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Marine sounds to be set to music

Published 22/06/2015

The sounds of Scotland's sea shores will be set to music
The sounds of Scotland's sea shores will be set to music

A New Wave veteran is turning to waves of a different sort for a new project to map the sounds of Scotland's shores and set them to music.

Martyn Ware, founder of 1980s New Wave acts The Human League and Heaven 17, will collect sounds crowdsourced from coastal visitors over the next three months for a piece of music due for release in February next year.

Members of the public have been urged to record sounds on their smartphones, tablets or recorders and upload them through audioBoom.

Mr Ware said: "I've had a deep connection with the coast all of my life.

"As a kid growing up in Sheffield we'd go on family holidays to Scarborough or Skegness; I can still remember the sounds that filled our days at the seaside.

"There is something emotionally deep about our connection with the coast which has shaped our identity. That is what is so exciting about this new commission and I want to capture the sensory nature of the coastline, reflecting the diversity and beauty of the sounds of our shores."

The project has been launched in collaboration with the National Trust, National Trust for Scotland and the British Library, and all of the recordings will be added to the British Library Sound Archive.

Dr Richard Luxmoore, senior nature advisor from the National Trust for Scotland said: "Whether it is the timeless surge of Atlantic swells in Staffa's Fingal's Cave, the rattle of halliards against hundreds of masts in a bursting marina, the howl of Europe's strongest winds over the primeval cliffs of St Kilda, the gentle sough of waves on the white coral strand of Iona, the unearthly nocturnal singing of grey seals on a skerry or the rhythmic swishing of a wind turbine, the coast clamours for our attention and leaves an indelible impression on our hearts."

Cheryl Tipp, curator of wildlife and environment sounds at the British Library, said: "There is something really evocative about the sounds of our coast; they help shape our memories of the coastline and immediately transport us to a particular time or place whenever we hear them.

"As millions of us head to the coast this summer for holidays or day trips we want the public to get involved by recording the sounds of our amazing coastline and add them to the sound map. This could be someone wrestling with putting up a deck-chair, the sounds of a fish and chip shop or a busy port.

"We'd also love to hear from people that might have historic coastal sounds, from around Scotland's coast which might, for example, be stored in a box in the loft. This will help us hear how the sounds of that coastline have changed over the years."

:: To get involved in the project visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/coastal-sounds.

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