“The most interesting aspect of field recording is its potential to put us into contact with the “real”: with the infinite multiple of sounds in any situation. We are at best only dimly aware of this fact. The recording medium is stupid: it simply picks up everything that falls into its frequency range, without discerning or sifting. Our ears, being connected to very smart brains, are extremely good at selective hearing (as any parent knows).
A field recording can give us access (through the displacement of a mechanical copy). Whenever I make one, I’m excited for the moment of playback, away from the site. The question is always the same: What didn’t I hear? And, by extension: If I cut something out, do I run the risk of not really hearing a crucial fact of the environment? Is there an ethics of this situation? It may depend on whether one arrives with a preconceived notion of what should be recorded, or whether a part of the process is to learn what sounds.”