A sonic exploration of the Central Chilterns and a celebration of it’s artists
Why a sonic map of the Chilterns?
In a noisy world, full of trains, buses, podcasts, and chatter, it can be hard to appreciate the sounds of a dawn chorus, or frogs in a pond, or even something as simple as a robin’s song. So how can we really ‘listen’ to the sound of the Chilterns? This project allows anyone with a smartphone or voice recording device to get out in nature and record what they hear (even if they are unsure of what bird song, for example, it is that they are listening to).
We take sound for granted, and just as we tend to see the things we want to see, we consciously hear the things we choose to hear, such as conversation, or the entertaining and emotionally engaging tones of music. We rarely take notice of the background soundtrack of our lives. If we take note of our acoustic bearings, these sounds can give a huge insight into the history of people and their places and help us to acoustically navigate our present world.
This sound-based project therefore provides the opportunity for exploration and celebration of the cultural and natural heritage of the Chilterns in a very different way but using an almost universally accessible media and technologies. If you are interested in further reading on the subject of soundscapes, we recommend ‘Voices of the Wild’ by Bernie Krause as a good place to start.
Explore the Chilterns through sound, with our first SONIC POSTCARDS, designed and recorded by Bucks New University illustration students. The students were challenged to create the first sonic postcards of the AONB, combining simple recording skills and their creativity to bring new places and sounds to life. The students work showcases a wide range of sounds, places and artistic styles and we are thrilled to be able to share such high quality work with you!
How can you get involved?
1. Listen to our example sound recordings on the right-hand side, to give you an idea of what you might record
2. Read our Sound Recording Instructions document, which includes listening exercises as well to help you get the most out of your recording sessions
3. Start recording wildlife sounds in your garden, local park, schoolyard, or further afield
4. Upload your recordings via this form, to help us start building our online archive of Chilterns sounds which will later be added to a sonic map (for an example, see this project) (Uploading your recordings also gives you the chance to have your recording played on Wycombe Sound!)
5. Get in touch with us if you are:
- A local school interested in running sonic workshops
- A local artist or musician interested in discussing our music video plans
- A community group interested in leading or organising a sound walk