Craig Gell 

In response to the open call, I am making a collection of ‘room tone’ recordings from within extant WWII pillbox defences in the locality of Folkestone, Kent. 

These reinforced concrete chambers, commissioned in 1940 to defend Britain against invasion, remain embedded in the landscape, obsolete but still sentinel, watching and listening as the world around them moves on. 

The sites surveyed for this project formed part of the defence grouping known as the ‘Folkestone Nodal Point’. Their design falls into two variants: the Type 22 regular, and Type 24 irregular hexagonal plan, with walls between 12 and 24 inches thick, up to five embrasures and an interior blast wall (usually Y shaped). Any sound that is able to penetrate through its narrow entrances and loopholes is subject to the distinctive properties of the interior space.

My starting point for this project is a recording I made in 2021 at a nearby pillbox built on top of a Bronze Age barrow along the ridge of the Folkestone Downs. From the pillbox’s vantage point, the distant rumblings of the Channel Tunnel complex below can be heard.

Craig Gell is an artist, composer and musician based in Folkestone, Kent. As a sound artist, his work explores our relationship to the landscape, and offers alternative perspectives and means of connection to it, using field recordings, sound synthesis and creative coding to produce sound walks and maps, multimedia installations and electroacoustic compositions.

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