This is a typically quirky and entertaining BBC Radio 4 piece celebrating the foghorn’s place in music, literature and film, and in sailing. If you can, hear it here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/i/yqp5z (If you’re outside the UK you’ll probably need to find a proxy or some other technical fix to hear it.)
Here’s what Auntie Beeb’s blurb says:
‘The foghorn was invented in 1855 by Robert Foulis, a Scotsman living in Canada who heard the low notes (but not the high notes) of his daughter’s piano playing whilst walking far from the family’s fog-shrouded coastal cottage, thus inspiring the first steam powered fog horn. But beyond the sea, it’s “whale-like” sound has inspired artists, writers and musicians to use the foghorn both as symbol and instrument.
‘[Programme maker]Peter Curran hears from foghorn composer of Maritime Rites Alvin Curran, Jason Gorski, aka The Fogmaster, who used to conduct guerrilla foghorn concerts in the Bay Area of California, and takes a tour of Portland Bill lighthouse in Dorset, with keeper Larry Walker, taking the opportunity to set off an almighty Victorian foghorn. He also joins James Bond film music and future 2012 Olympic theme music composer David Arnold, who tries to digitally recreate the foghorn’s cry, and Dr Harry Witchel, who analyses Peter’s yearn for the sound as a child.’
Stand by for the usual BBC mix of inspiration and nonsense!
PS – If you can’t hear the programme itself, you might enjoy the following – though I think they’re best enjoyed with a pair of headphones rather than the tiny speakers you get with many computers: