The Essex Sound and Video Archive at the Essex Record Office has received funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund to run our project, You Are Hear: sound and a sense of place. The project will digitise and catalogue some of the audio and video recordings held in the Archive, and then help people learn about them, engage with them, and enjoy them. Over the next three years, we will be taking our recordings into every corner of Essex, helping people develop their sense of place by increasing their appreciation for the sounds of the county, past and present.
Want to know more? Sign up to receive updates on the project; read all our blog posts; or get in touch with Sarah-Joy Maddeaux, You Are Hear Project Officer: 033301 32467 or sarahjoy.maddeaux[@]essex.gov.uk
What does Essex sound like? Listen to past and present sounds of Essex on our Essex Sounds audio map. Why not record the sounds of your own community to share with us? Or get in touch with suggestions of soundscapes to capture. Find out more about the map here.
The map is now available as an app! Download a trial version from the Google Play store or the Apple app store and let us know what you think. With the app, you can download all the content so you can listen to the recordings while on the road exploring the county.
Find the audio-video kiosk or listening bench nearest to you! Contact us for more information.
Benches are currently installed at:
- Battlesbridge Antiques Centre (touring bench)
- Thorndon Country Park (touring bench)
- Forge Green, Castle Hedingham
- Castle Park, Colchester
- Town square, Great Dunmow
- Banbury Square, Great Waltham
- St Helen’s Green, Harwich
- Packhorse Bridge, Kelvedon
- Museum grounds, Saffron Walden
The bench in Basildon will be launched on Friday, 31 March at 11am. Come and join us at Westlake Park, Bowers Gifford.
The audio-video kiosks are at Brentwood Library and Canvey Island Library until the end of March. Find some archive recordings about Brentwood becoming a borough, or about the 1953 floods that devastated Canvey Island.
You can check full installation and tour dates here.
More Community Groups Required
We are looking for volunteers from ten different communities to adopt a sonic park bench. Volunteers will listen to recordings from our archive relating to their community; select a series of clips; and put them together in a sound montage. The montage will then be played on a sonic bench installed in their communities, to allow visitors and residents to enjoy them while relaxing on the bench. To match the locations to our audio collections, we are looking for volunteers from:
Please get in touch if you think you could help.
We are still trying to obtain permission to use some of the recordings in our collection, particularly oral history interviews. If you or someone you know has been interviewed about life in Essex, we might well have a copy of the recording. We are targeting individuals from certain locations, listed here. Do you recognise any names?
You Are Hear is not the only project that is looking at the impact of sound on perceptions of place. Our project team is keeping an eye on similar projects and putting them together for your enjoyment here.
The London Sound Survey has been gathering the sounds of the capital for almost ten years. It’s an enormous collection of sounds recorded around London from the 1930s to the present. You can explore recordings by place, category, or project. Caution: once you start exploring, you won’t want to stop!