At the beginning of spring this year we decided to spend a weekend break at Corbie Farm (La Ferme de Corbie) in an effort to escape from the hustle and bustle of Paris. The farm is situated just outside the tiny village of Tilly in Normandy, which is located about 85km north-west of Paris. Staying in this small agricultural community was a welcome break away from the noise of the capital and just what we were looking for. I was with my family and some friends who also have a young child, so the farm environment was the perfect location.
Whilst I was mainly there to relax and spend time with my family, I couldn’t help but capture a few recordings. On our first day we went to visit the farm itself and was shown around by one of the farmers. They mainly raise cattle (Charolaise and Limousine races) for meat and the farmer kindly took us through a number of different cattle houses to see up close the work they do.
As the others chatted with the farmer, I wandered off back to one of the cattle sheds we had already visited. Sheltered from the wind I captured the sounds of a few dozen cattle that were housed inside.
I explored a little further and found another cattle house with most of the cows gathered in one corner of the large space. The closed environment not only protected my mics from the wind, but also made an interesting acoustic environment.
The farmhouse we stayed in was lovely. Very rustic, with an open fireplace and a very large kitchen that opened out onto a beautiful garden. I noticed that there was a chicken coop in the adjacent garden with two beautiful cockerels and about seven hens. On our second day I was awoken early by one of the cockerels that was housed in the garden right next to the farmhouse. Half expecting this to happen, I had set up my gear (Sony PCM D-100 on a Gorilla Pod tripod) the night before. I headed downstairs bleary eyed, set up my recorder just next to the coop, hit record then went back inside and had a cup of tea. We hear a nice mix of the hens clucking, the cockerels crowing and the local birdlife singing (crows, wood pigeons, blackbirds, song thrush).
Our weekend was really relaxing and these recordings take me straight back to our farmhouse. Although it was relatively close to Paris, it felt like a world apart and a great way to freshen the mind. I will definitely be planning more trips like this in the future.