Columbia Lowlands Soundwalk Chad Crouch

Album info



Label: Sound of Picture

Genre: New Age

Subgenre: Nature

Artist: Chad Crouch

Album including Album cover


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FLAC 88.2 $ 13.20
  • Chad Crouch (b. 1973):
  • 1Crouch: Part 1, Lowlands Medley03:20
  • 2Crouch: Part 2, Shillapoo Echo01:04
  • 3Crouch: Part 3, Sandhill Cranes00:59
  • 4Crouch: Part 4, Aloft02:04
  • 5Crouch: Part 5, Through The Mist01:54
  • 6Crouch: Part 6, Geese01:10
  • 7Crouch: Part 7, All the Creatures04:30
  • 8Crouch: Part 8, Lowlands Segue00:53
  • 9Crouch: Part 9, Alone00:55
  • 10Crouch: Part 10, Together01:10
  • 11Crouch: Part 11, A Thousand Wings03:05
  • 12Crouch: Part 12, Listening03:50
  • 13Crouch: Part 13, Wild Din00:58
  • 14Crouch: Part 14, Patterns03:11
  • 15Crouch: Part 15, The Call01:18
  • 16Crouch: Part 16, The Ancient Choir01:00
  • 17Crouch: Part 17, Shilapoo Reverie03:13
  • 18Crouch: Part 18, Lowlands Refrain01:21
  • 19Crouch: Part 19, Instincts01:22
  • 20Crouch: Part 20, Walking Back02:46
  • Total Runtime40:03

Info for Columbia Lowlands Soundwalk

Chad Crouch’s soundwalks fuse immersive binaural recordings—made while walking through a sound-rich natural environment—with his elegantly simple instrumental scores. Columbia Lowlands Soundwalk captures the reverberant ancient calls of Sandhill Cranes wintering along the Columbia river, pairing them to tender, evocative, melodic performances

I just want to spend a little time talking about two things related to the release today of my album Columbia Lowlands Soundwalk. 1) My approach to field recording and, 2) A Vancouver Lake Lowlands historical overview.

One thing I should clarify is “Columbia Lowlands” is a place name of my invention for the album title. Vancouver Lake Lowlands sounded, frankly, provincial and vaguely backwater-ish to me. This is the opposite of what I hoped to convey, as you will find. Also, this is the first in a five part soundwalk series covering this region, to roll out over the next 10 weeks. So with that out of the way, please feel free to roll the excerpted audio and read on!

My Approach to Field Recording

In a word, it’s escapist.

When I first thought to record my walks start to finish, it was in large part a response to getting frustrated with gear placement, set-up times and the invariable intrusions (aircraft, motor vehicles, trains, landscape maintenance machinery, chatty hikers and so on). Moreover, once it was up and rolling, a sense of tedium could sometimes creep in while I remained nearby, quietly minding the recorder.

In contrast, the first few soundwalks that I made were mostly faithful to the whole of what I heard on the walk. I didn’t cut out the hikers, helicopters, and so on. I would dial down the low frequency hum of the city, but I didn’t remove it entirely. Just a light cleaning, if you will.

As I added new albums to the series, and my audience grew, I often found myself rationalizing removing more and more sound intrusions, to the extent that I was editing the recordings to effect a pre-industrial ideal; Just nature, hold the people and machines.

Recording at Vancouver Lake Lowlands brought this challenge into sharp focus, given there’s every form of transportation (boat, train, and motor vehicle) routed along the river on both sides, as well as a steady stream of aircraft coming and going from Portland International Airport and Vancouver’s Pearson Field.

Vancouver Lake Lowlands and the greater region—including Sauvie Island and Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge—is a magnificent kingdom of birds come wintertime! Snow Geese can number in the several thousand. Canada Geese and Cackling Geese as well. The impressive Tundra Swan, Trumpeter Swan and Sandhill Crane are not hard to come by in numbers. The largest Great Blue Heron and Great Egret rookeries on the Columbia are in the Vancouver Lake Lowlands and on Sauvie Island. And we haven’t even started on the ducks. All kinds of ducks! So, planes be damned, I had to at least try to get some decent field recordings.

Come winter I find myself craving the riotous, gorgeous, pandemonium of a huge number of geese taking to the air. You may not feel the same way, but I know I’m not alone. The sound, as calamitous as it is, actually has a very calming effect on me for some reason. Maybe it’s hard-wired into me. Humans have always listened for the presence of birds as an indicator of resources and a healthy ecosystem. I find the honking of geese to be reassuring. I hear: It’s okay. Don’t worry. Life is abundant! ....

Chad Crouch
eleased his debut, Portland, OR as a singer-songwriter in 1997 under his own HUSH Records imprint and went on to release over 100 titles from many acts including The Decemberists, Nils Frahm, Esperanza Spalding (with her trio Noise for Pretend), Peter Broderick, Laura Gibson, Loch Lomond, Corrina Repp, Kind of Like Spitting, Shelley Short and many more. By 2002 visual art had largely fallen by the wayside. Crouch performed as the frontman for Blanket Music from 2000-2006. In 2007 he began releasing solo instrumental music anonymously via podcast as Podington Bear. The prolific instrumental streak as Podington Bear continued until the end of 2017 and is collected in The Sound of Picture Production Library, a 2000 track catalog for licensing and listening. Crouch returned to releasing music under his own name in 2018, and began releasing music under the pen names A. A. Aalto in 2018 and Mello C in 2020.

This album contains no booklet.

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