John N. Hutchinson, a legendary field recordist in Australia, recently passed away on the 8th of August this year.
John started recording made in the middle of the 1950's and was one of the first people to document the sounds of Western Australia's forests and the songs, corroborees and languages of many of the indigenous groups living there. I can't imagine the amount of the effort that he must have put into his work and he was obviously intensely passionate about capturing and listening to these sounds. John lived to be 87 years old and I'm sure he lived a far richer life than most of us will, spending much of his time living alone in the bush, living off the land and recording the sounds he heard there.
Many of his recordings (especially of the Aboriginal music of these regions) are very important, not only for their aesthetic value and beauty, but are some of the only records of them. His recordings about the bush also document a time when the ecosystems were healthier and richer than they have become now. He was also an early proponent of stereo recordings, recording in stereo out in the field in the early 1960's!
A while ago I saw this CD at a library I have gathered much of my music from, at the time I did not know who he was and I still don't much know much, largely due to the reclusive nature of his life. This is a very rare CD and I can't find anywhere online that it can be purchased, so I thought I should share it with you all!
The recordings in the CD were made across Western Australia and Queensland. From the towering temperate forests of the South West, to the tropical woodlands of the Kimberly's, to the jungle's of Far-north Queensland, the cloud forests of the south-east and many more. Included in the liner notes are the very descriptive and specific details that I think John noted for all his recordings.
I will include other links to John's work and pieces about him at the bottom.
I've also put a select few on Soundcloud if you want to get hear a few before you download.Enjoy!