The life aquatic is anything but silent.
David de la Haye sits at the water’s edge and listens. Using a hydrophone (an underwater microphone), he tunes into the sounds of amphibians, invertebrates, fish and even plants. Human ears aren’t adapted to listening underwater but this technology augments our senses to reveal incredible hidden soundscapes.
To celebrate World Water Day on 22nd March, David has organised a series of sound-based offerings that focus on underwater recordings sourced from Sunderland. Outputs include a documentary film, live performances, zine, and a new album that merges Free Improvisation with ecoacoustics. To round everything off, Roker Pods will be transformed into a sound installation offering audiences the chance to immerse themselves in hidden sounds of the surrounding docks, salty rock-pools, and freshwater zones.
Local musicians Adam Stapleford, Graeme Wilson, and Mark Carroll, were tasked with interpreting these mysterious underwater sounds. Their improvised responses form the basis for ‘With Ears Underwater‘, David’s debut album for New Jazz and Improvised Music Recordings. A short documentary (below) gives behind-the-scenes insight to the process of creating the album. A live panel discussion hosted by the UK & Ireland Soundscape Community, and including both Newcastle and Sunderland Universities, will allow visitors to learn more from leading sound artists, ecologists and wildlife experts.
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10th March: FRESH @ Cobalt, Newcastle
12th March: BBC Radio 3 ‘New Music Show’ @ The Fire Station, Sunderland
20th March: ‘The Sound of Science’ @ Gosforth Civic Theatre (curated by Wes Stephenson/Jazz North East)
22nd March: World Water Day at Roker Marine Walk, including panel discussion at Adventure Sunderland, live and via Zoom.
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If you’re curious to learn more, you can read more about soundscapes and underwater listening in “Listening Ecologically” on the Water Security Hub: