Kathy Hinde

11 October, 2020

Deep Listening at Control Shift

On Saturday 10th October, I invited people to join me for ‘Deep Listening’ walk around Bristol’s floating harbour for Control Shift festival. Together, we paused to listen to Bristol from an underwater perspective using hydrophones and wireless headphones. The walk culminated in a contemplation of Bristol’s unique tidal range (the second largest in the world) from an edge point of the city, demarcated by a shifting watery passageway carving a space between the urban and the rural… the Avon gorge. We were joined by Ben Wookey from the Harbour Master team, who outlined much of the crucial work they do to keep Bristol from flooding from the high tides, and to protect the harbour.  Below are a set of seven recordings made on these walks, and other occasions at the Bristol Harbourside, Cumberland Basin and Avon Gorge.

The following track is in two parts, created from recordings of the Cumberland Basin, which have been processed using granular and EQ filters guided and controlled by tidal data. The first section is altered using tidal data from 10th October (the day of the listening walks), when high tide was 10m and low tide was 4m at the Port of Avon. The second section is based on the tidal data from the following Saturday, 17th October, when there was a spring tide with a high tide at 13.4m and low tide at 60cm… I wanted to create a listening experience that compared these vast tidal ranges, whilst looking out over the gorge…

THANKS – to everyone who came along and made the event so special, to Control Shift Network for organising the event, to Ben and the Harbour Master Team for enthusiastically sharing their insights into the workings of the harbour, and to the University of Bristol for kindly lending us wireless headphones. Here are some photographs from the walks taken by Ibi Feher.