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The quarry is singing!

I walked up through the quarry on the hill this morning.  I like to go that way on Sundays, as it's quiet then with no Monster Trucks moving and no huge bangs.  The huge bangs do shake the whole hillside when they happen, including our house, but I imagine they must be much scarier up close, with the warning sirens wailing.

It was a wild windy morning, the bare trees on the hill all bending with a tremendous rushing sound in the wind coming over from Dartmoor.  The road runs below the hilltop, so it is sheltered, but the trees up on the top were roaring.

I went up on the road that runs through the quarry, and could hear a strange distant music.  The whole place was shut up, with nobody about at all. Eventually I realised that the music must be the wind blowing through the metal steps and rails and bars that are arranged around the vast funnels and tubes and pipes that the quarry uses to process its sands and gravels.

The sound was like something between tubular bells, distant church bells on a windy day, and someone blowing a tune on a series of partially-filled bottles.  It was surprisingly beautiful.

I've heard mines singing before, when the wind races across the top of a chimney on a hillside, it can have a sort of deep voice.  But never a whole organs-worth of accidental instruments all singing together. 


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
31st Jan, 2016 13:35 (UTC)
On the other hand my sister and brother-in-law were once walking over Dartmoor when they heard some music which sophievdennis thought sounded a bit like Seth Lakeman. They rounded a corner and were surprised to find it was, indeed, Seth Lakeman, serenading some rather bemused fishermen. Apparently he was shooting a music video.

So, you know, it might not have been the wind in the quarry, but a random folk singer...
31st Jan, 2016 17:44 (UTC)
I almost wondered if it was a radio playing at first (it had not occurred to me that it might be a wandering folksinger, I admit) but it was coming from a tower that didn't seem to have any human-sized bits. That makes no sense. I mean, it doesn't have an office or windows or anything, it's just a huge metal object covered in monstrous funnels and stairs and walkways and things.

And then, when the wind dropped, the music went away.
31st Jan, 2016 13:39 (UTC)
What a wonderful experience! You could use it in one of your stories!

(There are probably places where it occurs naturally. And the Colossi of Memnon are supposed to wail in the right wind. And I think Elgar is supposed to have heard his Introduction and Allegro walking in the Malvern Hills, but maybe that was just in his head ;-)
31st Jan, 2016 13:41 (UTC)
There's a ?Harry Harrison short about singing trees, and I'm trying to dredge my memory for a fainter recollection of something else ...
31st Jan, 2016 17:45 (UTC)
One advantage of a present-day setting! Although I'm sure that one could get that sort of effect from Middle-earth technologies. Probably not dwarves, I don't suppose they would want to be so high up, but you can see some elven device having that effect.
31st Jan, 2016 15:08 (UTC)
...someone blowing a tune on a series of partially-filled bottles...

How marvellous! I've heard hollow metal gateposts singing to themselves in the fields sometimes, but it's a very thin lonely sound.
31st Jan, 2016 17:46 (UTC)
The sound of a mine chimney is more of a foghorn. But again, very lonely. This was lovely.
31st Jan, 2016 18:43 (UTC)
That is awesome.
1st Feb, 2016 06:42 (UTC)
THat must be quite an experience. I love to hear the wind in the poplars.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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