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Sonic Outreach Shetland

Exploring Shetland’s Coastal Areas through Sound

Sonic Outreach Shetland (SO Shetland) explores, celebrates and promotes Shetland’s coastal areas through sound with the use of audio technology and creative strategies. Initiated by Curious Pilgrims, and under the artistic and technical guidance of sound artist Renzo Spiteri, a cohort of young people from Anderson and Brae High Schools fulfil the roles of project participants, collaborators, artistic creators and beneficiaries of this project.

Through on the ground sensory-rich activities, sound mapping and artistic creation, participants discover and glean hidden sounds within Shetland’s coastal auditory ecology increasing mindful engagement with the natural world, and improving awareness and sensitivity to the coastal environment.

On the ground, field recordings

Participants engage with Shetland’s coastal and sea sound ecology through listening sessions and will carry out audio field recordings using microphones, hydrophones, headphones and digital sound recorders. Creative strategies such as sound walking, sound mapping and deep listening enhance the participants’ sensitivity to Shetland’s coasts and waters, creating novel ways of experiencing them.

Sound mapping

Participants select a series of audio field recordings gleaned from the various locations for online upload along with associated metadata such as date, time, location, photos and video footage. This allows the wider Shetland population to follow the project as it develops and to experience the recorded sounds remotely. It also creates a sonic time capsule of locations visited to preserve sounds that might change or disappear in years to come.

Artistic creation

Deep listening of the audio field recordings captured by participants increases their awareness of the sounds gleaned, becoming more engaged with them and exploring the creative possibilities of material gathered with the aim of composing sound art works. Other forms of experiential representation, such as writing, painting and drawing, will also be explored, challenging perception and reinterpreting sound events through visual art.


Plunge In! Coasts and Waters Community Fund Story Map

Explore the 24 new community projects across Scotland that are being supported by The Plunge In! Fund. Click on the interactive map to discover how these projects will engage and connect people with our coasts and waters with the aim of leaving a legacy from the Year of Coasts and Waters 2020.

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Sonic Outreach Shetland is supported by NatureScot, through the Plunge In! The Coasts and Waters Community Fund. The fund was established by NatureScot to help community groups across Scotland celebrate the Year of Coasts and Waters.