Running Time:

207 min

Release Date:

January 2018

Recording Location:

'Midway camp', above Boksavin village, at 2150m. Huon Peninsula, Papua New Guinea.

Papuan Dawn

Experience the mountain rainforest of Papua New Guinea’s remote Huon peninsula.

It is dark, before dawn. Insects chime and tiny frogs call from hidden places on the forest floor. As the light pales, the first birds begin singing. Prominent among them is the Regent Whistler, ruling the dawn chorus with whipcrack calls that echo through the trees. A soft chorus of cicadas begin fizzing intermittently, as more songbirds join in. 

Over the next hour there is a gradual transition from nocturnal voices to daytime birdsong. Once the dawn chorus ebbs, birds and insects are heard discreetly. For such a rich environment, there are periods of relative quiet. However rare denizens of these mountain rainforests make themselves heard, including ground-dwelling rails and scrub fowl. Meanwhile the various songs of exotic fantails, ifrits, robins, jewel babblers, meladectes and melampitas come and go, while fruit pigeons keep up a soft booming from the treetops.

This album is one continuous recording, allowing you to hear this precious forest environment as it is. Its three hour plus duration has been split into four tracks for convenience.

Andrew comments:

"The making of this recording involved all the planning and trekking hardships one would expect of undertaking field work in the mountains of New Guinea. The trip was co-ordinated by friend and sound recording colleague Tony Baylis, and images and recollections from our expedition can be viewed on the Australian Wildlife Sound Recording website.

"The recording was made at 2500 metres, an altitude just below the cloudforest proper. Here the clouds would gather and envelope the rainforest in mist each afternoon, but the mornings were clear. Many tropical species are restricted to specific altitudinal ranges, so the species community here results in a distinctive soundscape.

"This album is the result of four mornings recording. From our jungle campsite, I would set out around 4am, negotiating a slippery trail in the dark with my gear. On the first morning, I didn’t chance on a particularly worthwhile location. Exploring further along, I found the trail rounded a shoulder on the mountainside. Here the forest received more morning sunshine and opened up a little. It became the site I returned to over following days. Each morning was subtly different, and from them I feel this recording is the most interesting.

"Preparing the album in the studio has been a challenge, as the soundscape presented extremes of dynamics. The predawn was filled with sound; delicate but continuous. An hour after dawn however, everything had quietened down considerably, and sound became more nuanced. Birdsong would be distant, even muted, but then a Lesser Melampita would flit close by giving extraordinarily loud, and quite unbirdlike, snapping calls.

"I considered what do with these sonic vagaries. I could easily have used digital processing to ‘tame’ the melampita and balance the predawn chorus. But I’d like you to hear this soundscape authentically. I suggest setting your listening volume moderately (as realistic to nature as you can judge) to begin. Later, you may find there are sequences when not much seems to be happening, but when the melampita comes by, it is quite exhilarating.

"Many of the species heard here have been little documented. Of them, I’m particularly pleased by the clear recording of Forbes’s Forest Rails, which were foraging, muttering and calling very close to the microphones at times."

 

Audio sample of this album

1.

The Dawn Chorus, with Regent Whistlers and Lesser Melampita

50.03

2.

After the Dawn: Jewel Babblers, Robins, and a Chorus of Fruit Pigeons

66.49

3.

Forbes's Forest Rails

34.56

4.

Later Morning: Black Fantail, Blue-capped Ifrits, and the Melampita Returns

55.22

Purchase this
album as:

Digital Album

(for immediate download)

$8.00
$8.00

Download this album
for as little as $7.50 -
View Special Deals

(Prices AU$, exGST)

About the audio formats

Mp3:

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.

Our mp3 files are free of any DRM (digital rights management), so you can transfer them to any of your media technology. You've paid for them, they're yours for your personal use without restriction.

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:

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: http://flac.sourceforge.net/)