing off at one point when i was pointing mic's at his head whilst he was eating his dinner!
All went well and I got some good neigh's, hoofs on different surfaces, grooming sounds, trots, him rolling around in the mud and him taking a number 2. Really Jasper - was there any need for that?

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Project Harvest Diary: 15th Feb 2007

Happy New Year Blog Fans!

We have been a bit slack with our entries because we have been in London working out where we are and what to do next. We have got our US visas and are planning the next stage of the Harvest adventure.

We have been recording some stuff in the studio with honorary Harvest-eer Ashley "The Ice Man" Smith who is compiling and cataloguing the library.

Check out what we did to a computer! The warranty may now be void....

Click below to see Ashley doing what he does best.......

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Project Harvest Diary: 15th - 23rd November

The Boys Are Back In Town


We left Serbia behind after a brief overnight stop-off in a small town just shy of the Hungarian border. Spent a bit of time recording in the morning before heading up into Hungary. Got a bit of hassle at the border but we are well used to that now. The border guard demanded to see the eighth of a bottle of vodka we had left from Estonia (not the best), told us that we should have walked around rather than driving and that we shouldn't have gone to Romania. Mulling over this sage advice we headed through Hungary into Austria. Arrived in Vienna late and stayed in a service station and tryed to acclimatise ourselves back to Western European prices. Drove into a campsite in the morning and spent a few days recording in Vienna which was fruitful as it is quiet, they don't blare out Beyonce's latest hit from everywhere and the people are much too busy eating cakes and drinking double mocca frappacinos with cream to pay attention to us. Went into the Christmas market on Saturday and found that the sense of smell was more stimulated than the sense of hearing with various stalls selling apfel punsch, sweets and massive cakes.
Left Vienna on Sunday and drove to Salzburg hoping that the Christmas Market there would be a bit more sonically stimulating but it was not open for another week. We pushed on after scraping the ice off the inside (!!!!!) of the van windscreen in the morning and rolled into Innsbruck to find that again nothing was open for a few weeks. We meandered our way back to Calais and got the ferry back our European adventure all but over. There will be more after Christmas when our adventure continues.