Timber Festival launches Sounds of the Forest

Call-out to collaborate in creating the first ever forest soundmap of the world

Following the postponement of Timber 2020, the festival organisers are inviting people from across the globe to contribute to a different kind of gathering with the launch of Sounds of the Forest, an exciting new mass participation audio project. The annual three-day festival at the heart of the National Forest, Timber celebrates the connection to trees and woodlands through music, art and ideas. This year it has had to be postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Thanks to the support of Arts Council England, Timber can continue to connect people with trees this year by collecting the sounds of woodlands and forests from all around the world to create a beautiful soundmap bringing together aural tones and textures from the world’s woodlands.

They are inviting people to visit their local forest or woodland and record one minute of the sounds they hear. Full details of how to send in sounds, including technical advice for how to get the best quality recording from a phone, are at timberfestival.org.uk/soundsoftheforest At the start of July, on the weekend that Timber would have taken place in the National Forest, the forest soundmap will be released. The sounds will form an open source library, to be used by anyone to listen to and create from. Selected artists will be responding to the sounds that are gathered, creating music, audio or artwork, to be presented at Timber 2021.

Rowan Cannon and Sarah Bird, directors of Wild Rumpus, partners in creating Timber Festival, say: “We’re incredibly excited to launch Sounds of the Forest. While we can’t be together in person in July, this gives us the opportunity to gather in a different way. So, wherever you live across the world, visit a woodland, recharge under the leaves and record your sounds of the forest. If you are out and about, please continue to observe social distancing – we want you all to remain safe.”

John Everitt, Chief Executive of the National Forest Company, partners in creating Timber Festival, comments: “Now more than ever, we want to encourage everyone to experience the transformational power of forests and trees. Recording a sound can share your woodland with the world, giving us an escape into nature and bringing us all closer together.” Elizabeth Alker, BBC Radio 3 presenter, broadcaster and patron of Timber Festival, comments: “It’s so exciting that people across the globe are going to be bringing the soounds of their local woods and forests to the Timber soundmap using just their phones. Experiencing and engaging with nature is so good for our wellbeing which is why this project and Timber Festival, as well as being fun are also really important.”

Stuart Maconie, broadcaster, writer and patron of Timber Festival, comments: “I’m lucky enough to live on the edge of a large woodland. So I’m very happy to be part of this excellent idea. It’s been a strange spring and may be a curious summer but this soundmap will bring the vibrancy and freshness of the outside world into our ears and homes. It’s the next best thing to being there.” 

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