Interviews with wildlife sound recordists

Simon T. Elliott interviewed by Mark Peter Wright (1 of 2)

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  • Interviewees

    Elliott, Simon T. (speaker, male, interviewee)

  • Interviewers

    Wright, Mark Peter (speaker, male, interviewer)

  • Recordist

    Wright, Mark Peter

  • Abstract

    Track 1 [00:58:23]. [00:00.00] SE reflects on growing up in Sheffield and his relationship to parents and siblings. Continues to discuss being interested in birds from the age of five when he read the Observers “book of birds”. [00:04:22] SE discuses how he began to develop a serious interest in bird watching from the age of eleven whilst at grammar school. Continues to reflect on birdsong and how sound and music was always part of his background. [00:05:32] SE reflects on the first time he went sound recording aged 13 with compact cassette machine his father had brought home from a business trip. Continues to remember the first recording he made of a Chaffinch. [00:06:52] SE discusses relationship to music and some of the bands he would listen to growing up. Continues to discuss studying music up to A level (1970-72) and playing piano, clarinet and guitar. [00:10:14] SE reflects on studying medicine at University in Sheffield and discusses how he continued bird watching during that time (1973-76). [00:13:37] SE reflects on discovering the WSRS through a Daily Telegraph magazine article with sound recordists. Continues to discuss Joining the WSRS in 1975 and the formation of friendships and knowledge through society field trips. [00:16:45] SE discusses making equipment such as a parabolic microphone with a bin lid and eventually building up his kit when earning money through his job in medicine. [00:19:43] SE discusses balancing wildlife recording with a job in medical ultrasound (radiology). Continues to discuss the crossover between radiology and recording wildlife. [00:23:20] SE discusses why and how he likes to record as close to a bird as possible. Continues to discuss recording the heartbeat of a wild Scottish Golden Eagle and how he deals with the total soundscape. [00:30:29] SE reflects on his specialist interest in birds of prey and the administration, responsibility and preparation that goes into such recordings. [00:34:38] SE discusses licensing his recording for wildlife documentaries and using his recordings for science and archives. [00:37:57] SE discusses his system for archiving and how and when he accesses his own archive for personal use. [00:41:16] SE reflects on his relationship to collecting and the tension between recording and listening. [00:43:17] SE reflects on his first points of contact with the British Library and working with Ron Kettle and Richard Ranft (circa 1986). [00:45:32] SE describes examples of recording wildlife in and around his day job in medicine. [00:48:51] SE discusses particular places and species he enjoys recording (Little Grebe). Continues to discuss recording the Little Grebe and the practical effort involved. [00:54:18] SE discusses how technology has changed over the years. Continues to discuss the difference between recording locally as opposed to abroad [end of track]

  • Description

    Interview with Simon T. Elliott (1 of 2). The wildlife recordist discusses his personal history and experience of recording wildlife sounds.

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