Earlier in November, I organised a workshop weekend with sound artist Max Eastley in my media department at South Hill Park (photoset on Flickr). One of the activities that he led with the participants was to make DIY contact mics/hydrophones from piezo discs. It reminded me of some of experiments I used to do back in the late 80’s, like piercing the discs and stretching them between fishing wire, which renewed my interest in the world of contact microphones.Â
After several trips to find some decent discs (most of the current batch at my local Maplin have the solder join to the ceramic centre detached) I’ve wired up my own piezo mics, given them a nice waterproofing coat with Plastidip, and took them out today for a first field test.
I’m starting another sound-mapping project where I want to collect sounds from areas around electricity pylons. I’m not sure what the specific attraction to the pylons is, but something to do with their giant presence in the periphery of the towns around where I grew up. We’ll see how it turns out, but here’s a sound clip recorded with a contact mic attached to one of the feet of a pylon, just over the M40 towards West London.