Gregory Ovenden - Wildlife Sound Recordist

Location Sound Recordist, Outside Broadcast Sound Engineer,


New release: From Uganda

A collection of sounds recorded in 2013 in Uganda.

BBC Autumnwatch 2014

It's taken a few years but at last I have a credit on Autumnwatch! I spent the program in the studio, miking up presenters and guests, watching the program being made first hand. An absolutely fantastic experience I shan't be forgetting. In my opinion it's one of the most important programmes to grace the television with regards to connecting people to the natural world and I'm very glad to have been a part of it.

Long may it broadcast, there's nothing else like it anywhere!

Release: Farne Life

Here's my second release. A collection of sounds from the Farne Islands, particularly Inner Farne.
Recorded late July, following three species of seabird nesting on the Islands.

The absolutely fantastic cover was created by Wildlife Illustrator and Environmental Writer Kate Whittington.
Here's her website:

I Wish I Could Be A Stone - Sound Installation Field Recording

A month or so ago I was approached by Visual Artist Louisa Fairclough to record for a sound installation to be held at the Danielle Arnaud Gallery, 123 Kennington Road, London SE11 6SF UK. The installation shall be held between the 19th - 26th October.

Recordings were carried out on Whitstable Bay, Kent on Bank Holiday Monday 25th August 2014. I captured the incantations from two choristers sitting on the pebbles with a DPA4060 lavalier microphone attached to each so as to capture their voice and breath, and two Sennheiser 416s set up to capture the sounds of their rummaging through the pebbles on the beach, with some spill from the lapping of the waves on the shore. The four channel recordings were made with microphones connected to Sound Devices 744T and MixPre-D to record to channels 3 and 4 on the 744.

The recordings have been pressed to vinyl for listeners to play at their leisure in the gallery space.


Here's the press release:

"Louisa Fairclough's second solo exhibition at Danielle Arnaud brings together a 16mm choral film-sculpture with a sound installation and a series of medium format photographs.

I Wish I Could Be A Stone is a sound installation that takes a single sketchbook drawing by the artist’s deceased sister as its starting point.

"The sketch hovers between a drawing, a poem and a visual score. Clustered about the page are the pencil outlines of pebbles. There is also very faintly the sense of a landscape: a horizon and the mast of a boat. It appears as though my sister was sitting on a shingle beach picking up the pebbles around her and drawing around each before writing the phrase 'I wish I could be a stone' within each pebble outline. I imagine how when she walked away, she would have left her own sitting body’s stone-shaped impression on the beach. The sketchbooks describe a dynamic and flowing landscape, the drawings and writing pulsating with the desire to return to ‘things themselves’ and a desire for her life and the world’s life to be deeply entwined.”

Devised in collaboration with composer Richard Glover, the composition is performed by two choristers sitting on a shingle beach close to the incoming tide. Each chorister enacts the simple gesture of picking up and dropping a pebble and singing the phrase from the drawing as they hold the stone, their voices rising above the percussive clatter of the shingle. This new work has been co-commissioned by Danielle Arnaud with ICIA University of Bath and Whitstable Biennale, and is performed by Rochester Cathedral Choristers.

Working closely with composer Richard Glover and photographer Milo Newman, Fairclough has been interpreting her sister’s drawings as scores and in doing so exploring how to give light and voice to these sketches. The series of medium format photographs show the sketchbooks open on various pages. The photographs are hand-processed in such a way that the drawings seem to rise from the page, the edges of the book barely present.

In Absolute Pitch (II), Fairclough casts the five lines of a small monoprint from her sister’s sketchbook into a physical space by stretching 16mm film loops across the room to create an audible drawing. On each film loop we hear a chorister singing the same pitch: the duration, tone and texture varying with each voice. Printed onto each filmstrip in parallel with the voice is a single block of colour: that which they called to mind and described flickering on their closed eyelids as they sung. The five film loops criss-cross through the space and with the lenses pulled out of focus, the projectors throw large diffuse spots of colour and filmstrip shadow onto the walls and ceiling. In both installations the viewer is drawn into the physical centre of the work to be surrounded by shifting sonorities. The distinct pitch of Absolute Pitch will resonate throughout the gallery coming together chorally with I Wish I Could Be A Stone.

Absolute Pitch was commissioned by Whitstable Biennale 2014 and ICIA University of Bath and performed by Gloucester Cathedral Choristers.

Louisa Fairclough is developing a reputation for her contemplative work with 16mm film and field recording. Absolute Pitch and Compositions for a Low Tide were presented at Whitstable Biennale 2014; Can People See Me Swallowing (a film for a stairwell) was shown at Spike Open 2014; Jeannie was shown at Arnolfini, 2014 (commissioned by PRS Bristol New Music); Flecks of a Brighter Colour was a solo show at ICIA University of Bath 2014; Ground Truth was a solo show at Danielle Arnaud Gallery, London in 2011 and Ha gamle prestegard, Norway in 2012. Ground Truth went on to be shown in February 2013 with elements at Camden Arts Centre, as part of Guy Sherwin’s exhibition Film in Space, and other elements concurrently at the Contemporary Art Society. She delivered performances at CAS and Plymouth Arts Centre early 2013. Two of Fairclough’s drawings were shortlisted for the Jerwood Prize 2011.

Richard Glover makes experimental music investigating perception and temporality within music of sustained tone textures and process music. He recently released a portrait CD on the experimental music label ‘Another Timbre’, and co-authored the book ‘Overcoming Form: reflections on immersive listening’. He gained his PhD from Huddersfield and has worked with leading international performers including the Bozzini Quartet, EXAUDI vocal ensemble, musikFabrik, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, Dedalus Ensemble and the BBC Concert Orchestra."

subscribe via RSS