no man’s land

‘No Man’s Land’, an installation by sound recordist Chris Watson, on the curve of the cliff at Berry Head Quarry, Brixham, played for nine days in September 2017. This ambi-sonic installation included high-quality recordings from orcas to Weddell seals. Ranging across the frequency spectrum, there were high frequency bird sounds and low frequency humpback whale sounds including chest-thumping infrasonic frequencies.

Electronic sounds can be used to great effect in this kind of natural environment (but only outside of the nesting season). Using the natural acoustics of the cliffs (as the seabirds do), and the unexpected acoustic reflections from the concrete hut on the quay, the installation has a real impact, with remarkable sound quality.


Sketch of the spatial arrangement of the installation
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The curved limestone cliff face with speakers and suspension cables just visible

water images from the hebrides

I am interested in the visual and acoustic qualities of water in the wild, and how these might inform the treatment of water in an urban public space.  These photographs from a trip to the Hebrides in August show the ocean in various states of animation, transparency and colour. Different states invoke different emotional responses. The water in motion makes its own sound, and the surface properties of the water affect the acoustic reflections of ambient sounds.


From the CalMac Ferry between Mull and Tiree
Shallow water over sand on a Tiree beach
Water like cast glass on the Isle Of Seil
From the CalMac Ferry between Mull and Tiree