Interviews with wildlife sound recordists

Alan Burbidge interviewed by Mark Peter Wright (1 of 3)

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  • Recording locations

    Long Eaton

  • Interviewees

    Burbidge, Alan (speaker, male, interviewee)

  • Interviewers

    Wright, Mark Peter (speaker, male, interviewer)

  • Recordist

    Wright, Mark Peter

  • Abstract

    Track 1 [01:06:12]. [00:00.00] AB reflects on growing up in Wolverton, Milton Keynes until he was 19/20 years of age. [00:02.10] AB talks about the influence of his father and a practical appreciation for construction and DIY. Continues to talk about his mother and her archaeological interests/career: AB reflects on joining his mother on archaeological digs from the age of seven to twenty and building up a vast knowledge of practice. [00:11.45] AB discusses the influence of his uncle Bill (Bill Pedley), an amateur astronomer, guitarist and natural historian who mended clocks for a living. AB continues to discuss natural history in particular and the allure of recording environmental sound for posterity. [00:14.51] AB reflects on bird watching with his uncle Bill every weekend and talks about how and why sound is so important for him in relation to an image or environment. [00:19.12] AB discusses the first equipment he remembers buying/using: a tape recorder with mono microphone (circa 1977). AB continues to discuss his next recorder (circa 1979), an ITT ST 66 mono cassette recorder with manual gain and reflects on the parabolic reflector his uncle Bill made him. [00:22.47] AB talks about the reasons and motivations behind wildlife recording. [00:24.56] AB reflects on school days from primary to doing science based O levels and later failing his first set of A levels, later re-taking them and eventually going onto Leicester Polytechnic to study Ecology. Continues to discuss his entry to Leicester being based on a long-term study of foxes with his Uncle and how he was motivated to do well. [00:37.12] AB discusses his teacher running a yearly expedition to the Shetland Isles to do ecological surveys. AB took part in these by surveying insects (circa 1983) and spent his days off recording wildlife with an open reel tape recorder, microphone and parabolic reflector. [00:41.03] AB reflects on joining the WSRS in 1974, aged 14, because his uncle Bill was a member. Continues to reflect on WSRS field meetings in Woodchester Park, Gloucestershire and the enthusiasm in finding new species and bird song. [00:46.28] AB reflects on his relationship with Richard Margoschis (founder of the WSRS). AB continues to discuss his involvement with the WSRS and how it developed, becoming secretary between 1993-1998. [00:55.23] AB discusses the decline in WSRS membership the early 2000’s in relation to Richard Margoschis’s death. Continues to discuss returning as secretary (circa 2003), later becoming vice-chairman, eventually chairman and now web officer. [01:00.06] AB discusses his historical relationship to the British Library (circa mid/late 1990’s) and the effect of changing digital media on his archiving process [end of track]

  • Description

    Interview with Alan Burbidge (1 of 3). The wildlife recordist discusses his personal history and passion for wildlife sounds.

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