Sabal Palm

“The touch of the sea, the most gentle of water movements, overpowers any sand that it reaches … Roots that previously held the soil are washed clean.” Recorded with hydrophone at base of sabal palm. I stood with my feet in the water, holding the hydrophone in the waves:


“…walking on fallen fronds we hear volleys of cellulosic guns, the crackling breakage of hundreds of stiff bonds.” Recorded as my students walked under the sabal palm:


“atonal panic, sensory tumult that overwashes all else … Prospero’s rough magic and roaring war.” The sound of storm and high tide at the base of the sea-felled palm. This recording captures the tumult, but the lowest frequencies (felt in my chest rather than heard in my ears) cannot be conveyed through mp3s:


“I scoop some foam into my hands and thousands of bubble surfaces pop as I lift them, a
sizzle like fish frying in a pan. The smell of foam is a distillation of ocean, like an inhalation after diving through a collapsing breaker, head wet with spray.” Sea foam recorded under the sabal palm. To record this quiet fizzle, I scooped foam into my hands then ran up the beach to shelter under the trees and thus get away from the overpowering sound of the waves. I held the microphone a few millimeters from the foam:


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