We are used to the loud sounds of our cities. They are ever present in urban life. We hear them continuously and take them into account in daily life whether we are listening or not. But what of the smaller and hidden sounds that also surround us? Often they are not noticed at all, perhaps because they are very quiet, but also because our ears are not designed to hear them. Sounds that are underwater or occur as vibrations in the solid materials of the city need different approaches to become audible.

The ‘Hidden Sounds of the Park’ workshop will explore these sounds. We will concentrate on the small and hidden using our ears, but also with different technologies that make audible the sounds and vibrations that are otherwise very difficult, even impossible, to hear. Hydrophones will be used to listen underwater and contact microphones to hear inside solid structures and materials. Simple electromagnetic pick-ups will reveal the ocean of electrical signals that permeate today’s city life. The aim is to experience what is there and to discuss and document what we hear. Documentation will make use of audio recorders but also pay attention to non-sonic methods too. It is interesting to write about sounds, to try to find words that describe and convey what is heard. Also images, simple photographs or drawings, can be an effective record, not only of what we see, but of what is heard too.