Broughton Sound Tour Workshops

St James School, Millom


From the project blog:

‘On Friday 5th September, Glenn and Samantha went along to the Victory Hall in Broughton to work with members of the local youth club. The club is run by volunteers and provides activities for children between the ages of 10 and 16.

Working in small groups, the children were asked to recreate sounds for different sites around the town to be used in the sound tour. These ranged from the sound of an early X-Ray machine (pioneered by a local GP), to cows grazing and fish being scaled and sold in the market square. The sounds were recreated by using contact microphones (small devices that amplify surface vibrations) and a variety of objects. These were then run through effects units to alter the pitch, add echo and to create repeating loops.

Examples included using the flapping rubber of a damaged table tennis bat to mimic the sound of fish being unloaded, the sloshing of a kettle to act as the sea and pressing the microphones to the vocal chords to create an eerie drone. The sounds were then layered and mixed by the children using a mixer and digital recorder.’

Workshops at St James’ School, Millom:

‘On Wednesday 17th September, children from St James' School in Millom took part in the second of two workshops looking at the role played by the mining industry in their town's history. Following on from a visit to the Millom Folk Museum last term, the children, from year 4, were asked to recreate sounds and dialogue from the nearby Hodbarrow mine and Millom Iron Works, formerly the town's main employer until its closure in 1968. A series of worksheets with photos of the mine and works provided a starting point, asking the children to list the sounds that they might hear as well as imagining a dialogue between workers.

Working in groups of 3, the children began to recreate and record the sounds using a variety of amplified household objects and instruments connected to contact microphones.

By attaching it to a flat surface, the microphone transforms vibrations in materials into audio signals, thus making it possible to record the sound of any material or surface. Among the objects we worked with were: plastic egg timers, a jar of cous-cous, pebbles from a local beach, a small wooden frog, a bucket of water and a drum machine. After choosing an object each, the children experimented with making and altering sounds by using effects boxes to add echo, distortion and to alter the pitch. These were then recorded into a looping device which automatically repeats and layers the sounds. Controlling individual loops manually, each group mixed a finished track directly to a digital recorder, providing material for the Hodbarrow section of the audio tour.’

back to past projectsworkshops.html

Recording at Broughton youth club (top) and St. James School, Millom (below)