The Courier & Advertiser (Perth and Perthshire Edition)
Public urged to record sounds of the shore
British Library building a ‘sound map’ of UK’s coast
The cry of seagulls, the rattle of shingle as waves break over it, children’s shouts as they play on the beach and the chug of motorboats are some of the UK coast’s many evocative sounds.
Now the public is being asked to record the noises of seashores across the UK in order to build up a “sound map” of the country’s coastline which will be added to the British Library’s Sound Archive.
The recordings, which could range from the sounds of a working fishing village to the wind whistling over cliffs in Poldark country, will be used to create a new piece of music, inspired by the coasts, by Martyn Ware of Human League and Heaven 17.
The scheme, by the National Trust, National Trust for Scotland and the British Library, will allow people to record and upload up to five minutes of sound on to the online map, with the organisers hoping to capture sound from across the 10,800-mile UK coastline.
The “sounds of our shores” project coincides with the 50th anniversary of the National Trust’s Neptune Coastline Campaign to protect the UK’s coasts, with the organisation now managing 775 miles of coastline in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
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 when 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 deckchair, 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, which might be stored in a box in the loft. This will help us to see how the sounds of our coastline have changed over the years.”
She said people could have sounds recorded on cassette tapes, mini-discs or even old phonograph cylinders, and old sounds could range from visiting fun fairs to natural areas that have since built up or working fishing villages which are no longer busy.