Crackling Viscera (by Chris Watson)


field recording made and edited by Chris Watson. But what is it?

First, listen to the audio file.

Then read about the piece below.

About the piece

This is a field recording of vultures tearing away at the dried out organs and remaining innards inside the rib cage of a zebra carcass. This recording was made by hanging microphones inside the dead zebra.

What did you think it was? Why?

About the Composer

Chris Watson is one of the world’s leading recorders of wildlife and natural phenomena. He edits his field recording into filmlike narratives. This uneathly groaning of ice in an Icelandic glacier is a classic example of, in Watson’s words, putting a microphone where you can’t put your ears.

His sound recordings carrer began in 1981 when he joined Tyne Tees Television. Since then he has developed a particular and passionate interest in recording the wildlife sounds of animals, habitats, and atmospheres from around the world. As a freelance composer and recorist for Film, TV and Radio, Watson specialises in natural history and documentary location sound together with sound design in post-production.

His television works includes many programmes in the David Attenborough ‘Life’ series including ‘The Life of Birds’ which won a BAFTA Award for ‘Best Factual Sound’ in 1996. More recently Watson was the location sound recordist with David Attenborough on the BBC’s series ‘Frozen Planet’ which won a BAFTA Award for ‘Best Factual Sound’ (2012).


This work and many others by Chris Watson are availble from Touch Music.

Chris Watson – Cracking Viscera

Taken from the album “Outside the Circle of Fire” [Touch # TO:37, 1998]

Published by Touch Music [MCPS]