Soundwalk – 18th July 2010, World Listening Day

I have been busy handprinting maps for the forthcoming Soundwalk this Sunday, 18th July, which is to take place in Warborough, Oxfordshire. There is a permanent page about the event here.

The Soundwalk has been designed to coincide with World Listening Day, which has been organised by The World Listening Project.

Here is some information from the official World Listening Day Press Release:

EVENT: WORLD LISTENING DAY

You are invited to participate in the first World Listening Day, which happens on Sunday, July 18, 2010. The purposes of World Listening Day are:
• to celebrate the practice of listening as it relates to the world around us, environmental awareness, and acoustic ecology;
• to raise awareness about issues related to the World Soundscape Project, World Forum for Acoustic Ecology, World Listening Project, and individual and group efforts to creatively explore phonography;
• and to design and implement educational initiatives which explore these concepts and practices.

World Listening Day is being organized by the World Listening Project, in partnership with the Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology. July 18 was chosen as the date for World Listening Day because it is the birthday of the Canadian composer R. Murray Schafer, who is one of the founders of the Acoustic Ecology movement. The World Soundscape Project, which Schafer directed, is an important organization which has inspired a lot of activity in this field, and his book The Soundscape: Our Sonic Environment and the Tuning of the World helped to define many of the terms and background behind the acoustic ecology movement.

WARBOROUGH/OVERY/DORCHESTER/SHILLINGFORD – a circular Soundwalk devised by Felicity Ford in conjunction with World Listening Day and the Around the A4074 Radio Show project

In designing the Soundwalk, I was interested in setting aside an occasion for contemplating the Soundscape around a main road. Although the A4074 is especially significant to me as my main commuting route between Oxford and Reading, many of us use roads and the sound of the car is key to the current Soundscape of the world. Therefore it felt important to include some proximity to a road in the route. As well as this, the route takes in farmland, the very old mill at Overy, stunning views across to Wittenham Clumps, and the Anglo-Saxon land relic that is Dyke Hills. It finishes up in Warborough Green in time for the Warborough & Shillingford Festival. The idea is to meet, talk briefly about Soundwalks, walk and listen, record sounds using a variety of means, and finally, regroup for drinks and tales of the Soundscape in the celebratory atmosphere of the Warborough and Shillingford festival.

Taking in sounds and views around the A4074, (which we will walk beside and beneath during the walk) the Soundwalk includes 3 or 4 stiles and is conducted across flat, well-marked public rights of way. Because of the concurrent Warborough and Shillingford Festival, there should be plenty of parking available for people who want to come!

Meet Sunday 8am or 7.30pm at Warborough Green, outside the 6 bells pub. The guided Soundwalk will be taking place at both times.

Participants on the walk will be given custom-printed stationery for ‘recording’ the Soundscape in words, pictures, diagrams, or found objects. The idea is for participants on the walk to create a sort of ‘I HEAR’ guidebook to the area, through listening to – and noticing – the Soundscape. The walk will also be recorded in audio, and available for download from Felicity Ford’s website after the weekend. There is a blog post about the rationale for this here.

Felicity Ford will be at the festival all day on Saturday 17th to answer questions about the Soundwalk, and to interview anyone who wants to talk to her about the A4074 road and the landscapes that surround it. Please send an email to felixbadanimal(at)hotmail(dot)com if you are interested in attending or leave a comment here.

2 Responses to Soundwalk – 18th July 2010, World Listening Day

  1. Pingback: The Domestic Soundscape » Archive » Walk 2012 guidebook writing

  2. Pingback: The Domestic Soundscape » Archive » Sound Objects at the Old Fire Station in Oxford

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