“Listening to Silent Spring”

Digital audio, 40 mins
The internet is my gallery
Published 17 October 2018

On the 50th anniversary of the publication of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring – 27 September 2012 – I spent a couple of hours walking around my neighbourhood and listening. I was not just listening for birds, but for everything, including all those sounds we usually tune out. At the time, I wrote up my notes and some reflections as an Autumn audit.

This work is a piece of sound art of the same duration as my walk from my home to Ludwell Valley Park. My notes of the sounds I heard became the script. So the actual sounds are replaced by the narrator’s – my – voice. Some, like the omnipresent traffic or the lawnmower, lasted a long time. But my narration of each sound takes at most only a couple of seconds. Hence the work is mostly silence, which provides space for the listener to become aware of and pay attention to their own ambient soundtrack.

You can listen via Youtube to “Listening to Silent Spring” above, and you are welcome to download it as an .mp3 file (23 Mb).

If you would like to take your own awareness walk, and would like some guidance, I have created a leaflet for you to download (pdf).