World’s first forest soundmap project calls for participants

The organisers behind Timber Festival are calling on people to contribute audio recordings to create the world’s first forest ‘soundmap’.

Woodland of Cannock Chase, England

Timber Festival – a three-day festival that celebrates people’s connection to trees and woodlands through music, art, and ideas – was originally due to take place in July this year, but has been postponed until 2021 due to coronavirus.

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But this hasn’t stopped organisers from launching their ambitions new mass participation audio project.

The Sounds of the Forest project aims to connect people with trees – and one another – by gathering the sounds of woodlands and forests from across the world to create a ‘soundmap’.

Tawny owl perching on branch
Your one-minute recording might include the sound of the wind in the trees, a woodland river or even a tawny owl
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In order to gather the sounds, Timber organisers are asking people to get involved by visiting their local forest or woodland and recording one minute of the sounds that they hear.

These sounds will then form an open source library that anyone can listen to or create from, and at Timber 2021, taking place in the National Forest, selected artists will respond to the sounds that have been gathered, creating music, audio, or artwork from them.

Sounds of the Forest will be released on the first weekend of July, when the festival would have taken place, so there is still time to get involved and contribute sounds from your local forest or woodland.

Man recording forest sounds on phone
The recordings will form an open source library 
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“We’re incredibly excited to launch Sounds of the Forest,” said Rowan Cannon and Sarah Bird, directors of Wild Rumpus, partners in creating Timber Festival.

“While we can’t be together in person in July, this gives us the opportunity to gather in a different way. So, wherever you live across the world, visit a woodland, recharge under the leaves and record your sounds of the forest. If you are out and about, please continue to observe social distancing — we want you all to remain safe.”

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For details on how to send audio files, and technical advice on how to get the best quality recording from your phone, visit timberfestival.org.uk/soundoftheforest.