London Sound Survey and Museum of London sound mapping the Holocene epoch

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Photo: Benjamin McMahon

Ian Rawes's London Sound Survey project (featured in The Wire 341), which documents London in sound maps and field recordings, has begun a new project with the Museum Of London's Archaeology Department, aiming to document the Holocene epoch. The Holocene stretches from 11,500 years ago up to the present day and covers the time period in which humans developed agriculture and industrialisation.

Rawes says: "Of course, it is impossible to recreate fully how things must have sounded in, say, the Mesolithic era. I am not a disinterested party, being nuts about field recording, but I do not think there is any medium better than sound for encouraging people to make that imaginative leap."

Rawes has an open call out for sound recordists to become contributors to the project, and is looking for wildife and landscape recordings of three to 10 minutes from Europe or Scandinavia, which can be used as analogues for areas of London in the past.

Files will be used in a series of interactive online timelines, and those submitting files are welcome to also supply an image and bio.

The project is collecting recordings of the following environments: tundra, birch woodland, boreal and broadleaf forest, freshwater and brackish marshes, estuary mudflats, cold and temperate heathland. Files are requested as WAVs, with no sound that can be attributed to humans such as cars, voices or footsteps.

Files can be uploaded to the London Sound Survey dropbox, or message Rawes via the London Sound Survey website. More details here.

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