Performance | Soundwalk

Ambulation: to walk or move from place to place

Ambulation at LUFF, Lausanne – Photo: Francois Gendre

Ambulation is a sound walk that uses field recording techniques and listening technologies to create a walking performance using environmental sound. Ambulation engages with the act of recording as an improvised performance in response to the soundscapes it is presented within.

Ambulation at Sonic Protest, Paris – Photo: Vincent Ducard

I collect acoustic and electromagnetic signals from the immediate environment and transmit them to audience members who are each wearing wireless headphones. Using a specially made system I can process and manipulate the collected sounds and build an improvised composition with the sonic environment I move through. By doing this this piece configures field recording as a live, performative act. This project has been in continuous development since August 2014.

Ambulation at Compass Festival, Leeds – Photo: Jonathan Turner

Each performance is specific to its geographical and temporal context and the performance system has been designed to manifest this site-responsiveness. The listening technologies and sound processing systems employed are revisited in each performance in order to respond to the environmental context of each particular event.


Ambulation has been performed at the following festivals / events:

  • Milkwellburn Woods, Chopwell, Gateshead
  • Zeiträume Festival, Basel, Switzerland 
  • Sanatorium of Sound, Sokołowsko, Poland
  • Sonic Protest, Paris, France
  • NNOI Festival, Brandenburg, Germany
  • LOKAL-INT, Biel, Switzerland
  • LUFF, Lausanne, Switzerland
  • We’re All Bats, Online, Worldwide
  • Walking Festival of Sound, Newcastle, UK
  • Sonica Festival, Ljubljana, Slovenia
  • Walking Festival of Sound, Stockholm, Sweden
  • Full of Noises Festival, Barrow-in-Furness, UK
  • CAMP, Aulus-les-Bains, France
  • Brighton Dome, Brighton, UK
  • Middlesbrough Art Weekender, Middlesbrough, UK
  • Dorothea Quarry (with James Davoll) in North Wales, UK
  • SPAN at BALTIC (with Its Nice That and Google) in Gateshead, UK
  • Piksel Festival in Bergen, Norway
  • Compass Festival in Leeds, UK
  • FACT (Foundation for Art and Technology) in Liverpool, UK
  • Sonic Environments in Brisbane, Australia
  • Research Through Design conference in Cambridge, UK
  • The Newbridge Project, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK
  • Musée Imaginaire in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK

I wrote a paper on Ambulation and the processes behind it for the New Interfaces for Musical Express conference in collaboration with John Bowers. Its open access and available here.

Technical details of the project are available on the Bela Platform blog, here.

The first public performance of Ambulation was released on CD-R by Musée Imaginaire including an essay by Josh Wilson. This is the only audio-only recording of the walk.