About

This website is a collection of sound recordings gathered together for Slowtime, an art project led by artist David Beattie, commissioned by Void Gallery in Derry-Londonderry and generously funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The website acts as an archive of the audio recordings taken during the sound walks and workshops held along the River Foyle in 2021.

Slowtime addresses place, the environment, and our relationship to time through the rhythm of the tides. Beattie places community participation at the heart of the project; inviting the local community to consider the ebb and flow of the river, encouraging participants to rethink their relationship with the river and their natural environment, prompting introspection and an examination of personal and collective histories. In this period of lockdown, the river has become a central point, giving people access to nature and to commune with the idea of slowing down. In Rebecca Solnit’s book Wanderlust: A History of Walking, she says, “The rhythm of walking generates a kind of rhythm of thinking, and the passage through a landscape echoes or stimulates the passage through a series of thoughts. This creates an odd consonance between internal and external passage, one that suggests that the mind is also a landscape of sorts and that walking is one way to traverse it. A new thought often seems like a feature of the landscape that was there all along, as though thinking were traveling rather than making.”

Conceptually examining the in-between space through the intertidal zone of the River Foyle in Derry, Slowtime is a project that will span a period of several months in 2021. It consists of a number of related elements; a temporary sonic event to mark the high and low tides of the river in September 2021, a series of workshops and walking engagements that will invite the local community to listen to the river, exploring their locality through the medium of sound, and working alongside acoustic ecologists and marine scientists to gather data on the marine life and anthropogenic sounds from below the surface of the river. The intention is to create an interdisciplinary project based on the River Foyle that would propose an immeasurable gap between human behaviour and the natural world, an interconnected network of living and non-living things.

To listen to a recording, move the cursor or touch an icon to play an audio sample. The audio will continue to play until you click on another sample. Alternatively, you can use the mute button at any time to turn off the sound. The audio recordings are presented at random and the sequence will shuffle when the webpage is refreshed.

NEWS AND EVENTS

A dedicated recording equipment lending library is available upon request at Void Gallery. Please contact Maeve Butler at engage@derryvoid.com with any questions.

To be part of the Slowtime archive send your recordings to us at slowtimevoid@gmail.com.

28.08.21

A walk through Boom Hall, Brook Hall and the waters edge led by Eden Project Foyle. A second guided tour of the site and an overview of the project will be held on the 11th Sept 2021.

13.08.2021

A sound walk along the City Walls and shoreline of the River Foyle led by artist and researcher Robin Parmar. For further details and booking information contact the gallery here.

05.08.2021

Platial Thinking and Field Recording - an online talk with artist Robin Parmar

14.07.2021

From Gullet Quay to Gallows Strand. Mark Lusby, Friends of the Derry Walls, brought a group for a walk exploring the route of the Mary Blue Barn which once flowed along the western flank of the Island of Derry.

12.06.2021

The first walking workshop with artist David Beattie. An exploration of the sonic environment of the River Foyle with a small group of participants. The resulting sound recordings are available on this site.

29.04.2021

An online workshop with Derry Youth Forum detailing the project and inviting the participants to use their phones to record their experience of the river.

11.03.2021

An online workshop and conversation with researcher and lecturer Dr. Brian Bridges discussing sonic environments and field recording with BSc Music, Sound and Technology students at Magee, University of Ulster.

06.03.2021

First online workshop to introduce the project and to invite participants to begin the process of listening to the river, engaging with their environment sonically and using their personal smartphones or recording devices for the first number of sessions. A dedicated recording equipment lending library will be available from the gallery as the project develops through April and May, in line with public health advice. To send your recordings to us please email slowtimevoid@gmail.com. A recording of the workshop can be found here.