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Outgoing tide

by Roger van der Veken

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Ever heard 80 million liters of water passing by?

The Oosterscheldekering is a storm surge barrier in The Netherlands. The construction is 9 kilometers long and contains 62 sluice gates that will be closed in case of extreme flooding.
Most of the time they’re open to let the tide come in and go out. That means that 4 times a day approximately 900 million cubic meters of water floats in or out through the gates.
It takes about 6 hours to reach the highest or lowest water level within one cycle, so roughly calculated, in this 2.30 minute recording of water floating through one of the gates you’ll hear 900,000,000/62/360*2,5=80645.161 cubic meters of water passing by, which amounts to 80645161 liters.

This recording was made on 27 March 2020, during the early phase of the first Corona lockdown in The Netherlands. Almost no traffic or plane noise, which is why earlier recording attempts ended up in the bin.
Just a bit of a strong wind, but, as I kept the mics behind one of the concrete pillars, that didn’t have a huge impact on the recording.

Recording setup:
1 shotgun mic, centered
2 condenser mics in AB setup


released October 20, 2020


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Roger van der Veken ZE, Netherlands

Field recording means an endless source of inspiration to me. Just listening with attention to the world around me is a great joy that can give me the same level of emotion some music does. Even more, many ordinary sounds are a form of music to me cause they often contain rhythm and melody. You only have to hear it! ... more

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