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Sonic Mementos

What is the classic definition of field recording?

Field recording is capturing audio in natural, urban, or industrial environments, often using portable recording equipment. It's used for various purposes, such as documenting wildlife, preserving cultural heritage, sound design for media, and creating immersive soundscapes in music and art.

How I got interested in field recording?

I believe that people are more attuned to some senses than others. This personal and subjective point of view is not based on the debunked learning styles theory.

Most people are visually tuned and focus primarily on the visual stimuli of their experiences, usually remembering moments through images and taking photos.

In my case, I always perceived myself as an auditory person instead. My idea to get into field recording was to take what I call “Sonic Photos”, or “Sonic Mementos” -- recordings I can use to get back to the past and immerse myself in it.

Almost everywhere, people try to “compose” visuals, while outside of music, the cacophony of sounds is nearly entirely random. I like this unplanned layering a lot.

Where do my Sonic Mementos differ from traditional field recordings?

I don't care about them being perfect. It it's all about capturing the raw moment.

I talk, eat, and interact with the environment instead of trying to isolate myself and be a bystander.

Because of my relationship with the environment where I recorded these, they are made primarily for my personal use. An audio track of myself eating at my favorite overseas pizza joint is usually meaningless to many. That's why most of the recordings are private.

The current state of affairs

I'm a total noob at this. I have a cheap recorder and was lucky to find a used pair of great binaural microphones to use with it. The last puzzle piece is an old pair of earbuds for when I need to control or review recordings before transferring them to the computer. (Where I use Audacity.)


Samples (headphones recommended)

Both from Trip/2023/03/USA

A quick stroll from my hotel room to check if a book is available in my favorite indie bookstore in Portland, Oregon. Stopping for an espresso before coming back to the room.

Went from (and back) to my hotel room to do an errand and eat a slice of pizza, also in Portland, Oregon.

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