I haven't updated my equipment (Sony MZ-R70 MiniDisc Recorder) nor explored field recording in years and I'm excited at the opportunity to return to it. John Cage turned the world of music upside down when he suggested that there is no such thing as silence and any sound can be music. I think his spirit is what has inspired some of the best music of the last 50 years. It's with his philosophies in mind that I (and many others probably) approach field recording. It encourages deeper listening and, as a result, a deeper appreciation for the music that surrounds us at all times. I think it makes us value the little things that go unnoticed. It also makes us question just what is music and what, if anything, separates music from noise. I want to share that interest, and nurture that sonic and philosophical curiosity, with people following our adventure.
In the interest of expanding the sonic exploration I can pursue, I've been researching hydrophones (underwater microphones). Through mutual friends, I've been in touch with a very generous gentleman in England who makes hydrophones named Jez Riley French. He has been incredibly patient and shared such incredible knowledge over the past day and I wanted to document our meeting. He's passionate, knowledgeable, and experienced in the craft of field recording and he's walked me through many questions from a relative stranger. In the spirit of documenting our encounters I wanted to write about Jez. Thank you Jez!
Edit: In the spirit of DIY, Korchnak directed me to this post by Leafcutter John about building a hydrophone. I may try this sometime too, but Jez's hydrophones will certainly yield a more accurate experience. The process of building a hydrophone would probably be worth it for the experience alone. That's a big part of my excitement for the journey.