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Album Description

The rainforests of Malaysia are some of the richest on the planet. While several national parks have been established in the country, large areas of primary forest still exist outside park borders, and it’s these unprotected forests that are facing rapid & systemic destruction. In March 2014 I spent a week in and around Taman Negara National Park recording the extraordinary sights and sounds of this stunning area. Sadly, only a few kilometres from park headquarters in Kuala Tahan, extensive areas of virgin forest are being logged and cleared for palm oil plantations. It’s a story being played out throughout the world, as governments & corporations see forests as having more value dead than alive. Recorded from a logging access road adjacent to pristine, primary rainforest, this pure nature soundscape features the unique & beautiful voices of this precious habitat.

Listen to sample

Recording Location

Kuala Tahan, Malaysia

Track Listing

1. Gibbons in Pre-dawn Light (10:00)
The recording begins before dawn while the forest is still dark. An Indian Cuckoo is one of the first birds to call with it's repetitive four note whistle. As the sky brightens, White-handed Gibbons sing from the rainforest canopy.
2. Song of the White-rumped Shama (4:05)
As more and more birds call in the brightening forest, a White-rumped Shama takes front stage singing beautifully while hidden in the dark understorey.
3. Dawn Birdsong (9:55)
The rich rainforest dawn chorus builds in intensity with insects and dozens of bird species calling. Woodpeckers drum territorially, and Rhinoceros Hornbills can be heard in the distance with their distinctive honking calls. Sooty-capped Babblers whistle drifting melodies and Golden-whiskered Barbets make the rhythmic 'te-woop te-woop' intermittently through this track. The siren-like calls of a morning cicada are typical of these lowland forests.
4. Morning on the Forest Edge (3:42)
As the day heats up, the forest still sounds full of life. Greater Coucals make the deep booming calls while the 'kow-wow' calls of a Great Argus pheasant can be occasionally heard in the distance.
5. In the Heat of the Day (7:34)
In the early afternoon, the insect activity is high and the cicadas can become almost deafening! I didn't include any uncomfortably loud insects on this track, but there are some quite intense cicada rhythms and cricket drones. A Great Argus continues to make it's distinctive two note whistled call in the background.
6. Evening by a Forest Pond (4:44)
After nightfall, the soundscape is completely different. A few species of frogs call from a nearby pond and the warm air is full of the sounds of crickets.

Bird species heard on this album include:

Great Argus, Blue-crowned Hanging Parrot, Indian Cuckoo, Violet Cuckoo, Drongo Cuckoo, Greater Coucal, Banded Woodpecker, Green Broadbill, Black-and-Yellow Broadbill, Golden-whiskered Barbet, Red-throated Barbet, Rhinoceros Hornbill, Asian Fairy Bluebird, Spectacled Bulbul, Bold-striped tit-Babbler, Sooty-capped Babbler, White-rumped Shama, Oriental Magpie Robin, Greater Racket-tailed Drongo and Dark-necked Tailorbird.

Photos from the recording location

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