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September 11, 2013 By Andy Ross

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Are you listening?

Many people go through life half listening and not noticing all the amazing things that go on every day.

This piece from the BBC is about sound recorder Chris Watson who has recorded sound for all sorts of films including our favourite, David Attenborough's natural world films. Now he has set his microphone to record the sounds of Sheffield, creating a sound map of his home city.

You may not know this but in the Shetland Museum at top of the far set of stairs to the first floor, beside the boat hall, there is a speaker with sounds from Shetland broadcasting. It is a sound piece that I made when the museum opened and takes random clips of sound, blending them into a soundscape that is completely impossible - whale sound with tractors, sheep and trawlers for example. The speaker itself creates a tunnel of sound that you cannot hear from anywhere else apart from immediately in front. Next time you are in the Lerwick Museum see if you can identify some of the sounds I used in the piece.

As the sounds of the summer fade and we enter autumn, our soundscape changes up here in the Far North. Now we have wind and rain, the odd curlew and ravens. A few geese circle overhead and waves roll in across the shores. A complete contrast to summer with its birdsong and sheep, children playing and general outdoor noises. Yes, Shetland has opened my ears to sound in a very different way.

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