I have been fortunate enough to regularly spend time in Mandelieu La Napoule, a beautiful coastal town about 10km from Cannes on the Côte d’Azur. During the summer months the cafes, restaurants and beaches are packed with tourists, but outside of peak season things are much calmer. On a recent visit during April, I spent a few days recording, making the most of the lull in tourism.
The weather had turned slightly stormy creating rough and choppy seas. I decided to take a walk along the castle trail, a narrow path that winds along the coastline directly under the magnificent Château de la Napoule and continues on to Raguette Beach and then La Rague Marina. Next to the castle is a tiny pebble beach and as I walked past I was immediately drawn to the sound of the pebbles knocking into one another as the waves crashed onto the beach. I quickly set up my mics, pointing them directly at the pebbles.
Satisfied with this first recording, I continued walking along the coastal path hoping to hear different soundscapes and I wasn’t disappointed. After about a ten minute walk I came to Plage De La Raguette (Raguette Beach), a small sandy beach in a protected cove. The beach was deserted so I set my mics up in the centre facing out to sea. The wide stereo image captured waves breaking on the sea walls to the far left and far right, as well as onto the sandy beach in the centre and near left/right.
I love how along a small stretch of coastline so many different soundscapes can be experienced and in particular just how different the sonic textures of the seascape can sound. The coastal path at Mandelieu is an easy walk and highly recommended.