“Urban Nature” was recorded in late spring/early summer of 2021 and was inspired by a wonderful section of wild land known as the “The River Dodder Valley Park” that sits between two urban locations near my home. The river Dodder springs from the Dublin mountains, the park it’s full of wildlife and has a path that runs through it for about 5km, which has recently been expanded.
I’ve always found it fascinating that this thriving natural habitat sits near dual carriageways, the M50 motorway, its flyovers, local shopping centres and even a cement plant nearby.
There’s a waterfall and a weir and remnants of the old canal system that led from the old developing Tallaght village to the heart of Dublin’s city centre.
So armed with my Zoom portable recorder I gathered lots of various recordings, nature and urban sounds and they inspired me to improvise over these elements using keys and subtle synths & effects etc.
I tried to capture certain locations along this path with certain sonic aesthetics. Part 3 for example was inspired by a large electrical pylon that sits close to the river bank and its heavy cables span across the river. Birds nest nearby and I can imagine the possible electrical interference that the various animals may hear or feel so the piano part modulates and gets almost lost at times with a slightly unsettling level of interference & unnatural noise.
Ultimately, I created the album to be listened to in one sitting, trying to capture a soundtrack to the 5-6km walk with the different sounds and feelings you may gather from these polar opposite environments coexisting, so the CD is mixed as one track but each piece is easily identifiable as they start and end.
The album is dedicated to the memory of Steve Brown.