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Topic: Birdsong in Ommadawn original version??, Am I going mad?< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
shenry Offline




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Posted: May 06 2022, 09:10

Someone please put me out of my misery. Whenever I listen to the original version of Ommadawn (on disc 2 of the special edition), at the bit where it goes quite and acoustic after one of the climaxes (about 09:00) I SWEAR I can hear birdsong in the background. But then whenever I try to play it back and listen closely I can't seem to hear it.

Is there birdsong in the background or not? Was it deliberate or was it just some faint background noise picked up by the guitar mic?
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Priabonia Offline




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Posted: May 08 2022, 05:29

You'll have to be a bit more specific, as I can't hear a "quiet section after a climax" at around 9'00" on either Part One or Part Two?

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Happy? Offline




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Posted: May 08 2022, 14:08

The Lost Version, perhaps?

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Priabonia Offline




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Posted: May 09 2022, 09:29

Ah OK, so the "Lost" version. I don't have the CD to hand but I downloaded a version from a certain well known video sharing website (for research purposes only and now deleted...). I think the bit you're referring to is at around 9'25", just after the bodhran stops (the CD version might be a few seconds out either way) - I'm 99% sure it's finger noise from the acoustic guitar, which sounds like it's been slightly "equalised" to boost the treble, which would accentuate the finger noise.

Another reason for it *not* to be birdsong is that The Beacon was a well enclosed studio space (remember the eggboxes!)...now if it had been recorded at Througham I could have believed a window had been left open!


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pauken Offline




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Posted: May 09 2022, 12:48

I can hear birdsong at that point as well as the guitar fret squeaks. Just for a few seconds and then it cuts off. It's in the left channel and sounds to me like it might have been in the background of the recorder track and it doesn't get faded out quickly enough once the recorder stops.
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shenry Offline




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Posted: May 09 2022, 18:34

Sorry yes I meant the lost version!!

Sounds like maybe not just me then. I suppose it COULD be fret squeak.
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Priabonia Offline




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Posted: May 10 2022, 10:05

Actually I'll (half...) take it back. Soloing the L channel does bring it out more, and there's definitely more noise after the (obvious) finger squeak and long after the recorder has faded. A bit of it sounds a bit like bird song, but another bit of the same "noise" sounds more artificial with a bit of a "phased" effect...so for the moment I'll stick with no birdsong.

Caveat that this is all off the mp3 from the well-known website. If I could find my CD I could do a better analysis (or if someone could share an uncompressed file)?


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BeaconBobby Offline




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Posted: May 30 2022, 14:28

I'm currently in the room where he recorded it, and you can hear birdsong very clearly. The windows are old and single glazed. Also The Beacon is in a spot with many trees, on an otherwise tree sparse hill, so it attract a lot of birds.

My mother bought The Beacon in December. I've just stumbled on this form whilst researching the house, Ommadawn, Mike Oldfield's time here, saw this question, and thought I can definitely answer that!
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qjamesfloyd Offline




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Posted: May 31 2022, 02:59

Hello BeaconBobby, lucky you to be in a place where such a legendary album was recorded, are you a Mike Oldfield fan?

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Happy? Offline




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Posted: May 31 2022, 03:16

Wow, that's a legendary place, Bobby!

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BeaconBobby Offline




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Posted: May 31 2022, 08:35

I wasn't a fan. I wasn't not a fan either. I'm fast becoming one!

I'm helping my mother renovate the house, so I'm expecting to be here for a year or so.

I'm happy to answer any questions if I can.
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Priabonia Offline




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Posted: June 07 2022, 07:07

Quote (BeaconBobby @ May 31 2022, 13:35)
I'm helping my mother renovate the house, so I'm expecting to be here for a year or so.

I'm surprised you haven't got a hundred Oldfield fans offering to help with the renovations in return for a stay in Mike's bedroom!

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BeaconBobby Offline




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Posted: June 08 2022, 18:58

Haha. Good point.

I've also got lots of interesting information about the house, Mike's time here (true or not) and Hergest Ridge.

For instance, I think there's a massive misunderstanding about Hergest Ridge and Mike.

Yes he spend time on Hergest Ridge, but it's almost certainly the case that Mike's relationship with Hergest Ridge was mainly as a view. A view from The Beacon's living room. A view from where he walked each day, a view from where he flew his gliders.

If I was taking the pilgrimage to Hergest Ridge, a huge part of that is to walk the south side and top of Bradnor Hll.

Or put differently, I've been living in The Beacon for 6 months, and I've been up Hergest Ridge once, yet it's my primary daily view. It's presence effects and inspires me.

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Priabonia Offline




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Posted: June 09 2022, 04:15

Yes that's a good point, and the Ridge is a good few kilometres away from the Beacon so it's likely that Mike spent more time (riding horses with Les Penning and William Murray) around the lanes of Bradnor Hill etc.

Out of interest do you know where that picture is taken from? I'm looking at the OS map for the area but can't quite fit it?

Equally out of interest (and highly unlikely given that it's now nearly 50 years since he was there!) but are there any traces of Mike's occupation in the house...wouldn't it be great if you pulled up some floorboards and found some lost mastertapes!


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shenry Offline




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Posted: June 09 2022, 12:17

BeaconBobby, WOW!

All round to Bobby's for a party! Only kidding.

You'd better watch for enthusiastic Oldfield fans. Did you know there's an Ommadawn tribute concert in the area (the pub where Les and Mike used to play) in the next couple of weeks? Actually, might be this weekend. I'm able to go, sadly. Once people have found out there's a new owner of The Beacon, and is a (new) Oldfield fan as well, you might well get inundated with messages. Or could be a wee moneyspinner for you... a fiver per tour!
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shenry Offline




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Posted: June 09 2022, 12:19

Quote (BeaconBobby @ June 08 2022, 18:58)
Haha. Good point.

I've also got lots of interesting information about the house, Mike's time here (true or not) and Hergest Ridge.

For instance, I think there's a massive misunderstanding about Hergest Ridge and Mike.

Yes he spend time on Hergest Ridge, but it's almost certainly the case that Mike's relationship with Hergest Ridge was mainly as a view. A view from The Beacon's living room. A view from where he walked each day, a view from where he flew his gliders.

If I was taking the pilgrimage to Hergest Ridge, a huge part of that is to walk the south side and top of Bradnor Hll.

Or put differently, I've been living in The Beacon for 6 months, and I've been up Hergest Ridge once, yet it's my primary daily view. It's presence effects and inspires me.


That's an interesting point about Bradnor Hill. I've only been to the area once, and (like many people) it was just Hergest Ridge I walked. I plan to go back some day.

Is that Hergest Ridge in the background of that photo then? So he's sitting on Bradnor Hill? I'll need to bear this in mind next time I am down.

The place definitely has a unique presence and magic.
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BeaconBobby Offline




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Posted: June 09 2022, 20:22

I think that the location of that photo is somewhere around here:

https://tinyurl.com/yed9v23d

At some point I'll go find the exact place.

We've found nothing so far, but we haven't searched under the floor boards yet. The downstairs is much changed. What was once the studio is now two en-suite bedrooms and a corridor, plus an extra room at the front.

Re Tribute concert. Thanks. I see it's on the 25th and 26th June at the Oxford Arms. I maybe able to make the 25th.

For anyone who is visiting. You can drive up Bradnor Hill. There's a golf course on the land, but it's National Trust, so free to roam. The bar and restaurant at the golf course are open to the public. They do a very good pint of Guinness and an excellent Sunday lunch, which you need to book in advance.

I say this as a novice, but as someone who's been to the top of Bradnor Hill 100+ times (mainly playing golf) if I were in search of Mike's inspiration, looking for his Mecca, I wouldn't be looking on Hergest Ridge.  

Bradnor Hill, particularly the south / south west, is where he'd have spend his time. It's an extraordinary, almost biblical place. Up in the weather, surrounded by seemingly endless views, with one view dominating, that of Hergest Ridge.

Walk west along the south side, up to the top. I'm confident that you'll agree, or at least entertain the theory, that Bradnor Hill was his place, his force, his inspiration.
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shenry Offline




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Posted: June 10 2022, 04:09

Fascinating points you make, thank you. The views from Hergest Ridge are certainly stunning, so if you say the view from Bradnor Hill is better... well, that's just tantalising in the extreme!

From visiting, it had occurred to me that it's a significantly long walk from The Beacon out to Hergest Ridge itself, particularly carrying a glider! So it does make sense that he spent more time on Bradnor Hill.

On a side note, I always find it interesting how these kinds of places become a place of pilgrimage for fans, but the actual person at the centre of it (Mike, in this case) moved on from there long, long ago and never looked back. The same thing occurred to me when I was visiting Beatles places in Liverpool (I'm a big Beatles fan): the truth is, they just left the place as soon as they started to taste some big success, and never REALLY went back (although McCartney has given a lot back to the city as he has gotten older). Musicians and artists move on, move forward, don't they? The best ones do, anyway.
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Priabonia Offline




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Posted: June 10 2022, 09:48

Quote (shenry @ June 10 2022, 09:09)
On a side note, I always find it interesting how these kinds of places become a place of pilgrimage for fans, but the actual person at the centre of it (Mike, in this case) moved on from there long, long ago and never looked back.

I walked within yards of the Beacon in the late 70s when I did the Offa's Dyke path as a teenager...completely unknowingly as (pre internet etc.!) I had absolutely no idea it was there! I had of course had knowingly walked over Hergest Ridge the previous day (somewhere I still have a photo of me sitting cross legged on a clear grass path through the ferns...).

As anyone who reads my posts here knows, my obsession is far more with Incantations...I finally made the pilgrimage to Througham Slad in 2018...but curiously it wasn't as evocative as I thought it would be, even standing mere yards from the famous bullseye window that Mike had put in for his control room in the barn.


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shenry Offline




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Posted: June 10 2022, 09:58

Quote (Priabonia @ June 10 2022, 09:48)
As anyone who reads my posts here, my obsession is far more with Incantations...I finally made the pilgrimage to Througham Slad in 2018...but curiously it wasn't as evocative as I thought it would be, even standing mere yards from the famous bullseye window that Mike had put in for his control room in the barn.

Yes, I'm aware of your Incantations obsession :)

Wow, how did you manage to get so close to Througham Slad? I thought it was a private house. Or were you sneakily trespassing... I don't blame you! I'm a bit obsessed with Througham Slad as well, but probably based more on my misunderstanding from the photos in the Boxed set: for years I had assumed this was still the studio at Hergest Ridge, and these photos were of the place where he had recorded Ommadawn. (Again, pre-internet days!;). But I still love the look of Througham Slad, and I do love Incantations (though not as much as the Holy Trilogy, as I've said on other threads!;). I love that big room with the grand piano and all the percussion, and the little control room high up... like a little bird box or something!
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