HomeSounds project

The HomeSounds:NSF project invites young people aged 11–14 living in Norfolk to become sound explorers and acoustic ecologists. By visiting selected sites across Norfolk participants will tune into the sounds of their local environment using specialist listening equipment (including their ears!) and learn about the fascinating world of acoustic ecology. They will also design, build, test and install a live-streaming microphone to be placed at the location they have visited.

Each live-streaming microphone will stream the sounds of their location to the world 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for 1 year for participants, and the public, to tune into. Participants will be encouraged to use these sounds and their experiences in capturing them for creative, educational and therapeutic purposes. 

Participants will be invited to take part in Norwich Science Festival in October 2019 to share their experiences, demonstrate the livestreaming microphones and encourage others to tune in to the sounds of the world around them.

The project particularly reaches out to young people who have not experienced the festival before or who might find accessing the festival difficult because of their location or circumstances


The HomeSounds:NSF project offers a range of activities including;

  • Soundwalking – (quiet walking with the intention of listening to the environment)
  • Learning about acoustic ecology
  • Learning to listen
  • Creative activity (such as drawing, writing, music making)
  • Designing and building a solar powered, mobile live-streaming microphone

Participants will visit one selected location in Norfolk on three occasions to explore its acoustic environment. The first two visits will involve soundwalking (with ears and microphones!), learning about acoustic ecology and the wider importance of sound, and designing and building a live-streaming microphone. The third visit will involve installing the live-stream microphone and exploring the sounds it captures.

Once the microphones are live participants will be encouraged to listen regularly to the stream and invited to take part in a range of creative and educational activities relating to the livestream. 

In October 2019 participants will be invited to take part in the Norwich Science Festival, held at the Forum in Norwich. The HomeSounds:NSF project will have a stand at the festival where we will demonstrate the live-streaming microphones we have installed and the acoustic ecology of the sites, share our experiences of listening and learning and offer workshops and activities to the public.

Why Listening?

Sound shapes our sense of time, our perspective of space, our self-awareness, our relationships with others and our sense of place. Sound profoundly shapes our memories, our emotions and how we communicate. It is instinctive and reaches up from the deepest parts of us and we experience it emotionally, physically and spiritually. It’s importance cannot be overstated. Developing our ability to listen to the world around us improves our ability to listen both to ourselves and each other and it is the responsibility of those that care for and about us to develop their ability to hear, and listen to, not only a person’s language or the signs of their behaviour but their deeper and more complex inner selves.

The HomeSounds:NSF project offers an opportunity for young people to learn how to listen. Participants will experience a world of enhanced sound. They will be encouraged to spend quiet time with themselves and others in a safe and inspiring setting. Learning to be comfortable in your own company is an important skill in listening and this project turns to nature to help develop this skill. Spending time outdoors, and feeling safe in your environment, is a key element of good emotional, mental, behavioural and spiritual health. This project offers participants an innovative outdoor experience, the opportunity to develop their sense of security, and a safe space of sound that they can connect and reconnect with again and again.

“By listening deeply to the home we all share we can reshape how we think and feel about the homes we create for ourselves, and those that are created for us.”.

Martin Scaiff – Director, Recast Music Education

Why Acoustic Ecology?

Acoustic Ecology is the science of understanding how sound shapes our environment, the life-forms that we live with and ourselves. Sound is a little understood but highly influential factor in our lives; from bird song to thunderstorms, plantlife to road noise, gently rustling grass to crashing waves, sound energy is all around us. Acoustic Ecology covers a broad range of disciplines including bioacoustics (the study of animal sound), the study of habitat sound (understanding sound in different environments), sound design (in building infrastructure and architecture) and the arts (using acoustic ecology to create artworks). 

Sound can be grouped into three categories; Geophony (the sounds of earth – wind/water/glaciers/rocks), Biophony (the sounds of animals and wildlife) and Anthrophony (the sounds created by humans). By exploring all three of these categories the HomeSounds:NSF project gives participants an introduction to the fascinating and infinitely complex world of natural sound.

Acoustic Ecology has a vital part to play in our understanding of climate change. It can measure the impact of our activities on the environment and can also help us understand how we can support its biodiversity. Our sound-world has changed dramatically in the last 200 years or so since our industrialisation and we do not fully understand or appreciate the impact of this change. The introduction of industrial noises and activity has drastically altered our environment and had a significant impact on our health. Man-made noise plays a significant role in the rise of mental health concerns and our appreciation of the world around us. Road, plane and train noise permeate nearly every corner of our world and the noise of industrial processes dominates our cities and towns. These sounds influence not only our thoughts and feelings but will also alter our physical makeup as we adjust to a world of predominantly man-made sound from a world of predominantly naturally occurring sound. The volume of our lives is increasingly daily and as it continues to rise the impact is felt not only by us but by the whole of the world around us.  

Participants on the HomeSounds:NSF project will gain an appreciation of the importance of sound to us as humans and to the natural world with whom we share this planet.

To find out more about this project and/or book your place please contact;

Recast Music Education
mobile: 07525030229

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Supported by

UK Research and Innovation