If I had to mention a single inspiration behind my latest album Hunted, it would be the alarm call of the Barking Deer. I was at Sitabani Wildlife Reserve near Corbett National Park when I was first completely mesmerised by this sound.
At an auditory level, the first thing that strikes you is the loudness and power of the bark. Its sheer energy creates an instant impact on you. Our minds are accustomed to hearing multiple barks, as it is with dogs, so when we hear just this single outburst followed by silence, we snap to attention. The silence is just as powerful as the bark that precedes it.
At an emotional level, the sound affects you in many ways. You realise it is a matter of life and death for the deer: desperation, fear and a sense of panic can be heard in that explosion of sound.
Heard at night, it has a particulalry eerie quality. Picture yourself as I was: alone on a terrace, in the middle of a forest in the dead of the night, with this sound echoing off the hillsides. A chill runs down your spine…
I have tried to capture that feeling on the album, particularly on the title track. All the natural sounds you hear were recorded by me onsite.
You can hear this powerful call on the track "Hunted" on the album with the same name. You can also hear raw recordings of the barking deer on "Barks and Birds," and the "Impersonator" from my other new album "Sounds from a Himalayan Forest." Impersonator is even more interesting because the barking deer is being mimicked by a bird. Try and guess which one!
Both these albums can be heard on my website at: https://www.rohanshahmusic.com/music
Do listen to these recordings and hear this unique and amazing alarm call. Would love to hear your feedback!