Every time I go on a road trip, shooting photos and recording sounds, I try to stay in a variety of rental properties. Using Air BnB as well as local sites such as Book a Bach and Holiday Houses my criteria is either (a) a great view of landscape, water front, night sky etc or (b) a characterful house which hopefully contains interesting sounds. Once I arrive I first do a quick recce, checking all of the doors and any other objects with potential.
This particular house is one of the best holiday houses I have stayed at, and is only a few minutes drive to the Seal Colony at Ngawi, where SEAL VOCALS was recorded. The house is a beautiful modernist concrete house and is often booked out many months in advance. If you visit NZ I highly recommend a few nights stay at the Gray Bach
The prop in question is a storage box, which doubles as a coffee table. I hardly noticed it the first day, but when I opened it, ti expressed a fantastic woody creak. The box is made from plywood and I suspect with temperature changes the wood expands and the creak gets more expressive.
NOTE: one comment with this recording – the house has an open plan large lounge with concrete floor & walls, so these recordings inevitably contain an obviously interior reverb.