Musician and producer Martyn Ware is today releasing an 82-minute coastal soundscape inspired by the hundreds of sounds submitted as part of the ‘Sounds of our Shores’ project, which ran throughout the summer of 2015.
Martyn Ware on Brighton beach recording sounds for the sounds of our shores project. Credit: Tim Stubbings
Called “Sea Inside Us All” this ‘cinema for the mind’ takes listeners on a sonic journey into a world of rich, diverse and beautiful sounds from the stunning UK coastline.
The “Sounds of our Shores” crowd-sourced project was a collaboration between the National Trust, British Library and National Trust for Scotland that ran between June and September 2015 – part of a celebration of the National Trust’s 50th anniversary of the Neptune Coastline Campaign.
Martyn Ware, a founding member of The Human League and Heaven 17, said: “This project has been a delight to work on – it has been a genuine pleasure to create this unique composition featuring the amazing sounds that people have recorded around our magnificent and characterful coastline.
“I’ve tried to create an emotional journey around all the elements that connect us all to the coast and the seaside, and this has been beautifully enhanced by my son Gabriel Ware’s orchestral compositions.
“You will be transported to places of fond reminiscence and imagination with the help of this cinema for the mind.”
Some of the sounds that made it on to the soundscape include the classic ghost train ride in an amusement arcade, the singing of a Cornish folk song and people walking along a shingle beach.
Cheryl Tipp, Curator of Wildlife and Environment Sounds at the British Library, said: “Martyn Ware’s ‘Sea Inside Us All’ beautifully encapsulates the importance of sound in our nation’s relationship with the British coastline. From waves and wildlife to amusements and industry, these sounds represent the many aspects of the coast that we hold dear.
“I cannot think of a better way to sum up the project than with this cinematic soundscape that celebrates the sounds of our shores so perfectly.”
All of the sounds submitted as part of the ‘Sounds of our Shores’ project, via audioBoom, appear on a unique sound map and will be added to the British Library Sound Archive.
More than 680 sounds were uploaded by hundreds of people from across the UK on to the sound map from around the 10,800 miles of coastline including the intensity of the Fog Horn on the Lizard in Cornwall to the drama of heavy waves on Orkney. These sounds captured people’s special connections with the coast, whether a place that they go on holiday with the family or a sound linked to a particular memory.
Kate Martin, National Trust Area Ranger at Formby, said: “This soundscape provides an instant feeling of calm in a manic world. It stirs so many pleasant memories and feelings from throughout my life and genuinely slowed my pulse and put a smile on my face.
“As the soundscape plays out I was transported to many different times of my life, from happy childhood seaside holidays, to foggy days working on the beach at Formby and many more besides. You really cannot overstate how evocative sounds are.”