Zoom. Group soundscapes for well-being

Over five zoom sessions our group created a soundscape exploring the garden. The soundscape journeys from a compost heap in a garden in Manchester all the way to the Brighton Downs and out to sea! It has served as a vessel for us as members of the group to hold and witness our own creativity. It is for the group rather than public a performance but you are very welcome to go on a dreamy journey and have a listen.

The Garden. Final track.


The individual tracks for Compost.

Plants and Spikey 

The individual tracks for Plants and Spikey.

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The individual tracks for Garden


The Downs and to the sea

The individual tracks for The Downs to the sea.



Demonstrations of creative routes into the work.

Quick creative tasks using sound files as inspiration.

Working from the material.

Optional instructions  

Have a listen a few times and absorb it’s general shape and atmosphere. If you can get it in your mind, ideas may start coming to you. It’s doesn’t have to be abstract (but it can be)  you could create lyrics or melodies and harmonies. You could put head phones in and whilst listening, record a sound file and send it to me.

Tracks to do your own creative exploring.
These tracks are sort of holding vessels that you can explore with. They are not finished or mastered etc so the balance of sounds may need adjusting. In the next 3 sessions we can weave our creativity into it as we explore.  

You can use them in various ways:

  • Close your eyes and relax, allowing yourself to see what comes up for you.
  • Move and sound to them.
  • If anything creative emerges while listening or sounding or moving, capture it with notes, doodles, sketches or a recording device. 


An atmosphere to be with your body and see what happens. Notice your condition. What is coming up for you today?  Try exploring with breath and sounding breath. Compost. We explored floppy, chewy, whhuuaaa, ticky and any other compost sounds to this. Close you eyes allow yourself to be transported into the compost and express the sounds out of the whole of your body/sound.

Plants and Spikey 

Spiky, K, T, P. the Yucca plant, the Bee of the bang, danger, dead birds. You could try moving and sounding to this, see what comes up for you.


We started with body and breath with this track in the last session; arriving in the our bodies and space, exploring breath and sound. You could try sitting in a chair or lying on the floor, quieten your mind, bring your attention to you body and sense the sounds within. When you’re ready, and if you want to, begin to explore sounds.

A very long version if you want to do free improvisation to it.


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A mix of photos films and sounds. This is a random mix to see if any ideas come from it. 

Ideas from texts. 

Our local blackbirds. will capture more of the squawks, twitters and cooing. This blackbird is a beauty, there’s a cheeky little wolf whistle in that song. We had a blackbird once that imitated a car alarm!

Our local blackbird is singing again. You can tell it’s the same one because of repeated phrases in the song. That’s what I’d like to focus on for my contribution to Garden, our beautiful blackbird’s song

I’m very into birdsong and insect sounds at the moment. The sounds of our garden basically.

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He’s talking to a neighbouring blackbird (basically saying stay off my land) and I can hear the faint reply. Like a distant echo, another inspiration!

Oooo wow, amazing, I love the idea of actually focusing in on the birds phrases, and the conversation between the birds. This is giving me a really great inspiration, I’ll have a play about with some ideas.

I was playing the video and I swear our blackbird replied!
And that must be the best groomed squirrel in Manchester.

We should try and compare their songs

I’m going to sing you a tune and see if you recognise it! We’ve been trying to name because the black bird sings the first few notes!

The sounds of the different birds are extraordinary aren’t they. I was quietly reading and I looked up and there was the squirrel. Yes, we should definitely compare the songs and we can develop the composition from them.

I’m listening to a robin, they tend to sing in the evening, so wondering about the garden through the day? Blackbird in the morning, the squirrel grooming in the afternoon, robin in the evening with various other things in between. Bees buzzing for example.

Ah great. It would be lovely to go through the day in our piece. I have some film of some bees in my back garden a few weeks ago. Also, a friend Nell who is a Gardner is going to pop into one of the sessions and show us her garden and maybe look at some of our garden photos, she was telling me about the many varieties of bees that she noticed in her garden after reading an article on them.

Lovely! We’re very keen on bees. And butterflies, it’s been a really good year for them

Great. Yes I was with my mum and dad in the garden yesterday we noticed two beautiful butterflies. Butterfly music could be amazing.

We’re also lucky enough to have hedgehogs. They are like the antithesis of butterflies! Solid, earthy and unafraid. Think weve got a symphony here!

Yes, it’s amazing isn’t it once you start to think about it. I really wanted to bring some drones in and bring the Earth qualities to it so we could ground ourselves in some kind of Zen meditation. Maybe we could go from the start to the end of the day and also from the Earth up to the sky.

Well I think from sky to earth, as hedgehog comes out when all the birds have gone. We should start with swifts, as they fly the highest of the small birds

We can chuck in a magpie rattle, a pigeon’s coo, a jackdaw’s squawk, a goldfinch’s twitter. The words themselves sound good.

Rattle and coo!

Squawk and twitter!

If we’re going to be authentic about our gardens we’ll have to include this! (Rain)

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a lovely walk in the South Downs. Strong winds – bliss!

On my mobile I thought I had recorded the shadows of clouds moving over the fields, with super strong winds but, alas, it turns out it didn’t save! So all I have is this photo of my first walk beyond lockdown!!