Hannah Fredsgaard-Jones

Subway Soundings 

“Stay away from the subway at night!” warned my parents. Growing up near Ryparken station in Copenhagen, the underpass provided a convenient route home. Shattered glass, a hint of urine, and dim lighting characterised the path. Now, it’s been replaced by an overground footbridge and the subway turned cloudburst basin to mitigate flooding. As I delve into Sound Diaries, I’ll explore the underpasses I frequent around Oxford and the few remaining Copenhagen subways from my childhood. With the rejection of subways due to safety concerns, these passages may soon vanish from our landscape. Amidst the familiar sounds of hurried footsteps and bike bells, I wonder what deeper societal insights lie within.

During a recent trip to Brighton on a residency at The Rose Hill, I went on a trip down to the sea front. Under normal circumstances it would have been the sight of the waves that would have made my day. On this occasion however, it was the sight of the pedestrian tunnel leading to the beach that made me rip out the recording device from my backpack.

As I started walking, I realised that there was too much wind coming through on the recording. Walking backward seemed to do the trick, perhaps with the back of my ears breaking the wind before the sound reached the microphones. Listen on headphones if you want to experience the full effect of the binaural recording. Most importantly though, listen out for the passer-by telling me:“Don’t go back too much cause’ it’s the sea!”

Hannah Fredsgaard-Jones is a Danish composer, songwriter, performer, and sound artist living in Oxford. Her practice is rooted in collaborative and interdisciplinary approaches to sound making. She composes, creates audio pieces, writes, and performs indie-folk music as Hannah Lou Larsen. Hannah has exhibited her works in London (Tate Exchange, The Barbican Centre, and IKLECTIK), New York (Duck Creek Arts Center), Salento (Convitto Palmieri, Italy), and Glasgow (Radiophrenia Festival). Her music has been featured on Danish National Radio and BBC (6 Music, Radio 2, and Radio 3).

Recent works include choir music for ‘Voices of Exmoor’ as part of the Adopt a Music Creator Scheme, a site-specific sound walk about Ash Trees supported by Oxford Contemporary Music, and an early years sound piece ‘Fill Your Boots’ for the Tiny Ideas Festival. She leads workshops for Pegasus, Ark-T, Music at Oxford, YWMP and she is a member of the UKNA Creative Thinktank.