North Umpqua River

Date Posted:
Sep 28, 2023, 12:24 AM
North Umpqua River

In the book Chasing Monarchs, naturalist Robert Pyle described monarch butterflies as “wedded to watercourses.” They thrive in riparian areas. And so does milkweed. Because of this, we’ve prioritized routes that trace rivers, creeks, and streams — from the great Columbia and Willamette to smaller ones like the Row River and Canton Creek.

Here we are at the North Umpqua River where I'm using a pair of contact mics to record the sound of the water. A contact mic is a special kind of microphone that picks up vibrations passing through physical objects (rather than through air). For these sounds, I dunked the contact mics in the river’s rush. No effects here. Just some wild glissandi and watery flourishes that emerge from the interaction between the stream and the mics. A kind of dance between the recorder and the recorded.

Tomorrow Ursa and I head to another riparian area: Union Creek!