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Sound Sampling

walk to New Islington Marina

Using one of Murray Schafer's listening exercise techniques, we were sampling the sounds at different places as walked from Swan Street to New Islington Marina - a local canal basin. 

The sound sampling method was to write down all the sounds that we could hear for one minute and then categorise them into three groups H=Human Sounds, T=Technology Sounds and N = Nature sounds

Setting off from back on Track we did our first sound sample exercise at the corner of Swan Street and Oldhan Rd at 1.59pm.


We found that the traffic news was overwhelming, virtually all of the sounds recorded were related to traffic with very few Human sounds and no Nature sounds.

For our next sound sample we stood on the corner of Cornell and Anita Street at 2.08pm under a tree. Sheltered from the busy roads the traffic sounds now became a litle more distant, we still collected lots of traffic sounds, but started to collect some Human and Nature sounds - for instance we could actually hear one another's movements and the wind in the leaves in the trees, the splash of surface water on the road as the cars drove past. Already our sound environment was changing.

By the time we got down to Cotton Field Wharf in New Islington Marina at 2.25pm, the sounds changed further as we collected sounds of distant traffic, the echo of metal work, footsteps, water lapping, human sounds of breathing, coughing, bird calls, wind blowing and more. People reported feeling more relaxed and visibly appreciated being in a small wildlife sanctuary so close to the main roads we had just walked through.

We were even visited by a playful dog and a family of swans with their cygnets. You can hear the recording of the swan family on our Listen Page

Please keep clicking on the Show More text at the bottom of the images for more images!

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