Blackdown Voices

A CD with singing sheep, birds, insects, dripping water, church bells and jazz solos

Sounds of the Blackdown Hills set to music by
Charlie Hearnshaw & Maxine Green


Released September 2007
price £13.00 including p.& p. 

Tracks on Blackdown Voices

How to order this CD from us

bird song stop button
Sung by “The Poll Dorsets.” We chose individuals who bleat naturally in G minor. Their solo work is of course impeccable but as an ensemble they give the impression of an untrained but enthusiastic choir. The Poll Dorset is a hornless Australian strain introduced to Britain in the fifties.

Watering Can Can

During the storms of July 2007 we recorded rain streaming from a roof into saucepans, jars and a watering can. We sampled pouring water too. We allowed the moist and drippy mood to influence our solos.


hoverfly 220 For recording, a flower attached to the mic attracted some hover flies while others preferred paper petals taped to the end of it. We looped various buzzes to construct a drone somewhat reminiscent of a hurdy gurdy. Sax solo heavily influenced by Nusrat Fatah Ali Kahn. Our garden hover flies buzz tunefully in D and required no pitch processing.


A peal from the bells of St. Mary’s, Uffculme, morphs into a light rock rhythm. We use the clap of wood pigeons’ wings - their alarm call - as percussion. The six bells, cast in 1801 from a previous peal of five, are tuned to a scale of Eb.


The Poll Dorsets chill out, with lots of sax. Jazzy Deep House style.

A tap drips rhythmically into a basin, doubled by bass and pizzicato synth.
Five wood pigeons, a squirrel and a crow intone a blues in C.
8 Wasps We positioned a microphone at a wasp’s nest entrance, just out of their flight path. The wasps ignored it at first and then, perhaps intimidated by the mic's furry cover, swarmed and attacked. They would not give up until we dragged the mic away by it’s long lead. The track has twelve minutes of almost unprocessed wasp attack. You hear the constant rustle of papery wings and tiny ticking sounds as the wasps sting the microphone. Solo on basset clarinet in A.

The wasps' point of view: “Three hundred of us stung and bit the thing for over an hour and it didn’t even flinch. Then it fell over and crawled away.”


Here is a link to the  Sheep Song music video Give the video time to load before starting to play it.

Guest musicians
Jim Newton drums on Bellmore
Bill Hearnshaw violin on Watering Can Can

Comissioned by Neweyes:
Creative explorations in the Blackdowns
watering can

CD price £13.00 inc p.& p.

How to order this CD from us


On the site scroll down to Hearnshaw/Green for a short film about Blackdown Voices featuring Charlie Hearnshaw on alto sax accompanying a water wheel and soloing on clarinet with a rhythm section of industrial textile machines