x # 1 Old North State Press
Old North State Press modal

A traditional letterpressing shop imbueing exquisite detail onto Carolina paperworks.

At the Old North State Press, Master Craftsman Chris Paul designs and creates incredible works of stationary art and ephemera. The shop's workhorse is a 1964 Heidelberg 10x15 "Windmill", restored from the ground up. In addition, there's a Vandercook No.3 cylinder press, 2 Monotype Thompson Sorts Casters, and a second Heidelberg 10x15. The smell of machine oil, cardstock, and genius float about as these incredible machines (and their operator) toil away to make the perfect print.

Elements of this soundscape include the master printer adjusting his machines, letterpresses, pneumatics, whirring flywheels, and a power attenuator.

x # 2 CAMP North End
CAMP North End modal

The NC bomb factory, a massive 76-acre historic industrial site that produced Model Ts to missiles.

Built in the 1920's and remaining a fully functioning manufacturing and production site for nearly 50 years, CAMP (Charlotte Area Munitions Plant) North End has had a vibrant and varied past. Now, it is being renovated and restored, giving new cadre of North Carolinian creators and builders sprawling space to explore. Ahead of renovations, the vast empty floor of the Ford building, the intricate pipe-works of the Boiler room, and the overgrown rail yard speak calmly of a heavy industrial past.

Elements of this soundscape include still open factory floor, industrial fans, creaking pipes, nesting birds, wind in tall grass, dragonflies, and distant urban traffic.

x # 3 Carolina Raptor Center
Carolina Raptor Center modal

Igniting imaginations and inspiring engagement with the natural world through the exploration and rehabilitation of birds of prey.

Tucked away in a calm and alluring forest just off of Lake Norman, you can hear the calls and chatter of some of the most spectacular avian creatures in existence today. From sunrise to deep into the night, this raptor haven sings a dancing melody of vibrant leads supported by a swarming murmur of song birds and chirring insects. It is almost meditative to walk the grounds of the Raptor Center in the presence of such elegant, yet powerful birds. Have a seat under a canopy of dogwoods, elms, and southern pines and listen to both wild and rehabilitating, discovering all that they choose to share.

Elements of this soundscape include a sprawling forest, common tree birds, all manners of insects, the very distant hum of civilization, and wide array of magnifiscent raptors.

x # 4 Carolina BalloonFest
Carolina BalloonFest modal

Floating delicately in the vast blue, a colorful array of balloons cast playful shadows on festival goers below.

On a sloping hillside next to the Statesville Regional Airport thousands of onlookers and avid balloonists gather to observe and, if lucky, ride in the incredibly elegant vehicles of lift that are hot air balloons. The crowd ebbs and flows while powerful bursts from the burner roar to life, fluently filling the envelope (balloon) with hot air, raising gondola and human alike, from the ground. Nestled within the ranks, the balloons fill up and come to life. Gas-powered fans, burners, flowing fabric, joyful chatter, and eager riders circle all around. An extra special thanks to the incredible kindness of Mr. Mark Fritze for taking us up in his 'Freedom Flyer' and teaching all about the awesomeness that is ballooning!

Elements of this soundscape include balloon flight preparation, burners, fans, generators, low-altitude flight, ground crews, patrons, and festival announcers.

x # 5 Apple Picking at Sky Top Orchards
Apple Picking at Sky Top Orchards modal

In the cool mountain air of Autumn, amidst serpentine rows of fruit trees, windy boughs bend and apples fall.

At ridge line's crest, the Sky Top Orchard blankets the landscape with a cornicopia of apples. The smell of fruit and fermentation is ripe in the air while a storm calmly threatens in the distance. Picking apples in an orchard is a tremendously rooting experience, but doing so during a light rain, is rejuvenating. Under closely grown trees, limbs shake, leaves scatter, and dense apples fall as the wind swirls gently. Though sounds of civilization echo up the mountain side, the magnitude of the locale allows the mind to wander.

Elements of this soundscape include rustling trees, dropping apples, a light passing storm with wind and rain, a tractor, patrons, and respite under a makeshift orchard shelter.

x # 6 North Carolina State Fair
North Carolina State Fair modal

Truly a sound to behold, the bellowing and breathing of the fair is an interwoven tapestry of NC's sonic identity.

From popping kettle corn to candy apples, game prize bells to huge whirring machinery, pacing farm animals to agricultural demonstrations, the NC State Fair attracts absolute legions of people from all across the state. Touting a waterfall of activities, sights, smells, and a neutron of sounds, there is seemingly endless activity and events to observe within the veritable sea of people. Food is prepared, competitions are held, shouts of joy and excitement abound, and those classic fair jingles drift through the streets and by-ways.

Elements of this soundscape include throngs of fair-goers, the bleeps and bloops of games and stalls, hawkers, rides, agricultural shows, craftwork, and plenty of food being prepared.

x # 7 Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden modal

Across the seasons, ever-changing foliage and fauna remind us of the cyclical caedence of life and how though a year passes slowly, the environment revolves in mutual continuity.

Nestled just north of Lake Wylie, the cultivated and beautifully landscaped Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden is like a salve for the soul. Serene yet complex, the diverse gardens present a trove of plants, giving visitors seasonal and colorful tours within the verdure. Grassy fields and hardwood tree lines encompass the property showing the beauty of the wild and its role in the entire garden experience. Water fountains run throughout the grounds as a tip-of-the-hat to this vital life-giving element, playfully wild in its own right. Captivating and transformative, the grounds of this woven landscape provide patrons with the highest reason for pause and facilitate a perpetual stream of moments where on can truly absorb the natural world.

Elements of this soundscape include a four-season perspective from inside the garden, with fountains, birds, insects, and light breezes through the plant life.

x # 8 Carolina Renaissance Festival
Carolina Renaissance Festival modal

A woodland celebration of show, food, costume, and imagination, with 'Huzzah!'s heard for miles around.

Each year over 200,000 patrons make a journey for what many fondly refer to as 'Ren Fest'. Weaving through field and forest, the Festival bids all to feast, shop, play, and be entranced by an incredible array of performing artists. The attire of performers and visitors alike are an ecclectic mix of historical and pop-cultural, composed of a myriad of fabric and fallalery. Opening and closing to bombastic canon fire, guests are wooed by accented hawkers, musical instruments, clanking armour, cheerful jeers, and of course, 'Huzzah!'s.

Elements of this soundscape include performers, musicians, shopkeepers, games, a blacksmith, a royal joust, and some very happy patrons.

x # 9 Crowders Mountain State Park
Crowders Mountain State Park modal

A steep climb to a soaring vista, stone, tree, squirrel, and hawk all compose a ridgeline chorus.

There is no single path to the top of this mountain. Choose one, and win expanding views of the Carolina Piedmont as you climb. The air is clear and wind is clean, alluring all manners of hikers and naturalists. Hawks, condors, and ravens fly and perch as they wish. Hundreds of species of bushes, flowers, grasses, and trees cover the variegated rocks and hiking paths. At peak, it is a mix of serene nature and distant human endeavor from the towns below. 24 miles away, a stoic Charlotte skyline sits stark, tiny, and silent.

Elements of this soundscape include a mountain-side wind, scattering leaves, rustling branches, distant hikers, distant vehicles, birds, insects, and an airy expanse.

x # 10 Charlotte-Douglas Int'l Airport
Charlotte-Douglas International Airport modal

The straight expanse of field and tarmac is endlessly lapped by a thunderous roar of jet engines.

Nestled between two gigantic runways is a rare, small visitor's outlook where the curious can go to be sonically (and visually) awed by the effort of modern aviation. The piercing whistle and utterly colossal roar of jet turbines rocks vehicles, let alone anyone who step outside for a better view. The utter precision of the airport joined with the enormous power of the planes that traverse it, is truly enigmatic. Night or day, chests rumble and hairs stand on end as plane after plane escapes from and soars into a deep Carolina sky.

Elements of this soundscape include night transitioning into day with a heavy breeze, a wide range of jets departing and arriving, fidgeting on-lookers, stirring grass, and the pulsing hum of distant airport terminals.

x # 11 Town Creek Indian Mound
Town Creek Indian Mound modal

Situated in the serene rural hillsides of NC, a prehistoric archeological site echoes with powerful cultural roots.

The Town Creek Indian Mound is nestled in the rolling hillsides at the southern base of Uwharrie National Forest. It was built on a flat run of land highlighted by a large earthwork mound aside one of the many elbows in the Little River. Entering the historically-rebuilt grounds you'll cross a sprawling lawn and multiple reconstructed Pee Dee buildings surrounded first by a towering perimeter of hewn timbers, and then again by a circular wood line of even taller long leaf pines. Birds share the wind in the trees while frogs croak and insects chirr and trill along the nearby bank of the River. As you listen the soundscape will transition between the open field in the middle of the site to the interior of one of the smaller thatched roof structures. Aside from the natural ambiance, the area is quiet and transcendental. In the gusty breeze that strafes the grass, one reflects on the lives of the people who originally settled here over 1,000 years ago.

Elements of this soundscape include high wind through an enclave of pines and deciduous, birds, insects, a nearby creek, some interesting frogs and toads, and the whistling of wind through an open thatched roof.

x # 12 Weymouth Woods Sandhills Nature Preserve
Weymouth Woods Sandhills Nature Preserve modal

Sandy woodland paths wind through towering, slender longleaf pines host a unique mix of forest flora and fauna.

Sitting just a stone's throw west of Fort Bragg, one of the largest military installations in the world, is a low rolling pine canopied and sand grass covered forest with a spaghetti-like weave of walking and hiking paths. Both on and off those paths, you'll find a constant sea of pines needles, old and new, fallen from the countless longleaf pines that make up the majority of the forest. Tiny bogs, streams, rocky outcroppings, and birds and amphibians of all types flush the nature preserve with vibrant life, and with it, sound. In an almost (almost) complimentary manner, the natural sounds of the forest are layered with the distant echoes and resonances of the nearby military base. Where one might think it would directly contradict the ambiance of a woodland hike, the low rumbles, swoons, and occasional roars feed the magnificence of the terrain. If there was going to be a soak in nature positively interrupted by the occasional air travel, this would be the place. Not to mention the incredibly fragrant aromas of pine needles in the sunshine swirling about.

Elements of this soundscape include a gentle bog rivulet, light winds through a forest of tall southern pines, squirrels, birds, tufts of grass, and the distant hum of a nearby active military base.

x # 13 Boone's Cave
Boone's Cave modal

A historic refuge and hideaway naturally rendered from the mossy rockface sitting quietly a river's edge.

Tucked in at the bottom of a rock face just at the edge of the Yadkin River, is a small rock shelter/solution cave that has been the topic of historical legend and folk stories for over 250 years. Daniel Boone and his family were known to have settled in the area in the mid-to-late 1700's and around that historical fact, the legends were woven. It was a hideout, it was a home, it was a retreat, it was a hunting perch...though many of those previously held thoughts have been doubted by historians and anthropologists. What the cave is, what it truly is, is an enclave in nature that is at the slow mercy of the earthen weight above it and the water that trickles down through it. It is the full ambiance of a much larger cave environment, in a condensed, nearly intimate . The sounds of the river hover toward the front as the mouth of the cave focuses their sound waves into the space and wraps them around you. It is a quiet, subtle, solemn soundscape, but toward the end of the recording the scene shifts from inside the cave to along the riverbank, as the rest of the forest expands gently into its fuller form.

Elements of this soundscape include the ambiance from within and emerging out of the cave, dripping water, a rushing river, a very light breeze, some very vocal birds, and the occassional rustling of leaves.

x # 14 Whitewater Falls
Whitewater Falls modal

Tearing across the Foothills Trail on the NC/SC border, mist-strewn rocky hillsides are abundant with life thanks to cascades of falling water.

Near the southwestern boarder of North Carolina is the Toxaway River. Near the end of the Toxaway is the first enormous waterfall in a series of small waterfalls and cascades, Whitewater Falls. By the time the rapids placate and the waters calm, you're in South Carolina. All along the rising ridges of those cascades are flora that are hyper verdant due to the constant mists and trickling streams that float up and pour down the rock faces and trails downstream from Whitewater Falls. The air is filled with just as much moisture and humidity as it is the roar, near and far of the endless, tumultuous rushing water. Here you will find three perspectives on the waterfall: straddling one of the rock-face streams about halfway up the ridge from the main waterfall, down in the middle of the cascades atop a massive midstream boulder, and from a perched lookout directly facing the primary fall, about 200 yards out. Transitioning between all three paints a comprehensive sonic picture of the area and hence the vibrant nature, and meditative roaring white noise that is a quintessential example of water, and power.

Elements of this soundscape include a steady mountain stream up close, standing on an island boulder amidst a roaring river, and a monstrous crashing waterfall, smattered with the occassional bird song and swaying forest foliage.

x # 15 Moore Cove Falls
Moore Cove Falls modal

At the end of a trail through a riverside ravine in Pisgah National Forest, is the adventurer's reward in sound, sight, and possibly a quick shower.

With a fairly unique geographic footprint for the state, Moore Cove Falls entices all visitors to get up close and personal with the natural falling concourse of this deep forest mountain waterfall. Behind the falls is a carved out cove that reverberates the bright, harsh splashes and crashes of the falling water. Behind the falls in in the stream in front of it renders two aural positions to really appreciate the intensity and brilliance of the high frequency storm of splattering water that dominates the area all around the falls. While other waterfalls roar and growl as they flow, this particular one is like giant shower head turned up to 11. It refreshes and rewards any hiker that makes it to the end of their trail, and without fail, puts smile on their faces as they hear it beckoning to them when they get within range. North Carolina has a great number of waterfalls through the state, but this one in particular is hyper focused, buried in the forest, on the edge of rising ravines, and could very well be considered the most intimate of them all.

Elements of this soundscape include the intense rush and splatter of an enclave waterfall across smooth stone, a river head just beyond the falling water, some light bird songs, and falling forest foliage.

x # 16 Stone Mountain Cicadas
Stone Mountain Cicadas modal

In the rolling northern piedmont, its massive gentle slope stands out against the surrounding green and makes for a unique mountain ambiance ... plus a distant cicada swarm.

Deep on the lower ridge of Stone Mountain, along the Wolf Rock hiking trail, there is a northern facing bend that catches sound from the rest of the mountain and forest range up to the Virginia boarder. At the time of the recording, all around that area was a growing swarm of cicadas (Brood IX to be exact) that though they were dozens of miles away, the sound of their chirring swells would creep up the mountain. Combined with the other insects, fauna, birds, and wind in the full towering trees this was just as much of an event as it was a location-specific soundscape. Stone Mountain's smooth granite face reflects sound more effectively than most other craggy mountains, which scatter/diffuse/absorb sound. This makes for an overall more quiet experience for hikers on the inner mountain trails as less sound is scattered around them in the deeper woods of the mountain. It was on these trails, where we posted up to listen, and were duly rewarded.

Elements of this soundscape include wind rushing through high deciduous foliage, woodpeckers and squirrles chattering in the treetops, the occassional drops and ticks of falling forest fodder, and the swell and fade of the distant brood swarm of hundreds of thousands of cicadas.

x # 17 US National Whitewater Center
Stone Mountain Cicadas modal

Outdoor-enthusiasts abound, a constant jovial and adventurous attitude surges throughout the bike trails, zip lines, climbing walls, and of course, kayaks, rafts, and river bugs ride the roaring rapids .

Along the great Catawba River (of the People of the River) is a monolith in the outdoor activity and adventure arena of the US. The USNWC is not only the leading training center in the US for competing whitewater kayaking and rafting teams, but it is also a sprawling hub of outdoor activities for anyone with a desire to get out, stay out, and be active. The Center endeavors to expand land and natural resource protections on and around its property and is constantly working to create a haven for energetic, adventurous, safe, and educational programs for all of its patrons. Without question, there is a pulsing natural energy to the space. The constant rolling and sloshing of the serpent-like rapids course is audible from nearly anywhere on the property. The whirring and checking of bike gears, the trilling drone of the zip-line system, the pitter-patter of shoes on gravel, the clinking and panting of dogs trolling along with their families, and of course the diffused echoes of laughter and joyful cheers cannot be avoided in such a living, breathing place. And as busy as it becomes with the steady flow of visitors, there is always a sense of openness a natural coaxing to roam throughout the grounds. Even on its most crowded day, it never quite feels crowded, rather a sense of motivation and daring, pervades.

Elements of this soundscape include churning, tumbling water rapids, plunging climbers into a pool, zipliners, cheers and shouts of patrons, dogs, and the distant hum of the central water generators.

100 North Carolina Soundscapes logo

A compendium of ambisonic recordings from across the state


Every location on our planet has a unique sonic signature. The portion of Earth that makes up North Carolina, USA is no different, with a diverse and varied landscape of geographic and biological features, cultural identity, industrial heritage, and social engagement.

A state-wide project that aims to capture, design, and present these rich elements of the North Carolina aural environment, The 100 Soundscapes of North Carolina is a collaborative effort between Eiravaein Works and individuals, small businesses, government departments, and cultural groups working together to create immersive listening experiences of one hundred of NC's most iconic soundscapes. From fields to factories, festivals to fauna, or fanfare to the serene natural locales, we're building a comprehensive audio image of the Old North State, nestled boldly in the central Eastern coast of the United States.

Each of the 100 soundscape recordings are an immersive 5-15 minute loopable ambisonic (3D) and optional stereo (2D) audio file. They are presented here as a binaural recording (stereo), allowing you to listen to them through headphones and feel completely enveloped in the environment. This is an ongoing list of the project's recordings while it is still under production. Once completed, the entire final recordings of all 100 soundscapes will be released in a comprehensive collective format in tandem with public listening events across the state.

Read the project's Creative Brief.

Check back often for updates and stay tuned!


  Select a soundscape  
(headphones suggested)

#1

Old North
State Press


Letterpresssing
Waxhaw

#2

CAMP
North End


Historic Factory
Charlotte

#3

Carolina
Raptor Center


Bird Conservatory
Huntersville

#4

Carolina
BalloonFest


Hot Air Balloons
Statesville

#5

Sky Top
Orchards


Apple Picking
Flat Rock

#7

Daniel Stowe
Botanical Garden


Public Garden
Belmont

#8

Carolina
Renaissance Festival


Festival
Huntersville

#9

Crowders Mountain
State Park


Mountain
Kings Mountain

#11

Town Creek
Indian Mound


Pre-historic Site
Mount Gilead

#12

Weymouth Woods
Sandhills N.P.


Nature Preserve
Southern Pines

#13

Boone's
Cave


Cave
Lexington

#14

Whitewater
Falls


Waterfalls
Cashiers

#15

Moore Cove
Falls


Waterfalls
Brevard

#16

Stone Mountain
Cicadas


Mountain
Cherry Lane

#17

US National
Whitewater
Center


Recreation
Catawba River

#18


Type
Location

#19


Type
Location

#20


Type
Location

#21


Type
Location

#22


Type
Location

#23


Type
Location

#24


Type
Location