Calm Night in the Sahel
As the sun sets in the savanna, a tentative insect chorus starts. It is hot, windy and dusty in the Sahel, with little humidity and not a whole lot of wildlife.
The Sahel is a transition zone between the dry expanses of the Sahara in the north, and the moist tropical forests and savannas further south, and stretches from Senegal and Mauritania all the way to Sudan and Eritrea. On our impromptu camping night we set up a few recording rigs before we went to sleep. The soundscapes we captured aren’t incredibly diverse, since this was the height of the dry season and wildlife was struggling to survive away from water sources. As a result we could only hear insects and birds, and the ever-present soft wind that occasionally picked up with no apparent reason. Even so, to my ears this soundscape is magical and full of detail. The insect chorus changes endlessly, with patterns emerging and disappearing all the time. Every now and then a nightjar will start purring, and you can even hear a sleepy dove on occasion. Wind in the dry vegetation sounds almost like static or microphone self-noise, until you start noticing individual gusts.