Things have been quiet on the blog over the Summer. There are several reasons for this. One is my annual struggle with August, but another is that I’ve been busy developing new projects. One such project is a website about me.
If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ve most likely noticed that on top of the blog, I have a Twitter account, an Instagram account, a SoundCloud account, and even a YouTube account. Put like that, it’s a lot. So why add a website to the mix?
A bit of background
Before I answer this, let me give a bit of background. I started Beste Glatisant back in January 2014. My online presence before then was confined to the world of fandoms and fanfictions, my name and avatar a presence on a multitude of forums. But in the early 2010s, I began to move away from television and into the outdoors. I discovered right of ways and the concept of microadventures. Expeditions were not confined to a screen or the pages of a book any longer. But as with anything starting was the hardest part. So I logged onto WordPress.com, created a blog, and shouted to the world that I was going to step outside of my front door.
And so this blog became a drive to get me outdoors. I would have no content to post about if I sat in front of the television all day. So I walked out, sleeping in my garden at first and taking day walks around London. And as I built my confidence outdoors, I built my confidence as a writer. I began to experiment with words, pictures, and soon afterwards sounds. I expanded onto Twitter, Instagram, SoundCloud, and YouTube. But at the core of it all was this blog, Beste Glatisant.
Why create a new online space?
The trouble with Beste Glatisant is that it has always been deeply intertwined with microadventures. And while this has been fine for over three years, it is now becoming a problem.
There is no denying that my outdoor life is at the core of my creativity. But my projects are outgrowing the niche I created here. I have albums coming up this year and creative writing plans for the future. So I built a website, a place where you can find all of me under one roof.
A portfolio of my work
This new website collects all of my work whether in words, sounds, or images. If you are only interested in my microadventures, the best place to follow me is still right here. But if you want to know more about what my life outdoors inspire in me, and about my work with sound, be sure to visit www.allysseriordan.info and to subscribe to my newsletter. It will contain all of my latest news and exclusive sneak peaks of upcoming projects (hint: an album trailer will land in your inbox very soon. Be sure to subscribe).
As mentioned last month, August was the last challenge to be issued for Nature Sound of the Month.
A year has gone since the challenge was launched and the first theme was released. It’s been a lot of fun to listen to your sounds and sonic memories, but it is time to end this challenge. New projects are about to be launched and demand too much of my attention. I simply don’t have the time to maintain this challenge running.
With Nature Sound of the Month, I wanted to broaden your experience of the outdoors by asking you to listen. Too many outdoors challenges ask you to focus on what you see rather than what you hear. And while visuals can be stunning they are not always present, nor do they necessarily align with beautiful sounds. When you close your eyes, your perception of a place change. What was the best scenery can turn into nothing much, and vice versa. My quest open ears if not over however. It is simply undergoing a change of format.
I want to thank everyone who shared the challenge along the way and sent contribution, in the forms of recordings or words. It’s been fantastic to discover people’s interpretation of the themes.
I hope you have enjoyed the challenge as much as I did.
But before I close this challenge for good, there is one last round-up to complete. Here it is.
Last month, the nature sound of the month focused on the sounds of your holidays and rest days. Here is what has been captured:
Abilene & Smoky Valley Railroad (Return Trip)
Recorded by Vince Hancock.
Recorded by Jonathan.
Recorded by me.
What have you been listening to this past August?
A huge thank you to everyone who took part in the challenge last month. I hope you’ve enjoyed capturing your sounds as much as I’ve enjoyed listening to them. Check out the round-up of sounds from listening to the weather in the previous post today.
Last September, I launched the first theme of Nature Sound of the Month. I wanted to create a challenge that broadened your experience of the outdoors by asking you to listen. Many people have shared their sounds and stories of sounds throughout the year, and I am grateful for those. But it is now time to bid farewell to this challenge. It has run its course and new projects await. So for the last time this year, I am setting a theme to help you listen to the world around you. I hope you have enjoyed the challenge as much as I did.
Theme of the month: Holidays and rest days
School breaks, annual leave, or just a week-end away, August is always a bit different from the rest of the year. There is a lightness to the air and a carefree attitude in people. Even if you are working, holidays are in the air.
This month, take the opportunity to discover new places by going away from home or stepping in a new part of town. What nature sounds can you hear? Is it the crashing of the waves, the crickets in the grass, the birds overhead, or something else entirely?
So this month, wherever you are, I’m asking you to pay attention to the nature sounds of your holidays and rest days.
What is it about?
There are many challenges out there to help you make the most of the outdoors, but more often than not they focus on what you see rather than what you hear. Visuals can certainly be stunning but they are not always present. Close your eyes and the scenery is gone. This is not so with sounds. You cannot close off your ears. You can ignore the sounds but they are here nonetheless and some part of you are registering them. So this challenge focuses on sounds, specifically nature sounds, and asks you to get out there and record them.
How does it work?
On the 1st of every month, I’ll publish a post with a prompt for what to listen to. This prompt is aimed to help you open your ears to nature and is by no means a rule to follow. You can record something else if another sound picks your interest.
Last month, the nature sound of the month focused on the weather, asking you to listen to the elements around you. Here is what has been captured:
Recorded by Tiadeets.
Recorded by StillWalks.
Recorded by StillWalks.
Recorded by StillWalks.
Recorded by me.
Other nature sounds that caught my ear in July:
by Andrus Kannel
by Jeremy Hegge
by Reuben Derrick
What have you been listening to this past July?
Six months have passed since I set myself goals to achieve by the end of the year. A lot has happened in those months and it’s time for an update.
Learn European Portuguese
I have been learning a lot of vocabulary and I am confident enough to handle basic conversations. I understand soap operas when I have Portuguese subtitles on and I can read learners’ books. But I have not practised the language with a tutor or Portuguese person. I want to use a website called iTalki to help me improve but my work hours have made it difficult to arrange any kind of schedule. So instead I have gone on with a pattern of fuelling my vocabulary with a side of listening and reading.
Lately I have let this goal slide. Other commitments have taken priority over learning Portuguese and I find myself struggling to maintain my daily practice. I am aware that I have overgrown simple vocabulary learning but alternatives are more time-consuming – which doesn’t help me timetable them in a busy schedule.
But, I have began a new job with more regular hours, and this I hope, will make it easier to make time for iTalki tutors and boost my language skills.
One thing I have completely given up on are the videos. They took me too much time for not enough return. So only one video was ever produced.
Take a photo every day
At the beginning of the year, I used Splodz very helpful monthly prompts to help me focus and remember to take a photo a day. But I soon gave it up as the habit became more ingrained in me. My eyes automatically catch details and I remember to stop to take them in and capture them. I have gone through days when no photos have been taken, but most days I do and I’m happy with that.
Follow me on Instagram if you want to see all those (almost) daily shots.
Record a sound every day
This goal has been dropped back in April.
I started this exercise to push myself to listen and use my recording equipment more. And I do. But recording every day proved too much. Instead of pushing me creatively, the process began to hamper me. I would grudgingly record a sound which resulted into a bad recording. Then I would have to spend hours at my computer to edit what I had captured instead of devoting time to other sound exercises that I found more valuable. At first I pushed through, thinking it was a hump to go over. But the feeling of time lost and wasted never stopped. So I stopped.
I did not put my recorder and microphones away. Instead I took the time to develop a new sound specific project, one that forces me to listen and record regularly, but also one that is more meaningful and encompassing. But more on in another blog post (coming soon…).
Follow me on SoundCloud if you never want to miss one of my recordings.
Overall I’m happy with how I’m doing with my goals. There is room for improvement but setting myself targets has provided a focus I wouldn’t have otherwise had.
Have you set up goals and resolutions for the new year? If yes, how are you doing with them? Are you on track?