Tag: Oxford Brookes University

Travel! [#8] Oving Villages Cup Final and the sounding archaeology of goalkeeper’s studs on goalposts

In the first six Travel! posts I explored the close-season soundscape of football pitches on the route between Brightwell-cum-Sotwell and Winslow. You can find out more here. During 2017-2018 I have returned to some of the pitches to experience the sounding presence of football happening.

The Oving & District Villages’ Cup Competition affiliated to the Berk & Bucks FA was founded in 1889 and since 1892 the final of the competition has taken place at Oving Recreation Ground. I visited the Recreation Ground in July last year and listened to the sound of football not happening. You can find out more about that here.

It had always been my intention to return to the grounds that I had visited on the route between Brightwell-cum-Sotwell and Winslow and experience football taking place but somehow the season almost seems to be at an end and the fixtures are running out. I was casting about for potential fixtures to attend when by chance I came across the Oving Villages Cup Final between Long Crendon – who were also involved in the first final in 1890 – and Great Horworth. I arrived just before half-time and so missed the only goal of the game – Great Horworth held on to that slender lead until the final whistle.

The matchday programme included this information about the origins of the cup from the 1928 programme:

The Oving Villages Cup was formed by subsrcibers of the villages within a 12 miles of Oving in the year 1889, Mr James Evans of Oving being the Chief Organiser and acting Hon. Secretary. The first president was the late Rev. I Hill, the Rector of Oving.

The 2018 programme goes on:

The worthy Rector was obviously a football fan, for research by Hal mason of Sudbury Suffolk reveals that he appeared for the Pilgrims when they lost 3-1 to Foresters in the FA Cup of 1881.

The founder members of the competition were Waddesdon, Quainton, Long Crendon, Granborough, Oving and North Marston. The first two finals were held in Waddesdon but all subsequent finals have been held at Oving Recreation Ground.

Knowing that the cup final had been played on this site since 1892 set me thinking about how the sounding environment of the match would have changed over that period. A wind was whipping the black refuse bags attached to the boundary rope into feverish and sporadic sound-making – like aeolian devices – catching the wind and then collapsing inert as the breeze passed. Perhaps this is a sound unique to this year – lightweight recyclable black bags as opposed to their sturdier more heavily plasticised counterparts. What about the trees around the ground. How much has that changed in the one hundred and sixteen years since that match? The sounding environment would be completely different if the tree line had changed significantly. As the Great Horwood keeper banged his studs against his post just before a corner I began to consider the sounding history of that activity. When did this originate? If goalkeepers were doing this in 1892 what did leather studs on wooden goalposts sound like? I also started to think about the way that the formations would have changed the soundscape. 2-3-5 was the standard formation in the late nineteenth century. This would have changed the way that the sound-making activities of the footballers articulated the playing area – and what about on-pitch communication? left shoulder! Stick it in the mixer! Time!

(looking North towards the village hall)

man on
make your fucking mind up
I fucking have
I’m talking to him the whole time
press him mate
time – time – time
hey – hey
come on Crendon keep going boys
come on
big win
hey heads
come out
get out
yeah that’s it options
heads on the way
turn him
turn him son
man on
two here – two here
drive – drive
go – go
head down

when the final man comes in

come on Crendon this is good
come on
move around
come on
that’s yours – that’s yours
one more
well done
well done mate
well done
ref – ref
stay on
go line – go line
head it back in
play on red – play on red – play on red – play on red – play on red
come on come on
fucking edge
i’ve gotta go
gotta go
coming in
one more
that’s it
come on boys, it’s coming
keep pushing it boys
you alright boy?
got spare here

brainless that is

hey let’s get in then
be aware – be aware
back again

whoever shouts gets the free-kick

get on with it
go on
come on – come on
get up – get up
that’s it
well done – well done
give it


(looking south-east from behind Great Horworth’s goal – black bag crackling in the breeze)

(looking south-west from the halfway line – black bag tied to the boundary rope fills with air)

Travel! [#7] Presence, absence and the speed of sound on Ashendon Ridge

In the first six Travel! posts I explored the close-season soundscape of football pitches on the route between Brightwell-cum-Sotwell and Winslow. You can find out more here. During 2017-2018 I have returned to some of the pitches to experience the sounding presence of football happening.
One of the most distinctive sites that I came across in my close-season travels was Ashendon Playing Fields that sits on a ridge to the South-West of Waddesdon. The football pitch is on a considerable slope that runs between a covered reservoir at the top end and St.Mary’s Church at the bottom. The church is sited on the far side of the appropriately named Lower End – a lane that runs North from Main Street. I visited the playing fields – home of Ludgershall United –  twice in the close season. On my second visit to the playing fields the soundscape was dominated by the sound of the wind:
There was a strong wind, so strong that many of the distinctive sounding characteristics of the area – the vibrations of distant jets, helicopters, and light aircraft; the phasing white noise of the passing traffic; the calls of red kites and wood pigeons – were obscured by the many and various sounds of the wind as it shook branches; whistled through bushes and shrubs; and turned the long grasses around the pitch into a multitude of whispering aeolian devices.
So the resonating gong-like tarmac of the A34 and M40; the tremolo of light aircraft and the beating of rotor-blades; the complex polyphony of hedgerow birds; and the calls of Wood Pigeons, Collared Doves and Red Kites were obscured by the dense texture of aeolian sound – the complex movement of the wind coercing the grass, leaves, branches and hedgerows into sound. You can read more about the sound of football not happening on Ashendon Ridge here. The presence of football provides a different form of distraction from the everyday sounds of the Playing Field. The ear is drawn towards the on field communication of players the sound of the ball being kicked and the reflection of that sound as it returns from the pavilion. The ear follows the play listening for meaning to support what can be seen. However, the auditory experience of watching grassroots football is always just a little disconcerting as depending on how far away from the pitch the spectator is standing the eye sees the players strike the ball before the ear hears the sound – similarly when the ball thuds into the earth following a particularly powerful goal-kick the visible action precedes the audible one. The football pitch is a good place to discuss the relative speeds of light and sound.


I returned to Ashendon to watch the Aylesbury & District Division One game between Ludgershall United and Oving FC. The game finished 5-5. The slope of the pitch has a clear effect on the sound of the game as unusual levels of fear and anxiety are unleashed each time a long ball is floated downhill towards the opposition penalty area. The most innocuous looking through balls can become deadly weapons as they rise above the slope challenging the laws of gravity.

(Ludgershall United v Oving FC at Ashendon Playing Fields)
too long
don’t take that – don’t let him take that
don’t fucking
hey – hey
come in
win it
stand – stand – stand
come in
now – now – now
how was he off – how was he off
how was he off when he came from behind him
behind him ref
no way
he ran past him
when he shot – when he shot
know the fucking rules
when he shot
the linesman flags up for anything
hey boys – hey boys
concentrate – concentrate
ludgershall wake up
you can feel it as well
hey line
shout to him
fuckin’ hell
win it
behind you
go on
where’d that come from
just watching
fucking concentrate
talk to each other
yeah but why hasn’t he jumped for it
he knows
we’re putting pressure on ourselves
did you do that flick
we want this game yeah
come on
boys – boys
come on boys
i’m doing what i’ve been told
yeah but then you talk
pick it up
fuck sake mate
tell me one fucking thing
carry on
watch your man
chase him
do you want a free kick for that – matey boys pushing
fucking what are you on about
bang it
well done boys
very good – very good
settle down
man on – man on
well done
pick him out
oh fuck off
get in there
everyone has their man
drop – drop – drop – drop
get in there – get in there
seconds – seconds
stand him up
go on then
go on – go on – go on – go on – go on – go on
now – now
boys more talking
are you playing left then
left wing
close him down
he doesn’t want it either
yeah come in left back
ref – ref
how long
your throw
come on let’s get set boys
keep going yellows
keep going
Ludgershall line
one of you
come back – come back
well done
turn out of there
yeah well done
he was going nowhere
what’s the point
well done you
ref – ref
how can you see that
come on
Oi! boys
concentrate now
bounce back
none of us
we dig in we do not concede again
and again yellows
no silly fouls boys yeah
i’m here now

Travel! [#6] Bowling Alley

This is the sixth in a series of posts investigating the close-season soundscape of football pitches on the route between Brightwell-cum-Sotwell and Winslow. There are more details of the project here.

I came across Oving when tracing the route from Brightwell to Winslow. The village lies to the east of Quainton and just south of North Marston. The Recreation Ground is on a lane called Bowling Alley and since 1892 has hosted the Oving Villages’ Cup Final.

17th July 2017
09.52 : Oving Recreation Ground

(At Oving Recreation Ground looking towards Bowling Alley)

The clop of horses’ hooves on Bowling Alley; a pheasant; breeze in the leaves of the tree-line behind me – their size apparent from the resonance they create – slight dryness in their scrape; collared doves call; a pheasant – again – calls once, twice – then a flurry of calls; distant roar of a motorbike; two thumps from the bird-scarer; the murmur of chat in the lane; the faint cackle of the breeze through dry leaves; the bird-scarer more regular now; occasional birdsong from Wrens in the hedgerow; the call of Red Kites – how far away?; a rook calls – then the barely audible response of friends; a car in the lane – all of the sounding details of its approach and departure can be heard as it amplifies the imperfections of the road surface; only nearby wind sound now – leaves brushing against each other – the screen of trees to the North and East of the Recreation Ground are silent; the pitch-shifting passage of a train is overlaid with the sound of swifts, car doors slamming and a chorus of wood pigeons; single jackdaw call; slight fluctuation in sound from pigeon wings; children’s voices; a deeper rumble as a truck passes – rattling; a dog barks; the pitch-phasing of a passenger jet; wood pigeons wings; breeze; chains on steel sheet.

On my second visit I took a closer look at the cluster of pavilions at the south-east corner of the ground. One looked as though it may have been constructed in the nineteenth century – it is certainly more rustic in style – and could conceivably have been in place for the Oving Villages’ Cup Final of 1892 won by North Marston with a 6-0 victory over Waddesdon. There is also a small painted green corrugated iron hut – almost obscured by hedges – that looks like an old-style scout hut.

27th July 2017
11.25 : Oving Recreation Ground

(The cluster of pavilions at the south-east corner of the recreation ground)

Light movement of wind activating the screen of beach trees to the north occasionally answered by the horse chestnuts laden with conkers; cars sounding the wet road surface – extra resonance; a lawn mower or chain saw sounds; occasional calls of children; wood pigeons to the south and perhaps a distant bird-scarer; someone kicks a football; a car passes with the tremolo of a vintage engine; the flap of wood pigeon wings; leaves in the hedgerow brush against each other; perhaps the mechanical drone that can be heard is a lawnmower; fast cars in the distance provide waves of pitch-shifting sound; the first sound of air-traffic – a light aircraft or helicopter; a swallow; sparrows in a back garden; a jackdaw calls; the detailed sound of a car’s passage along Bowling Alley the sound rising and falling as it passes windows in the tree-line and hedgerow – it sounds a puddle by the gate; a distant train perhaps or an articulated truck on the trunk road; farm machinery – a circular saw with a high-pitched growl as its teeth cut into the wood; a dog panting as it passes; ‘morning’; wood pigeons; very little sound of hedgerow birds; another fast car on the A road; the drone stops and the air is clearer; wood pigeons call across distance; there is more detail in the sounds of the trees; a passenger jet to the south-east with a slow rolling pitch phase as simultaneously a car sounds the wet surface on Bowling Alley triggering a babble of rooks; the jet engine continues to resonate above the cloud cover – I imagine each drop of moisture vibrating with the sound; a military helicopter passes flying below the clouds the sound reflecting and imitated by the sounding road surface.


Two Rivers Sangha

This post is part of the Lion Seats project created by Richard Bentley. You can read more about the project here.

20:00 28-05-17

Location: Berkshire Pilates, 101 London Street, Reading, RG1 4QA

“With posture upright and solid…
we are seated…
at the foot of…
the Bodhi tree…
Body speech and mind…
all are one…
in stillness…
There is no more thought of right and wrong…
Our minds and bodies dwell in perfect mindfulness…”

As I sung the evening chant I felt myself settling into the quiet of the space. Familiar words sung at an unnaturally slow tempo were usually effective in grounding me in the present and connecting me to the others at the sangha meeting. Next came the sitting meditation, a time to still the body and rest my attention on the breath to let the monologue of thoughts fade to silence (well that’s the theory any way). However, after a busy week, a succession of late nights and broken sleep, my practice was simply to keep my head upright and my body from slumping over in an unconscious heap on the floor. My lowered gaze frequently became a blackout, my head falling forward – all the time struggling to right itself. I do not remember hearing anything during these twenty-five minutes of sitting, though the low rumble of traffic noise, the clicks and buzzes of the heaters warming up and the even rhythm of the clock were no doubt still present. Neither did any other thoughts appear to arise, I was not plagued by the ‘to do’ list that so often pervades my mind. My attention was gathered and united in a single mission – to stay awake.

It was with great relief that we began kinh hanh or walking meditation. I had made it through the first sitting. The slow movement offered a long-awaited break from what seemed like a lifetime of remaining stationary and upright. The struggling mind I had needed to keep awake gently gave way to an ease and calm. I found my breathing synchronise intuitively with the rhythm of my feet on the carpet. This peacefulness continued into the second sitting. Feeling more awake and without the struggle, I settled quickly, following the rise and fall of my chest as I echoed the gatha ‘breathing in…breathing out’ to myself. My eyes were soft-focused through my eyelashes, resting on a small stain in the carpet in front of me. For short bursts of a few seconds I heard the gatha clearly in my mind. During these moments I became very still, a contented tranquility permeated my perception. Strangely, the carpet in front of me appeared less solid than it had done in the first sitting. I played with this experience, seeing how the stillness ebbed and flowed as thoughts arose and fell away. I noticed the way in which sounds that pierced the otherwise unbroken drone of traffic on London Street outside would bring my eyes into sharper focus on the carpet and interrupt the serene composure. Knocks, bangs and movements from people in a connected terrace further along the street, children laughing and screaming as they walked by the front door, a distant siren from the nearby hospital, all pulled my attention from the gatha. Although I may have briefly labelled these sounds, I noticed how I had no inclination to ‘follow’ them, to explore their origin, meaning or substance. Each time I brought my attention back to the gatha and breath, peace descended again. And so this continued through to the end of the period of sitting. In contrast to the first sitting meditation, I could have happily sat there for another hour or more. Still, the twenty-five minutes came to an end and having fostered some degree of stillness, gratitude was able to permeate my parting gasho (bow) to those present and the Buddha, a ritual marking the close of the meeting.

Floating Point

This post is part of the Lion Seats project created by Richard Bentley. You can read more about the project here.

Location: Floating Point, Bourne House, Horseshoe Road, Pangbourne, RG8 7JQ

The hour-long floatation tank session began with ten minutes of restful ambient music, comprising of slowly shifting choral lines, rounded bass notes and gently modulating synth pads. I could imagine some criticising it as cliché, but its familiarity and strong associations with other relaxation treatments helped me to settle in to the unfamiliar surroundings. As I lay back and slowly sank my head beneath the water, the music took on a lower, mellower tone, hushed, less distinct and with a distant ethereal quality. Carefully adjusting my body to find a comfortable position, I noticed the movement barely made a sound. The lapping of my arms on the surface of the water was the only audible addition to the bed of ambient sound and music.

(Stereo hydrophone recording of the first twelve minutes of the float)

(Ambient stereo recording (Jecklin Disk) in front of the floatation tank)

With the first ten minutes of the float ending, the music faded to leave a continuous low hum, soothing in its constancy. Emerging from this hum I noticed my breathing, low and muffled. Familiar, but stark in the silence, the intimate presence of breathing when the ears are submerged made me pay attention to its quality and measure. As the pace of the breath slowed, I noticed, rather disconcertingly at first, the presence of bodily sounds, much clearer than I’d ordinarily hear them. Whilst, for the most part, the rise and fall of the breath masked these, I could catch hints of the pulse in my ears, indeed throughout my body. I even sensed the pulse creating ripples in the water, particularly where arteries ran close to the surface of the skin. Holding my breath unmasked a variety of gurgles and bubbling from somewhere inside my body. Strangely, a lot of the sounds seemed to appear at or between the ears rather than from the point they originated from. This was true of the high pitched, rapid succession of bubbles occurring in small bursts, more than likely emanating from my stomach. Yet strangely, without the vibration being felt, I had little sense of where these bubbles had come from. They simply appeared as a fizzing between the ears, at the back of the head or lower neck. In contrast, the lower pitched sounds could be sensed more readily as slight tremors in the abdomen. Blinking, I even noticed that my eyelids created a flickering sound as they opened. Being cradled in the warm salty water and having familiarised myself with the novel soundscape, my body largely disappeared from awareness. I placed my attention on the rise and fall of the breath and my mind rapidly sank into a deep, meditative stillness.

For long periods of time over the next thirty minutes, my awareness of sound fell away completely. I was left resting floating in the darkness of the tank, with no sensory stimulation for reference, spare the occasional brush of my skin on the side of the tank. Yet even this sensation was so subtle that I could not tell whether I was merely imagining it. The slow fade-in of the ambient music once again, calmly announced the imminent end of the float session. Beginning with small movements, I gradually came back to awareness of the body and its sensations, exploring movements as if I were observing my body from a distance, re-learning the skill of moving one limb at a time. The noise of the tank’s filter commencing its cleaning cycle marked the end of the float and a return to the noise of the world.

Caversham Weir

This post is part of the Lion Seats project created by Richard Bentley. You can read more about the project here.

13.00 06-09-2017

Location: Caversham Weir, Berkshire


Resting for a second on a bridge straddling the two halves of Heron Island, I noticed a flicker of shimmering green on the bank of the river. Adjusting my position to see past the reeds, a kingfisher stood, resting momentarily to inspect the water below, before darting off to the jetty on the opposite bank. This felt like an auspicious start. Continuing my leisurely stroll upstream towards Caversham Weir, the restful sound of birdsong and my footsteps on the leaf-strewn track were only intermittently disturbed by the rumble of air traffic overhead. Nearing the weir, I noticed the effectiveness of the acoustic baffle formed by the trees. I was surprised to find that the weir was largely imperceptible, until I was within twenty meters of it. Only when the trees flanking the footpath thinned-out, did the thunderous rumble of the weir become noticeable. At this threshold, I veered off to the right, spotting a small clearing by the river bank overlooking the weir.

(Walking to the weir from Caversham)
I set about assembling my recording equipment, extending the front legs of the tripod to compensate for the sloping bank down to the river, attaching the blimp which housed the microphones and adjusting the gains on the portable recorder. Finding a dry spot of grass on which to sit, I turned my attention again to the relentless torrent of white noise that dominated the soundscape. Amplified through headphones, the weir’s size and force was magnified, low frequencies rumbling more threateningly than when heard by the naked ear. From above the roar, amplification brought-out the doppler-drone of aircraft circling for Heathrow, sirens of emergency vehicles, horns of diesel locomotives on the Great Western mainline and construction noise from yet more glass-clad office buildings for which Reading is famous. Taking off the headphones to start the meditation timer, I noticed how the weir masked all but the loudest peaks of these interruptions, leaving me feeling cocooned on the shore of this small river island.

(Caversham weir)
As the automated bell of the timer was invited three times, I lowered my gaze and rested it on the reflections of clouds distorted by the small waves reaching me from the weir. My eyes focused on the ripples and the grey clouds behind them, almost believing they formed the bed of the river here. Slowly drifting eastwards, the clouds appeared to be swept along with the rivers’ flow. Closing my eyes to turn my attention inwards to my breathing, a mild dizziness came over me. The shifting images of clouds and waves had stopped, emboldening my remaining senses to adjust to feeling more firmly anchored to the river bank.

Whilst being a stone’s throw from the town centre, the weir effectively masked the familiar soundscape of urban sprawl beyond. The weir’s endless, scarcely fluctuating roar provided a certainty which was reassuring and restful. Without the distraction of urban clatter, of signals and cues, movement and purpose, networks, transfers, commerce and industry, I settled quickly into my assignment, to simply follow the in breath and out breath. With other work on hold until the following day and plenty of time on my parking ticket, I could afford myself this luxury and allow the weir’s strangely calming interference signal to sever links with plans, deadlines and projects. After a few minutes, thoughts, like the clouds I had been watching pass across the river bed, seemed altogether more distant and ephemeral, well at least for brief interludes. Yet, whilst I felt shielded from distraction by the weir’s gentle onslaught, there lingered a slight unease at being unable to hear passing visitors. Interesting and eye-catching microphone set-ups can deter people from disturbing a recordists seclusion, particularly when they are adorned with headphones. However, my position with a view across the weir also meant there was the chance that someone would notice me from the footpath crossing it and would wish to have their curiosity satisfied. Certainly, the roar of the weir, would give me little time to collect myself and prepare an account of my presence in the event of someone approaching. Such distracting thoughts were hard to shake, but eventually my mind relented and gave in to trusting passers-by to afford me some solitude, or at least to trust myself to respond to an enquiry without frustration or resentment.

With three more sounds of the bell, I moved slowly to pack-up. I left feeling pleased to have found a small corner of the town, just across the river, that I could return to should I crave some detachment from the busyness and bustle.

(Walking from the weir to Reading Bridge)








Listening to the sound of the A34 flooding across the fields of Oxfordshire

(Drayton FC v Hagbourne United Reserves at the Lockway)

It was in April this year that I began to take an interest in the way that traffic sound shapes the listening experience at several of the pitches used by teams in the North Berks League. In spring last year I wrote this about the experience of recording the sound of football not happening at the home of Drayton FC:

The A34 runs from Salford to Winchester. The Southern leg of the road cuts through Oxfordshire from North to South. The soundscape at Drayton FC to the East and Milton United FC to the West of the road is dominated by the sound of the internal combustion engine; the resonating tarmac; and the rattle of trailers and trucks . Drayton FC play in the North Berks League and their pitch is on the South-West edge of the village. The centre circle is 175m East of the A34. If you stand in the centre-circle – where this recording was made – there are benchless breeze block dugouts; a line of low trees; and an electricity pylon that stands in the field between the pitch and the road. The embankment of the A34 rises above the field and the sounds of the road flood down the embankment and saturate the surrounding area with a band of consistent high frequency noise. The rattle of trucks; the phasing of tyres on asphalt as they approach and depart; the liquid drone of the road – these are the sounds that dominate the listener’s attention.


This week I returned to the Lockway to listen to Drayton FC v Hagbourne Reserves in the North Berks League Division 3. There is no sound baffling between Drayton and the A34 not even a screen of trees. It made me wonder what a fence would do; a tightly packed screen of beech trees; a glass and steel acoustic shield. How long has the sound from the road been this pervasive? Has it got quieter as engine noise has reduced or was rubber on asphalt always the dominant sound at this distance? The calls of the players and coaches are submerged beneath shimmering white noise.

Only when the play came over to the eastern edge where I was standing was it possible to clearly hear the on-pitch communication. If i had been standing on the A4017 Steventon Road on the other side of the houses whose gardens back onto the pitch I am almost certain that the only sound I would have heard from the West would have been that of the A34. The shouts of players and coaches would be lost in the complex wave of traffic sound – hemmed in – unable to resonate across the surrounding streets and fields.

man on, man on, man on
one more
go to
well done
well done boys
keep going – keep going
‘lucky mate
keep going – keep going

nil-nil start again – nil-nil start again
keep switched on it’s nil-nil

keepers – keepers
two again
stay there
hey – hey
out wide
not too deep
have a go…
hit it
you bastard
big head
come up

St.Mary’s Whitchurch

This post is part of the Lion Seats project created by Richard Bentley. You can read more about the project here.

13.00 22-06-2017

Location: St. Mary’s, Whitchurch on Thames, Oxfordshire

[Outside St Mary’s Whitchurch 1pm 20th Sept 17]

Beside an old oak tree in St Mary’s churchyard

As I passed from the graveyard, through the entrance and into the vestibule of the stone church, the drop in sound levels was marked. The difference in the soundscape was paralleled by the change in brightness, from summer sun to the shade offered by the church. Inside, the only light came from the subdued glow of the stained-glass windows and a handful of dim electric lightbulbs.

I set up my recording gear and sat down for a short meditation on a gratifyingly creaky, but well-padded pew. No sooner had I set the meditation timer underway, than the clacking of shoes on the stone floor interrupted the silence. I glanced back to the doorway to see a man in smart trousers, shirt and a weathered panama hat. The visitor had a relaxed gait as he wandered aimlessly around the back of the nave. I settled back into position, closing my eyes and resting my hands on my legs. The bell sounded to begin the meditation and after a few minutes, the gentleman departed.

Now, there was little to pull my attention away from the meditation. The soundscape of the empty church consisted predominantly of a low rumbling drone, probably from traffic going over the toll bridge at the bottom of the lane. This was layered with dogs barking, bird calls, aircraft passing overhead and the occasional rhythmic rumble of trains rattling through Pangbourne on the other side of the river.

[St Mary’s, Whitchurch on Thames 1pm 22-06-17]

Meditation inside the church

A clunk of the large iron handle on the church door signalled the arrival of another visitor. They moved across the back of the nave. The swishing of fabric and soft tread of rubber shoes came closer and stopped to rest a few pews behind me. A deep sigh seemed to signal a relief in finding somewhere quiet to rest. After some settling-in, unzipping and rummaging through a bag, the haptic bleeping of a phone’s keyboard began. The constant irregular tapping was accompanied by whispered sighs and groans and the occasional respectfully muted chuckle. I managed to return to my breath, the object of my meditation, for short periods of time. However, it was difficult not to get distracted, imagining the text conversation that was taking place. Perhaps due to these distractions, it did not feel long until the closing bell from the mobile phone sounded to signal the end of the meditation, surprising the visitor and affording both of us a moment of quiet reflection.

#22 Listening to the ebb and flow of the A396 with applause

(Horsden Park)

You can hear more sound from Horsden Park here.

The Sound Diaries advent calendar returns this December with twenty four sounds of 24″ duration from our growing archive of audio documentation of grassroots football.

Expect white-line marking; lawn mowing; apoplectic coaches; gale force winds; reversing trucks; despairing goalkeepers; disinterested spectators; rattling dugouts; lacklustre rounds of applause; and football not happening!

Stick it in the mixer!


#2 Painting white lines.


You can hear more sounds of line-marking here.

The Sound Diaries advent calendar returns this December with twenty four sounds of 24″ duration from our growing archive of audio documentation of grassroots football.

Expect white-line marking; lawn mowing; apoplectic coaches; gale force winds; reversing trucks; despairing goalkeepers; disinterested spectators; rattling dugouts; lacklustre rounds of applause; and football not happenning!

Stick it in the mixer!