Listen! It’s World Listening Day

A couple of days ago we did a mobile phone field experiment in preparation for World Listening Day 2020.’The Collective Field‘. We were both amazed by the size of a herd we came across on a walk on the outskirts of Maryport.

Simon was fascinated by the sounds of the three different groups of sheep—above, below and beyond—in the vast rolling field. Unfortunately, he neglected to bring his main recording gear and had to make do with a brief documentation with a view to returning the next day.

Ursula found the voices of the sheep very human. She always carries objects for intervention, and thought that the shell on a sheep’s wool string would be great as an associative contrast.

It sounds much windier when Ursula was recording hers, but in fact we were recording at exactly the same time, using the same phones, in the same field. The results were completely different both sonically and visually—this was encouraging.

Accordingly, we went back the next day, fully equipped to make the most of this sheep assemblage, but found the field totally empty!

Today, for World Listening Day, we will go to another field and hear what happens there.

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