Kettering Science Academy

The final Echo Location workshop for Fermynwoods’ Sounding Out project was delivered with Year 2 students from Kettering Science Academy.

Students began with a listening exercise to help start to consider sound and place. Students tried to discover by listening only, the locations and sources of selected sounds, from the local train station to a recording of dawn made for a hospital in Liverpool.

Afterwards students recorded a wide range of sounds from inside the school and around the school grounds, including a rendition of “Let’s Go Fly a Kite” for their school assembly.

Finally students learned how to upload sounds on the map and to use it as an instrument.

Recording sounds      Playground sounds

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Isebrook SEN Cognition and Learning College

As part of Fermynwoods Contemporary Art‘s Sounding Out project, students from Isebrook SEN Cognition and Learning College explored different locations on the map before adding their own sounds from inside their school and around the school grounds.

Interesting recordings included the sounds of the school garden area, creaking doors, and the ambient noises of nearby traffic.

After using the map as an instrument, selecting and playing their sounds in loops, at different speeds and in different directions, students visited nearby Wicksteed Park (one of England’s oldest amusement parks).

Here students recorded a very different array of sounds such as the carousel organ, a long zip slide, children’s laughter and miniature motor cars.

Following on this activity in school, students have created QR codes of recorded sounds, which can be played by other students and visitors to the school using QR code readers in the sounds’ original locations.

Carousel      Carousel QR

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Kettering Music & Performing Arts Centre

Students from Kettering Music & Performing Arts Centre continued to populate the map following a workshop collecting recordings from in and around the centre.

Unlike some other areas of the map, here students made use of the traditional musical sounds created by their peers at the centre. These were added along with distinctive, ambient and accidental sounds also found in this location.

Once uploaded to the map, students then had the opportunity to use the interface as an instrument, looping, highlighting and disguising their vast collection of sounds.

Recording Sounds      Brass sounds

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Rowan Gate Primary School

The first Echo Location workshop for Sounding Out was delivered today with students from Rowan Gate Primary School.

Rowan Gate is a school for pupils with a range of complex learning needs.

Students listened to other areas of the Echo Location map before listening to the sounds in their own physical environment.

As recorded sounds were uploaded to the map students enjoyed hearing their being sounds played back.

The students described each other’s sounds and made new sounds with their own bodies, which we added to the map.

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Sounding Out

A new Kettering centred version of Kathy Hinde and Ed Holroyd’s Echo Location sound map has been commissioned by Fermynwoods Contemporary Art as part of their Sounding Out project.

Sounding Out is part of The Mighty Creatives Young People’s Locally Based Arts and Culture Programme. For Sounding Out, Fermynwoods are working with students with and without disabilities, who are attending schools in Kettering in order to develop their skills and knowledge of music and sound art.

During Phase 1 of the project students will take part in Echo Location workshops in and around their schools, work with artist David Littler to explore tactile connections between sound and visuals, plus visit sound art and music performances.

Students will explore new sound worlds, new ways of creating and performing music, interact with and direct musicians, whilst gaining experience of developing these skills in an exciting and visually stimulating performance environment.

Phase 2 will see students commission and create a fully accessible, relaxed orchestral event, featuring new music, for members of the public in Kettering

In addition to Kathy Hinde and Ed Holroyd, Fermynwoods Contemporary Art is working alongside Northamptonshire Music and Performing Arts Trust, Orchestras Live, and David Littler for this project.

TMC logo

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Fermyn Woods

On Sunday 5 May 2013, artist Aaron Head led a 3 mile sound mapping walk from the Skylark Café at Fermyn Woods Country Park to Lyveden New Bield.

Walkers recorded sounds en route and added them to the Echo Location map, marking a distinct audible difference from other more urban collections of sounds.

This walk was led as part of the 2013 Corby Walking Festival.




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Corby Walking Festival

We now have a new version of the Echo Location Sound map… created by Kathy Hinde and Ed Holroyd. There are some new features including the possibility to choose a ‘focus place’ which are based on where specific echo location soundmapping activities have taken place. Of course, you can add sounds anywhere and at any time, but we also are keen to make connections with people on a local level, and run sound recording walks to build a sound map of particular places.. so far we have Bedford and Corby area… more to follow.

For the 2013 Corby Walking Festival, Fermynwoods Contemporary Arts commissioned artists Kathy Hinde and Aaron Head to work with walkers and members of the public to turn walked routes into musical instruments.

Aaron Head lead walks where members of the public recorded sounds from the locations they traversed. After uploading the geo-tagged sounds to Hinde’s Echo Location website, participants played the online interface like a sequencer, effectively turning the walked routes into instruments.

Hinde’s Echo Location sound map is a participatory online and offline artwork that combines walking, listening, audio ecology, social networking and graphic scores. For the festival Hinde developed the map to specifically cover Corby and surrounding area.


Sunday 5 May 2013
A 3 mile sound mapping walk to Lyveden New Bield from the Skylark Café, Fermyn Woods Country Park.

Monday 6 May 2013
Peripatetic walks around East Carlton Countryside Park as part of the Corby Walking Festival Funday.

Aaron Head also worked with students from Woodnewton Primary School to populate the map in and around their school grounds.

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Woodnewton Primary School

For the 2013 Corby Walking Festival, Fermynwoods commissioned artists Kathy Hinde and Aaron Head to work with walkers and members of the public to turn walked routes into instruments.

Aaron Head worked with Woodnewton Primary School’s Year 5 students to launch the Corby specific area of the map.

After warming up with some unusual listening exercises, students explored the sonic landscape of the school and its surrounding area.



Recorded samples were tweaked and edited before they were uploaded to the internet via Audioboo. Students tagged the uploaded sounds with associative words and marked their geographic location, with the final result viewable on the appropriate section of the Echo Location map.


Students then ‘played the map’ as a means of generating music and representing their school sonically.

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Listening – Thinking – Walking

Happy New Year !!… I’m very excited about the fact that 2012 is Cage’s centenary year and so I expect there will be a lot of Cage related events… there is a website dedicated to Cage’s birthday here. I have just been reading about Cage and his inspiration for creating his famous ‘silent’ composition of 1952, and his assertion that all sound can be music. I thought I would share this quote about listening from Brandon LaBelle’s book “Background Noise: Perspectives on Sound Art” 2006, page 13 – referencing Gemma Corriada Fiumara’s book “The Other Side of Language: A Philosophy of Listening” 1990.

” For Fiumara, to recover the verb logos, over its noun, is to reinstate “listening” within the tradition of Western thought, which “starts out to say and not to listen,” underpinning her call with an ethics, for ” we are not sufficiently conversant with the attitude of openness,” which listening supports; rather, knowledge makes claims on territories of thought. “A philosophy of listening can be envisaged as an attempt to recover the neglected and perhaps deeper roots of what we call thinking, an activity which in some way gathers and synthesizes human endeavours” In the same way, a philosophy of listening for Cage is an attempt to recover neglected and perhaps deeper roots of what we call “music,” for listening may gather in the total situation of not only sound but its context, …”

Which leads me on to thinking about the ‘listening walks’  we made on the Echo location workshops.  If listening can be thought of as an attempt to recover the deeper roots of what we call thinking – then walking can also be seen in this light.

A quote reflecting this from Rebecca Solnit’s “Wanderlust, A history of Walking” p5

“Walking, ideally, is a state of mind, the body, and the world are aligned, as though they were three characters finally in conversation together, three notes of the same chord. Walking allows us to be in our bodies and in the world without being made busy by them. It leaves us free to think without wholly being lost in our thoughts…  The rhythm of walking generates a kind of rhythm of thinking, and the passage through a landscape echoes or stimulates the passage through a series of thoughts.”

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Echo Location at The Pad

On Saturday 10th December Bedford Creative Arts held an event to showcase the Echo Location Sound map of Bedford. At the Pad I gave a short talk about the project and screened a short movie which is a recording of me playing with the soundmap, using it to try and make a musical soundscape from the uploaded sounds… have a look at the following movie – but select to watch it in HD, and full screen so you can see the text on screen and how the tags and user names are used…. to do this, press play to get the following options to appear at the bottom of the movie, then pause the movie to change settings. Press the ‘full screen’ button and then click on where it says 360p, and select 720p HD… which should make it much clearer. Then – press play again to watch and listen…

I also set up a Bedford-specific version of my ‘Soundlines’ installation which is made in collaboration with programmer Matthew Olden. Different areas of Bedford are projected as maps and the audience are invited to draw over the map using a graphics tablet. The drawing starts to reveal a satellite photo of the same area of Bedford, sounds recorded in those locations start to fade in – and also in surround sound in relation to their position on the map. This highlighted the soundscapes from different parts of the town, and provided another way to interact with the soundmap of Bedford as a musical interface.

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