In June I visited a congress in Berlin. When visiting a large metropolis I try to make a night sound recording from my hotel widow. It's interesting to analyse the daily and nightly patterns of the city. I especially like the most silent period, usually somewhere between 02:00 and 04:00. This is the Berlin night in Audacity:
“Good night,” Milgrim said ... He ... climbed into bed in his underwear, and pulled the covers to his chin. He turned out the light. Lay there running his tongue over the backs of his teeth. ... And listened to, or at any rate sensed, the background frequency that was London. A different white noise.To filter out that background noise I edited the most silent part of the recording. I cut away all the car sounds leaving only the silent background. And then I cut away all the parts where "nothing" can be heard. This is the result:
It was a wonderful experience to listen to the recording and work with these sounds. I did it in my inexperienced way, but it deserves a better recording and better editing. I was surprised by two things:
- How early the birds start singing. Almost in the middle of the night.
- How the birdsong echoes through urban space. How wide and mysterious this space sounds.
The emptiness of urban space at night is breathtaking. I'm a bourgeois individual who goes to sleep at 23:00 so I never experience the spaces of deep night. But I'm tempted to try the very early morning.
- The earliest night singing bird is the nightingale. But the song of the earliest birds is much too simple to be nightingales.
- Another early bird is the Robin. But the song of the early birds does not sound like that. It sound much simpler.
- The earliest bird might also be the "Hausrotschwanz" the "Black Redstart". This is the most likely candidate, but I still think the sound on the recording is simpler than the song examples in the Internet.
- The blackbirds are early singers but they start much later. And they are very easy to recognize. In the recording you can hear the first blackbird at 3:13.
Berlin recording - Freesound
German early birds
Robin song sample
Black redstart song sample
Early birdsong - podcast in Swiss language, with song samples
Distribution of "Black Redstart" in the Netherlands