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Mapping the Soundscape

My walk

For my 1 o’clock walk I started at the end of Leith Walk – knowing there is a lot of construction going on – then walked through the Royal Terrace Gardens, and finishing in my local Sainsbury’s. I thought these three areas would give me a decent spread of noises, from the occasional bird chirp to the beep noise the Sainsbury’s self-checkout makes. I recorded the walk all at once, then listened back to the audio and cropping out my favourite sections. I also wanted to record the walk in a way which I could see the pattern of soundwaves created.

Others’ Audio

Feeling slightly overwhelmed by the 100’s audio clips, pictures and videos, I took a random approach in narrowing down my favourite clips. Floating my cursor around until it landed somewhere, listening to the clip, and then deciding whether or not there’s anything different than just the sound of cars passing. I narrowed down 15 random clips to my favourite three. One – some people having a conversation whilst the recorder walks through a tunnel, two – someone stamping in a puddle, and three – a small child listing directions.



From these audio clips, I wanted to transform them into an image. I individually went through them thinking about the shapes and colours they would match with best. I began with just some smaller sketches (some below) and then merged them together until I was happy with how the shapes worked together. I then went into Photoshop to add colour and create a cleaner look. Surprisingly I am really happy with the outcome of the image. 

Next Project

For my next project, I would like to create a similar digital piece representing a period of time. For this, I am going to record a shape – hourly and daily – either representing an activity I did. Hopefully, this will give a better sense of storytelling and progression rather than just a stand-still.


I have now gathered all my shapes from the day. These are the shapes I gathered. They include a closed window, pillow, bowl, ice cube, book, chessboard, shower head, pen, an orange and pasta. I did find it harder to combine these shapes into a harmonious piece as there were many more right angles.

Re-do of previous drawings

Deciding that the sketches as a group work better together, I have re-done them to create a more cohesive piece. I used black gouache to create a more painterly look. These were the drawings I made.

Short animation 

From these drawings, I made a short animation in Photoshop using my favourite audio tracks selected as the background sound.


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