Jun 23, 2022 | Blog, Events

Singing the Sea & Alive Alive O!

 


Image: Plymouth University 2nd year Illustration students – Tidelines project

Two projects connected by sound. Sound is different under the water. Water can carry sounds far further than air. What sounds can we hear? What sounds can we make? How and what do fish hear?

SINGING THE SEA

We are running three pilot sessions in June and July exploring voices and sounding together outdoors by the coast and estuary led by  musicians and choir leader Emma Welton and experienced vocalist and choir leader Sarah Owen. Sarah and Emma have both worked together as part of A Quiet Night In and At the End of the Day most recently commssioned by Out of the Box. Starting with familiar ways of songs and singing we are experimenting with different sounds our voices can make collectively as we listen and respond to the natural world and coastal habitat. This is linked to Sophie Nedelec’s work (see below) re underwater sounds and quiet sounds of the more-than-human world. Get in touch if you would be interested in taking part in further sessions.  thanks to local charity SeaAdora for supporting this project.

ALIVE ALIVE O!


Sophie Nedelec, a bioaccoustic scientist exploring human impacts on the environment through sound, has been awarded a small outreach grant from the British Ecological Society to work with local residents, swimmers and artists exploring voice, sound and underwater recording to discover what sounds can be found in the exe estuary and what sounds may encourage mussels to settle. Mussel beds are a vital part of this internationally significant ecosystem and there is a long history of farming mussels.

 

Sophie says:  I want to be a scientist who can use my skills to serve the interests of the local environment and people.  I am interested in local nature, sustainable food, protecting the natural environment, blue health, citizen science and empowering members of the public to get involved in policy making and policy consultation. Sound is a tool for all of this. I think there is an important message about stopping to listen to the environment around us and what we can learn from that. 

Sounds we have picked up in our recordings are invertebrate sounds (clicking sounds, scraping sounds) and fish sounds (pops, grunts, hums). There may be snapping shrimp? We have a recording from Kathy Hinde of pacific oyster beds between Lympstone and Exmouth – very noisy and well worth a listen.

Sophie is curious about how sound can be uses to encourage mussels to settle – can we work out what sounds and frequencies mussels are attracted to or what sounds might negatively impact settlement?

You are invited to an information sharing event at The Lookout in Lympstone on Saturday 23 July (time tbc) to have a conversation about mussels, this research and share knowledge and different perspectives. The Lookout was originally the site of a mussel purification station developed in 1923, with a view tohelping local shell fishermen deal with the estuary pollution. Please get in touch with s.nedelec@exeter.ac.uk if you are interested in being part of this conversation or helping to record underwater sound in your part of the estuary.

 

 

 

 

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