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Sound Moments... (and some guidance)

This week I've been finding a few new places to make my own personal sound-map - here are some drawings I made in the response to the soundscape 1) in my garden and 2) whilst sitting by a running stream up the hill - yr Wylfa - from my house, where you can still hear the main road up to North Wales, and a few birds singing into Autumn...

At one point, I heard some geese which turned out to be walkers, and at another, I found myself instinctively harmonising with a particularly loud lorry going past below, which I think was a protective reaction, and made the sound almost natural - I wrote: "When traffic noise provokes my voice to harmonise, it almost feels like wild. Investigate this impulse."

Some people have been asking me for clarification on how to map sound - I have put loads of info on this up in the 'Instructions' post (gyda fersiwn Cymraeg hefyd), but basically, you can:

DRAW - make marks on paper (as colourfully as you like!), squiggly or literal depiction of what you are hearing

WRITE - notes, sentences, stories, memories about the soundscape around your home\

RECORD - on your phone or whatever you have, anything from 1-10mins of what you hear in your 5 miles radius

USE YOUR VOICE - join in by activating your own inner wildness and become a part of the soundscape! I recommend starting by a source of running water to help it get flowing, and see see what comes, pausing to hear the water's response to you, and singing back to it. This can be such a beautiful exchange, and very liberating. (Feel free to send me recordings of you sounding / musicking in your local landscape, too!)

These can be made from your GARDEN, through an OPEN WINDOW, on a SOUNDWALK (a.k.a. your daily exercise in lockdown?) or whilst at a FAVOURITE 'SIT-SPOT' in your locale.

SEND THESE TO ME (email:, and they will become inspiration for my final offering of musical storytelling at the end of the project, and, of course, the overall WALES-WIDE SOUNDMAP that we will have all created together! Recordings will also go up on the ever-growing Soundcloud page:

Here are a few recordings sent in so far, just to give you a little taste of the variety we can create together...

Singing Seals, Bardsey Island -Ben Porter:

Birdsong in Stable Wood, Llangollen - Fiona Collins:

Lluest Stables, Aberystwyth - Peter Stevenson:

I will leave you with the question 'what IS wild sound?', and invite you to explore this in your own style soundmapping over the next couple of months!

ailsa X

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