…and most of all, ordinary people of Wales (though I suspect you are extraordinary in some way)!
This is an invitation for all to listen to the world around us and get creative in the process… for artists to write, for writers to paint, for musicians to learn birdsongs, for birders to draw, for walkers to record sounds as you go, and for us all to connect more deeply with the soundscapes of our home environment (local 5 mile radius), and activate our innate creativity.
Here are some things you can do to help co-create a soundmap of Wales - and inspire a new piece of musical storytelling that weaves folktale, soundscape, song and visuals with cello, voice and loop pedal, to be performed by Machynlleth-based artist Ailsa Mair Hughes in the Spring. You could do all of the following ‘tasks’ or just choose one or two.
1) What is your favourite sound of the day, within your '5 Square Miles’? Find a way to draw it, describe it, or record it.
2) The Bird Challenge : Can you recognise any of the birdsongs in the area around your home? Make a list of all the ones you hear, between now and March 1st, adding any descriptions/drawn shapes to go with them. Follow Ben Porter’s guidance on instagram @wildnoteswales to help improve your identification skills.
3) Listening to Water: visit a water source near your home - a river, stream, sea or well etc, or find a moment to listen to the rain. Let the sounds guide your pen in drawing shapes, or writing in response. What does the water say to you in this moment? If you like, you could do this many time and build a relationship with the water.
4) What is the ‘sound signature’ of your home? The things that if you closed your eyes, you would recognise it by. Try drawing this, adding labels - you could put a big piece of paper up somewhere and add to it occasionally.
5) Do you have a special sound memory of your home, or of a place you have a particularly strong connection with in Wales? Write/draw/speak about it.
6) Sound Walk - if you have a portable recording device, e.g. smart phone, make a mini documentary of your local walk, describing what you are hearing, and perhaps how it makes you feel / any associations with these sounds/noises. This can just be 30 seconds, or much longer if you like!
Send (copies of) your drawings / words / recordings to me at wildnoteswales@icloud,com* BY MARCH 1ST 2021
OR post to:
c/o Gerddi Bro Ddyfi Gardens, Y Plas, Machynlleth SY20 8ER
(please write: Soundmapping Project’ clearly on the envelope)
A selection will be chosen to become part of Ailsa’s final piece: Please state if you want your name to be acknowledged. NB: by sending them you give permission for them to be used in the performance piece or otherwise shared as part of the project Soundmapping Our 5 Square Miles.
Thank you so much for taking part!
We are all creative. Even if we don’t believe it.
Part of the project SOUNDMAPPING OUR 5 SQUARE MILES by Ailsa Mair Hughes
This project was made possible through funding from the Arts Council of Wales’s National Lottery Fund. Thanks to National Lottery players, up to £600 million has been made available to support communities throughout the UK during the Coronavirus crisis.