• Liz K Miller

Listening to carpenter ants

I’m listening out of curiosity. Listening because sound might reveal to me something that sight has overlooked. Listening inside a carpenter ants’ nest is one of these audio discoveries. The nest is inside a decaying birch log, within which a multiplicity of sound texture hides. The constant movement of the workers, their many feet scuttling over and around the contact mics. Delicate tapping sound vibrations are constant and multiplied with the industriousness of the colony. Another sound is layered on top of the busy tapping: a rubbery squeak. This squeak is not a continuous texture, but intermittent, with pauses, repetition and rhythm. There is pace and drive to the squeaking activity, but it is not just the movement of many tiny ant feet, the squeak is caused by another type of activity. There is something more, something further to be learnt about, and from, this sound.




5th April 2019

Glen Affric, Highlands, Scotland


#carpenterants #sylvansounds #birchlog #glenaffric #treesforlife #forestlistening #scottishhighlands #rewilding #caledonianforest