Running Time:

92 min

Release Date:

July 2016

Recording Location:

Near Ooroolanie, Birdsville Track, South Australia

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The Dancing Brolgas of Ooroolanie

Against the low rise of a dune in the flat, arid country of outback Australia, waters from recent rains have collected, forming a broad and shallow wetland dotted with sparse vegetation.

Nomadic birdlife has gathered here to breed and feed, taking full advantage of this ephemeral opportunity. Among them, a pair of stately brolgas - Australia's native crane.

In the dark before dawn, black-tailed nativehens cackle and splash in the shallows. Other waterfowl include pink-eared ducks, teal and coots. Lewin's rail patrol the shallows, giving gruff calls, while black swans wheeze tonally from the deeper reaches.

With first light, the songbirds begin. The steady, morse-code tones of little grassbirds are heard prominently, plus the cheerful trills of fairy-wrens. Small flocks of blue-winged parrots tinkle delicately as they wing overhead, and ravens call laconically in the distance.

Suddenly the loud trumpeting of the brolgas rings out across the landscape from the far side of the wetland. With heads back and wings wide, they engage in a light-footed hopping and bobbing dance of courtship, eventually settling down to resume their steady promenade along the foreshore.

This is a rich soundscape, full of life, texture and activity.

Andrew comments:

"We came upon this location in the barren outback of South Australia. It had rained a few weeks previously, and the still waters covered several square kilometres. An inspection by daylight revealed much birdlife, but it wasn't until the following morning that we realise just how rich the location was.

"I was sitting in the dark recording when the brolgas began calling. Their calls were so unexpected as I listened in my headphones, and I could hear the reverberations echoing out across the landscape.

"I've no doubt that a few weeks after we were there, the waters would have evaporated, and the birdlife dispersed. But this special recording allows us all to experience a brief and ephemeral moment in the life of the desert.

"This album comprises one track; a single-take recording, ideal for deep listening to the layers of sound in this vibrant location."

Audio sample of this album


The Dancing Brolgas of Ooroolanie


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About the audio formats


Mp3 is a universal audio format, playable on iPods, computers, media players and mobile phones.

Mp3 is a compressed format, allowing smaller filesizes, offering faster download times and requiring less storage space on players, but at some expense to the audio quality. Many listeners can't really hear the difference between mp3 and full CD-quality audio, and hence its convenience has lead to it becoming the default option for audio.

Our albums are generally encoded at around 256kbps (sometimes with VBR), balancing optimal audio quality without blowing out filesizes excessively. We encode using the Fraunhoffer algorithm, which preserves more detail in the human audible range than the lame encoder.

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Mp3 files can be burned to disc, either as an mp3 disc, or an audio CD after converting them to a standard audio (.wav or .aif) format first.


FLAC is a high-quality audio format, allowing CD-resolution audio. It is ideal if you wish to burn your files to a CDR, or listen over a high resolution audio system. However files usually require special decoding by the user before playing or burning to disc.

FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec) is a LOSSLESS compressed audio format. This means that it preserves the full audio quality of a CD, but optimises the filesize for downloading. Typically, file sizes of around 60% are achieved without any degradation or loss of audio quality from the source files at the CD standard of 16bit/44.1kHz.

Obviously the file sizes are larger than for the mp3 version - usually around 300-400Mb for an album, compared to 100Mb for an mp3 album.

In addition, you'll need to know what to do with the files once you've downloaded them. In most cases you'll want to decode the files to wav or aiff, either to import into programs like iTunes, or burn to CDR. Some programs will play flac files natively.

There is a lot of information about flac online (eg: