Watch Matthew Herbert mix birdsong, field recordings and static in the British Library's Sound Archive

Woodworms, pipistrel bats, indigenous music, static and grandfather clocks all in the mix.

Last week Boiler Room brought sampling specialist Matthew Herbert to the British Library’s Sound Archive, where he picked out a playlist from the archive’s five million unique recordings of music, sound and spoken word.

Kicking off with the most banging grandfather clock you’ve ever heard, Herbert mixes in clips of indigenous music, oral history, wildlife and environmental sounds as well as other more mysterious noises, while chatting about the meaning of archiving and how recordings are collected and salvaged.

Experts from the British Library also pop in to explain why their birdsong clips have been slowed down and how they attempt to eliminate static from old recordings without altering them too much. If you’re into sampling or consider yourself an audiophile, or if you just fancy finding out what woodworms sound like, it’s a great way to spend an hour.

Watch the video below or get the audio only (including a download) from the Boiler Room.




Share Tweet