Towards Y2K9 (10): Sands Of Time

We came into Bandon, a coast town in Oregon, in the early evening. We found a motel room near the beach and took a walk down a wooden stairway to the seafront. The panorama was breathtaking – there were lots of seastacks, small rocky islands, sitting on the sand and in the shallow water, large and small ones.

There was a strong very cold wind, the sky was very clear, and the sun was about to set. What an otherworldly place! I couldn’t stop taking photos.

I also took some 1-minute videos of the sand that was driven by the wind across the beach – the movement of the sand streams were not unlike the color streams in those psychedelic 2001 scenes. I turned the small videos into a short youtube clip two days later, using some of my own music that I found on my notebook, a detail from some guitar/computer music improvisation from a couple of weeks ago.

Sabine went back to the motel room but I continued until my hands were numb from the cold.

Next morning, the sky was foggy and cold. The feeling tone had changed dramatically, but the scenery was still otherworldly.

We left Bandon and continued the trip to the south, finding out very soon that the whole southern Oregon coast, right into northern California, is full of seastacks and breathtaking vistas. What a place!

And then there was that spot on my camera lens (near the upper right corner of those images that aren’t zoomed). I haven’t been able to locate it and get rid of it. Maybe I should turn it into my trademark? Oh, I see that spot on the upper right corner – is that a genuine Michael Peters photography?

What My Feet Hear Barefoot On The Beach

After many attempts to find a sunny weekend where both of us had time for a few days of vacation, we finally made it to Holland and had a wonderful long weekend. The hotel room in Camperduin-an-Zee was great and we had an amazing view of the landscape behind the embankment.

The end-of-August weather was hot enough to lie on the beach and take a swim or two in the cool North Sea! In the evening when most people had gone home the beach looked like this.

Here are the sounds of the gentle surf, recorded underwater:

And here’s the sound of sand, recorded by my hydrophone which was plugged a few centimeters into the beach sand. I was surprised at how far the sand transports sound. I moved it around, squeezed and threw it, and there are also some steps of people passing by. This is the sound that my feet hear when I walk the beach barefoot:

After swimming and sunbathing at the beach, a coffee and an apple pie in one of the typical wooden beach restaurants is usually the next destination.

The next day was a little cooler and perfect for a visit in the nearby town of Alkmaar which is famous for its cheese museum and the historic cheese market staged there every Friday. We weren’t entirely sure if they actually still traded cheese there or if it was just a tourism event. Anyway here’s what it sounded like, accompanied by the carillon of a nearby church.

Sabine spent a while in a pearl shop, choosing a number of little black/white beauties for a necklace. While we marvelled at the multitude of designs, I noticed that they also sounded different, and interesting, so I recorded a few minutes of the shop atmosphere, and the various sounds of the different materials. Maybe they will eventually end up in some kind of composition.

A typical Dutch item is the windmill, and Alkmaar has several of them. A large windmill near the city center has been off duty for a few years now, and can be visited. Looking at such a windmill in a postcard landscape is pastoral – climbing into it and being very close to the wheels and rotating wings is something else altogether – the feeling of power and speed is quite awe inspiring. Here’s a little video I made – one has to see this in motion to get a feel of it.

At home, we live in a hilly area which is too steep to ride a bike for fun so we hadn’t been on a bicycle for years. What fun we had doing it again! Biking through the colorful dune landscape was like a dream. What a great invention a bicycle is!

Of course I had to videotape a minute or two while riding … which was a little dangerous on the sandy ground, but I managed not to crash-land.

After the bicycle ride, highest on our priority list was the giant ginger pancake at the Duinvermaak restaurant in Bergen. And a coffee. Good thing that we don’t have this at home – once a year is enough.