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Listening to Climate Change; experiments with sonic democracy

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11 / 19 / 2021

Art and Change / Eco-Creativity Conference


The Sounding Coastal Change team are collaborating with UCL (Bartlett) in the Project Creative Practice and the Anthropocene.

We will be leading a session titled Art and Change at the online conference Eco-creativity hosted by the Open University on Friday 19th November which showcases our documentary video Creative Practice and the Anthropocene.

Full Version


Short Version


06 / 25 / 2021

Living with Dunes, a film for World Sand Dune Day

Living with Dunes is a film Directed by Chris Bonfiglioli and Produced by Kim Hammond with the support of the Sounding Coastal Change team and the ENDURE Project. 


Living with Dunes explores the complex environmental problems of climate change, biodiversity and habitat loss in focus at one location; Holme-next-the-Sea, North Norfolk. The Holme sand dunes and the people, flora and fauna who live with them are the central subject of this film. 

North Norfolk is an area of low-lying sandy cliffs, dunes, mudflats, creeks, freshes and saltwater marshes. The area is an important bellwether and a de facto UK laboratory in terms of climate change and coastal vulnerability. Released on World Sand Dune Day 2021, the film celebrates the vitality of Holme dunes. We hear about their importance as a home, a habitat, a place to visit and a dynamic soft sea defence.


Living with Dunes from Stories of Change on Vimeo.

02 / 17 / 2019

Sounding Coastal Change Exhibition. Soundings Film & Blakeney Postcards.

From 2nd May - The Blakeney Postcards will be at Wells Maltings

29th March - 10th April 2019

Dundee University, DJCAD. Research Gallery, level 5 Matthew Building, DJCAD.

18th February - 17th March 2019 10:00 -16:00

Norfolk Wildlife Trust Visitor Centre, Cley Marshes -

Launch Event

Sunday 17th February - For more information and booking click here.

14.00 to 16.30 - Booking Essential for Launch Event. 
Telephone 01263 740008

Can sound help us think about environmental change? This exhibition showcases film and sound work exploring change on the North Norfolk Coast. Sound conveys thoughts and feelings sometimes difficult to put into words. It allows the many voices of people and environments to be expressed together. Sound encourages us to think about human experiences of time and the rhythms and thresholds of environmental change. Funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the project team work with sound, music and different kinds of listening, to explore how the coast is changing and how people’s lives are changing with it.

Watch this space for future venues, dates and times.

19th October - 27th October 2018 - Norwich Science Festival  

17th February - 17th March 2019 - Norfolk Wildlife Trust Visitor Centre, Cley Marshes - Launch event 17th February




06 / 27 / 2019

Doreen Massey Annual Event, 27 June 2019 : Environmental Engagement and the Politics of Creative Practice


FutureLearn, 1-11 Hawley Crescent, Camden Town, London NW1 8NP


Environmental Engagement and the Politics of Creative Practice

Artistic and creative practice has become an increasingly important set of resources and methods used for public engagement (Gauntlet 2007, Kara 2015). Arts based engagement with contemporary environmental issues, for example related the climate change and the complex environmental issues of the Anthropocene, has become a key area for such developments (Buckland 2006). Creative practice may be understood as research that involves participants and respondents in imagining, making and telling as a set of interrelated practices. Taken together as a process of engagement, these should, as Helguera (2011) suggests, be both educational in the broadest sense and mutually transformative for the publics, practitioners and researchers involved. Examples abound in areas as diverse as scientific and environmental understanding, policy and planning, health and wellbeing and community, diversity and social cohesion. In these and other contexts, creative practice can encourage conversation around issues that might otherwise be difficult to articulate and provide a presence for human and non-human others in discussions and debates (Dryzek and Niemeyar 2012; Kester 2004, 2011).  From this perspective it is possible to see how such artistic and creative practice might facilitate a more inclusive ‘more-than-human’ environmental politics (Braun and Whatmore 2010) with capacity to give a presence to human and non-human voices (Latour 1993, 20). As Braidoti (2018) has recently argued this has the potential for contributing to: ‘a frame for the actualization of the many missing people, whose ‘minor’ or nomadic knowledge is the breeding ground for possible futures’.

Though asymmetries of power are often acknowledged between publics, practitioners and institutional decision makers in relation to creative engagements (Bishop 2006, 2010), the ways in which creative practice might more fully participate in political processes and decision making often remain implicit. All too frequently it is simply assumed that artistic and creative engagements will inform, animate and activate publics and public opinion. Yet the means by which this is achieved and matters of interest are transformed into ‘matters of concern’ (Latour 2004) often remains opaque (Helguera 2011). Increasingly the role of creative engagements as educational process are recognized as an important component of their transformative potential in terms of the broader understanding of complex information and the co-creation of knowledge both of which might encourage more informed and and inclusive decision making. However, the relationships between artistic and creative practices, educational processes and a more inclusive politics remain to be more fully explored. 


This workshop will:

  • Examine the role of artistic and creative practice in facilitating educational engagements;
  • Explore the ways in which artistic and creative practice might be formally and informally engaged in              environmental decision making, political debate and process.



Bishop, C. (2006) The Social Turn: Collaboration and its discontents. Art Forum, February, pp.179 - 185

Bishop, C. (2010) Artificial Hells: Participatory Art and the Politics of Spectatorship, London: Verso

Braidotti, R. (2018) A Theoretical Framework for the Critical Posthumanities. Theory Culture & Society. Accessed 01/12/2018 at https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0263276418771486

Braun, B. and Whatmore, S. J. (eds.) (2010) Political matter: technoscience, democracy and public life (University of Minnesota Press: Minneapolis).

Buckland, D. (2006) Burning ice: art and climate change, London: Cape Farewell.

Dryzek, J. and Niemeyar, S. (2012) What is deliberative democracy? D2G2 Blogpost, Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance.Accessed 20/02/2018 at http://deldem.weblogs.anu.edu.au/2012/02/15/what-is-deliberative-democracy/

Gauntlett, D. (2007) Creative explorations: new approaches to identities and audiences.Abingdon: Routledge.

Helguera, P. (2011). Education for Socially Engaged Art: A materials and techniques handbook, New York: Jorge Pinto Books

Kara, H. (2015) Creative Research Methods in the Social Sciences: A practical guide, Bristol: Policy Press.

Kester, G. H. (2004). Conversation Pieces: Community and communication in modern art, Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press.

Kester, G.H. (2011). The One and the Many: Contemporary Collaborative Art in the Global Context,Durham and London: Duke University Press.

Latour, B. (1993)We have never been modern, Harvester Wheatsheaf: Hemel Hempstead.

Latour, B. (2004)Politics of nature: how to bring the sciences into democracy, Cambridge, Mass. Harvard University Press


12 / 11 / 2018

Sounding Coastal Change: experiments with sonic democracy on the North Norfolk Coast (UK)

Drs George Revill, Johanna Wadsley and Kim Hammond will present on their work 'Sounding Coastal Change: experiments with sonic democracy on the North Norfolk Coast', about social and environmental change in the region.


The North Norfolk coast is a region of low lying sandy cliffs, dunes, mudflats, creeks, fresh and salt water marshes. These vulnerable habitats and ecologies are subject to erosion and inundation from increasingly severe weather events and tidal surges that also transform human lives and livelihoods. The region is also being transformed by other kinds of impacts notably, increasing visitor pressure and the rise of 'second home' residents. This project uses the idea of sound, music and different kinds of listening to explore the ways in which the coast is changing and how people's lives are changing with it. The project applies the idea of sound to explore coastal change. It develops a series of workshops, live performances of original music, radio broadcasts, sonic exhibitions and film and sound installations, each working with historical and newly developed material to inform the development of a sonic coastal plan for the Blakeney area. The paper builds on work around the politics of sound (Revill 2016) and geographies of voice (Revill 2017). As contention, it takes seriously Latour's argument for 'a parliament of things' (1991, 2004). It explores how and to what extent sound is able to juxtapose human, nonhuman and environmental 'voices' in a shared space and interrogate its form of meaningful communication between social and natural worlds. The paper takes Harries (2013) conception of the 'open work' and writing on art participation, conversation and democracy by Helguera (2011) and Kester (2013) as starting point for critical exploration of creative sonic political democracy.



11 / 13 / 2018

The Norfolk Coast: Taking Soundings - Film Screening at Wells Maltings

Your invitation to a film screening on 13th November at Wells Maltings
Change is everywhere – especially the dynamic, shifting Norfolk Coast. Celebrating 50 years protected as an area of outstanding natural beauty, this stunning place is under pressure. From development to erosion, from climate change to tourism, the fragile landscape and its communities, both human and animal, face challenges.
A new project uses sound to examine thoughts about these changes, and the Norfolk Coast Partnership is bringing them in to the management plan for the area, which it is currently being put together on behalf of over 20 partner organisations.
As part of this work, the Open University Sounding Coastal Change project and the Norfolk Coast Partnership invite you to a screening of the short film ‘Soundings’ by Gair Dunlop at 6.30-8:30pm on 13 November at Wells Maltings, Staithe St, Wells-next-the-Sea NR23 1AN. Wine and nibbles will start the evening, followed by the screening and a discussion. The event is free but places are limited so booking is necessary – send your name, telephone number and amount of tickets to:
or telephone 01328 850530.
The 29-minute film is part of the three year Sounding Coastal Change project by the Open University and University of Dundee, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council which works with sound, music and different kinds of listening, to explore how the coast is changing and how people’s lives are changing with it.



10 / 16 / 2018

Blakeney Postcards

Sound works by Lona Kozik
Each sonic postcard has some connection to the village of Blakeney on the North Norfolk coast. The postcards vary – soundscapes, music, fragments of interviews with local people, some left abstract, others organized into regular musical statements – wave forms, pulses, even a beat that you could dance to. We “hear” a place in various ways. We hear its typical natural and humanly made sounds – its wind and waves, its traffic and machinery. We hear its soundscapes. Masts of boats clank in chorus in the wind. The sea swells and surges. We listen to its people – how they speak, sing, what they remember, what they talk about. Folklore. We know its progressions – tide to tide, changing topographies.
Listen to the Sonic Postcards here:

Image: Chris Bonfiglioli 2018


02 / 17 / 2019


A film by Gair Dunlop
Human voices, young voices, expert voices, archive voices. Winds, waters, creatures, café sounds, aircraft … This film brings together elements of the two year research project on the North Norfolk Coast, exploring sonic democracies of coastal change. Composed sound interweaves with found sound, interview material, treated electronic sound and hydrophone recordings from the windfarms.

Perhaps one of the most surprising elements for me is the way in which the soundscape makes us realise that while we may be able to visually edit out intrusive, ‘non-natural’ elements, the evidence of the ear shows us that North Norfolk is a highly technologized landscape; fast jets on bombing runs to Holbeach, passenger aircraft, traffic, and sizzling burgers. Making this half-hour film has opened my eyes and ears, making me more aware of the fragility of coastal life. It’s also made clear the impossibility of separating environmental from social change.



07 / 18 / 2018

Sounding Coastal Change - 24 hour Live Radio Broadcast

24 hour Live Radio Broadcast 

This was listened to by more than 1,000 people on the day and many more since. 


The broadcast ran from the 18th to the 19th July. 

It is still available as a Soundcloud playist on Richard Fair's Soundcloud here:




A recording of the live broadcast is now available on Soundcloud. 

Resulting from collaborations with local organizations and individuals, the broadcast includes live discussions, a documentary made by the Year 6 pupils of the Pilgrim Federation of Church of England Primary Schools, a new radio ballad featuring interviews with local residents, recordings of live music events, digital sound art, Sound Arks, and environmental sounds including the Dawn Chorus.


The broadcast started at, 4am onwards, Wednesday 18 July –  and went to 4am Thursday 19 July

Listen: at The Blakeney Harbour Room, 1pm – 5pm, Wednesday 18 July

Be part of the broadcast: come to Blakeney Quay on 18 July and be part of the broadcast by making YOUR MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE at the SCC ENGAGEMENT TENT in the Blakeney Parish Council quayside carpark, and say ‘Hi’ to the broadcast team in the Seagulls & Samphire Art & Craft Centre at Blakeney Quay.



The broadcast ran from 4:00 am on the 18th to same time on the 19th July 2018

(Sunrise 4:54)


Lots of people shared their views on coastal change with the following activities:


Sound Ark:  You can send it to us with the subject "Sound Ark" or tweet to us with the hash tag  #SaveOurSounds

Message in a Bottle:    You can send it to us with the subject "MIB" or tweet to us with the hash tag #MessageinaBottle

Overheard in…. / Overheard in Blakeney:  Have you heard something important and want to tell the world:  You can send it to us with the subject "Overheard in" or tweet to us with the tag #Overheardin





Time   Item

04:00  The Dawn Chorus in Blakeney

06:00  Time and Tide/Morston Quay digital sound installations

07:00  Sounding Coastal Change – an introduction

08:00  Soundscape North Norfolk

09:00  Meet the Sounding Coastal Change Team

09.45  Pilgrim Federation of C.of.E Primary Schools

10:00  Blakeney Is Beautiful/Norfolk Melodies/More Water In The Sea

11:00  Coastal Conversations - Parts 1 and 2

12:10  What’s Happening?

12:30  Meet the Team 

13:00  Pilgrim Federation Year 6 Documentary

14:00  Time and Tide/Morston Quay

14.40  Radio Ballad: The Village, the Sea and the Turning Tide

16:00  Roundtable Discussion with Norfolk conservation organizations

17:00  Coastal Partnership – AONB 50th Anniversary

17:30  Sound Ark/Bio-blitz – Citizen Science

18:00  Pilgrim Federation Year 6 Documentary (repeat)

19:00  Discussion 2

19:30  Sound Ark/Bio-blitz – Citizen Science

20:30  Coastal Conversations

21:40  Radio Ballad: The Village, the Sea and the Turning Tide

23:00  Discussion 2 (repeat from 4pm roundtable)

00:00  Matters Arising …in Blakeney

01:45  Coastal Partnership AONB

02:15  Blakeney Is Beautiful/Norfolk Melodies/More Water In The Sea

03:15  Soundscape North Norfolk

04:00 Close

06 / 30 / 2018

Coastal Conversations

Saturday 30 June, 10:30am to 12:30pm

A free, collaborative event with Norfolk Wildlife Trust, at Cley Marshes Visitors’ Centre:


Join us for tea and coffee (and biscuits) and some engaging conversations with people familiar with the ever-changing Norfolk Coast. Our informed conversationalists come from the Open University, the Norfolk Wildlife Trust and beyond. They will be ready to listen and discuss whatever aspects of the coast’s ‘living landscape’ interest you the most, or simply want to reflect upon. Some of the conversations will be recorded for the Sounding Coastal Change 24-hour live online broadcast from Blakeney for World Listening Day, 18 July 2018.

06 / 02 / 2018

Matters Arising Live performance

Saturday 2 June, 14:00 – 16:00, St. Nicholas Church, Blakeney

Premier performance of new music by composer Sam Richards.

Featuring renowned vocal ensemble:  Seraphim (Director, Vetta Wise)

'Matters Arising … in Blakeney' is composer/improviser Sam Richards' response to visiting and researching Blakeney and the North Norfolk coast.​ It is an exciting opportunity to hear the first performance of an innovative large-scale, multi-performer piece with professional vocalists, instrumentalists, digital sound and film artists and, near the end, a conversation about the future of the area. Richards uses locally recorded sounds and experimental approaches to music and performance, and fills the entire space of St.Nicholas’ Church.

Cost: Free.

Families welcome.

Either stay for the full 2-hour performance or drop-in and out



  • www.soundingcoastalchange.org/contact
  • facebook.com/OUSoundingCoastalChange
  • instagram.com/soundingcoastalchange (@soundingcoastalchange)
  • twitter.com/SCC_OU (@SCC_OU)
  • johanna.wadsley@open.ac.uk 
  • 07792 683196

Where - St Nicholas Church, Blakeney

When. 14:00 - 16:00

07 / 07 / 2017

Free Live Performance Event

Children welcome, refreshments available

Friday, 7 July 2017 from 18:00 onwards

St. Nicholas’ Church,Cley Road, Blakeney, NR25 7NJ

To celebrate the launch of the Sounding Coastal Change project, this event will showcase:

•  Sonic creations by the children of the Pilgrim Federation of Church of England Primary Schools

•  Electronic sound art created from the sounds of Blakeney and conversations with local people

•  The premiere of a music composition inspired by the Norfolk coast

•  Discoveries from the East Anglian Film Archive

•  Folk songs olds and new

To register your attendance and for catering purposes, please CLICK HERE.

05 / 07 / 2017

International Dawn Chorus Day

Richardfair is on Mixlr

Live web broadcast followed by a Q&A session at the NWT, Cley

Live web broadcast two hours either side of dawn, estimated time of broadcast 04:30 - 06:30

Q&A with the recording team at a ‘Bird Bonanza’ session at the Norfolk Wildlife Trust Aspinall Centre, 10:00 - 11:30

Thursday, 7 May 2017 from 04:30 to 11:30 (GMT)

Venue: Norfolk Wildlife Trust Visitor Centre, Cley, NR25 7SA

A live web broadcast of the dawn chorus on Cley Marshes, for International Dawn Chorus Day, linked by Reveil: a 24 hour broadcast that tracks the sounds of daybreak, travelling West from microphone to microphone on sounds transmitted live by audio streamers around the globe. This activity is part of the Cley Calling celebration of North Norfolk's wildlife and people.

Listen to the live broadcast here:

07 / 03 / 2017

Sound Installations

Free, all welcome

2 - 8 July


INSTALLATION 1 - the lookout at Morston Quay, National Trust Information Centre, Blakeney National Nature Reserve

INSTALLATION 2 - St. Nicholas' Church, Cley Road, Blakeney, NR25 7NJ

Sound artists Lona Kozik and Richard Fair have created two distinct sound works based upon ‘found sound’ recorded in the local area, and research interviews with local residents.

07 / 03 / 2017

Sound Recording Workshops

Students at the Pilgrim Federation of C. of E. Primary Schools

Week of 3 - 7 July 2017

Locations: Blakeney Primary School

Students will learn how to use sound recording equipment, how to record environmental sounds outdoors, and the techniques of mini-interviews with people in their community. The workshop facilitators, Johanna Wadsley and Richard Fair, will then edit, geotag and upload the children’s creations to the Sound Map on www.soundingcoastalchange.org, and the children will present their work at the live performance event on Friday 7 July 2017.

04 / 17 / 2018

Building a Sound Ark - Free Workshop

Building a Sound Ark
(Tuesday 17th April, 10.30 am - 3.30 pm at Norfolk Wildlife Trust, Cley Marshes Visitor Centre, Cley next the Sea, Holt NR25 7SA 
To Book - call 01263 740008)
Explores how the voices of the coast, its birds, maps, reed beds, shingle, fishermen or folk songs can tell us about the coastal landscapes we value. The coast is changing and people’s lives are changing with it. In this workshop, part of Sounding Coastal Change: an Open University research project, we will build a Sound Ark  - a time capsule message of sounds selected from the day to send to the future: the sounds we would like to hear at this place in the future, the sounds we want to preserve for future generations to hear. There will be an opportunity to go out and about on the reserve to capture some of the sounds of Cley with recording equipment provided on the day and/or to use materials provided, including sounds, songs and voices recorded locally.