Bawdsey Quay

The sounds of summer at Bawdsey in the school holidays – a motorboat starts up and moves off, and then the passenger ferry arrives from Felixstowe Ferry

Bawdsey looking towards Felixstowe Ferry
Bawdsey looking towards Felixstowe Ferry


Bawdsey Beach

Bawdsey Beach



Resonant sounds of London’s Museumland

iconic Queen’s Tower at Imperial

I went to university at Imperial College, in the chi-chi London district of South Kensington.  The area has much to offer the field recordist in terms of resonant public spaces. If you want to avoid the rain or simply enjoy the soundscape  you can take the long pedestrian tunnel under Exhibition Road from the tube station to the museums.

I recently returned to Imperial and went to the Alumni reception who served excellent coffee, gratis. It’s a world away from the machine coffee and plastic cups and ‘coffee whitener’ that fuelled my studies in the Physics department many years ago. The entrance to the College from Exhibition Road is now an enclosed space with lots of glass and hard surfaces, it has an interesting acoustic of its own – I recorded this space from next to the statue of Queen Mary

Footfall Foley wizards will hear the tapping aren’t high heels which most people would associate with the percussive sound but Blakeys on a man’s shoes.

South Kensington has three lovely Victorian museums. Massive galleried spaces over several floors and often a curved vaulting ceiling. These are just made for binaural stereo!

I went to the Science Museum in Exhibition Road, part of a cluster of Victorian Museum buildings. The others are the Victoria and Albert and the Natural History Museum. The latter has an amazing curved atrium and a fine acoustic space.

In the Science Museum on the ground floor near the space exhibition

the next recording is from the Energy exhibition on the second floor, looking over the massive open space to the steam engines on the ground floor


the sharp snap at 00:32 is an art exhibit marked do not touch, which of course everyone touches, resulting in a spark and a slight shock to the curious.

I enjoyed the visit and the incidental soundscapes. It is also good that Britain ended its dalliance with charging for museum entry.

Echoes of South Kensington Station

South Kensington Tube station is the gateway to some of London’s famous museums – the Natural History museum, the Victoria and Albert and the Science Museum. To save people getting wet or wrangling the traffic along Exhibition Road, there is a long pedestrian walkway from the station to the museums.

It has a fabulous acoustic, one that’s enjoyed by small children, buskers and field recordists alike! I went to university at Imperial College and used this tunnel often. Even now, the soundmark takes me back to student times…

Here’s the sound of a busker using the acoustic well, and some kids enjoying the tunnel later on

Robins at Alderman Canal

There is a little nature reserve by the canal near the football ground, an oasis of calm. The water is sluggish with green on top apart from where the water seems to well up from the river bed in these gently roiling clear pools. I don’t think the water makes any sound here, there is some background traffic noise which would mask it.

The nature reserve was improved by the Access to Nature project in 2012. It’s easy to be cynical about some of these projects but this one seems to have worked really well, and there was a lot more birdsong in this part of path by the canal than in the unimproved bits.