Research project

Sounding Coastal Change

‘Sounding Coastal Change’ (SCC) is a project by Gair Dunlop, exploring how sound, music, film and alternate ways of listening are useful tools in a facilitated process of public engagement.

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an image of headphones and a sound desk
Status

Completed

Start date

September 2016

Completion date

November 2019

Funding

Funders

AHRC

Sounding Coastal Change(SCC) is an AHRC- funded project exploring how sound, music, film and alternate ways of listening are useful tools in a facilitated process of public engagement, helping communities to consider how the North Norfolk coast is changing.

The film, SOUNDINGS (2018), is one of the creative works made during the project. It is a collaboration of Gair Dunlop with geographers, composers and sound artists, Lona Kozik, Sam Richards and Richard Fair, respectively.

SOUNDINGS is constructed around a range of natural, composed and recorded sounds, offering a new way to consider the mix of human and non-human activities and changes in North Norfolk. Expert and dissenting voices are included, creating a bigger picture of who and what the coast is for. Sounds in the work include Cley Marshes on International Dawn Chorus Day; a church performance of Sam Richard’s Matters Arising in Blakeney; local, expert and archival voices, such as schoolchildren’s field recordings. The film utilises theoretical insights from Bruno Latour’s concept of a parliament of things’, bringing local communities together to speculate on issues of coastal change, to consider what kinds of futures they want, and how they might get there. The film’s main methodology seeks to establish where sound leads (rather than follows) the visual.

SOUNDINGS was shortlisted for an AHRC Research Film of the Year award (2019). Other outcomes of the project included an invitation to present to the House of Commons Environment Committee on Communities, Resilience and Coastal Change, and a one-day conference in memory of Professor Doreen Massey at the Open University (London, 27 March 2019). The film has been screened at Norfolk Science Festival, at University of Dundee, Cley Marshes Nature Reserve.

People

Project lead(s)

Gair Dunlop