A really magical lantern parade, after everyones hard work in creating the lanterns over the previous two weekends. A beautiful evening with the full moon out as we paraded around the lake. Special thanks to The Young Folksters, and  Spicy and the Spirit Drummers for providing the music.




Sound artist Bobby Bird recording the impulse response in St Mary’s Church Handsworth, in order to create a digital reverb to work with in the studio, while preparing for Watt’s Orbit


Sounds from the Batwalk


A wonderful moonlit batwalk  in Handsworth Park last night, led by Lucy from the RSPB. Below is a recording of of some of the bats we heard, using  bat locators – the bats use echo location to hunt their pray, emiting high pitched sounds which bounce back off the moths and midges, enabling the bats to hear (rather than see) what they are hunting. The bat sounds, too high to be heard by the human ear, are made lower by the bat locator, which is what you can hear below:

Soundscapes & Trees

Creative interventions in Handsworth Park last Sunday were a success, with a multi speaker sound installation in the bandstand by Bobby Bird , plus an inspired talk about trees by park ranger Jim Harris.

The pastoral / urban soundscapes recorded in & around Handsworth Park included the dawn chorus,  a train, rowing on the lake, a cricket match, wind in the reeds, cycling, children in the playground, a pair of parakeets & an excerpt of ranger Jim’s previous talk.

Some of these, like the dawn chorus, emanated from all 8 speakers simultaneously, like being surrounded by birds in a wood, others, as with the recordings of bicycles,  moved around in a slow circle from speaker to speaker so that standing in the centre of the bandstand felt like being encircled by an invisible cyclist – while a train (recorded using two microphones placed widely apart) intermittently clattered by in super stereo, to startling effect.

Children were particularly captivated, running from speaker to speaker, ‘chasing’ after a sound, or listening to hear if different sounds came from different speakers, as well as enjoying guessing which parts of the park the recordings were made in.

Sounds on the day combined with those previously recorded –  children laughing in the playground weeks ago, mixing in with the sound of children laughing in & around the bandstand , which together with cyclists passing, birds singing, conversations being had, distant traffic etc,  all helped to make this a most evocative piece to experience,  conjuring a real sense of past & present, time & space.

Then came another facinating walk around the park lead by ranger Jim Harrison, whose knowledge about trees & ecology was delivered in an unbroken flow for over two hours.

From left to right : large cherry tree, a native oak and Jim’s personal favourite, the Indian Bean tree. Here is a short excerpt of one of Jim’s talks:



Sound Mapping of The Park 07/08/16

Come and listen to the sounds of the park, which have been recorded in Handsworth Park over the past few months by local sound artist Bobby Bird, together with some young recording assistants, played back over an Octophonic speaker system in the park bandstand. From 2.00-6.00pm Sunday 7th July 2016

Setting up to capture the sound of a train going past, using two microphones set up approx 60 metres apart – which also provided a neat demonstration of the speed of sound.