This final week I have spent some time working on my Sounds Of The Sea project.

This project is inspired by childhood memories and the sounds of the seashore that fill me with peace and reflection. The concept is a series of generatively designed and crafted seashell objects, that when lifted to the ear will play a created electronic audio composition of music inspired by place and memory. The landscape, the childhood era, the memories and sounds of the coastline will inspire and influence the design and the music contained within the object.

Currently the idea is to produce 5 pieces that conceptually represent the 5 weeks annual leave given in the UK to employees, choosing 5 places of specific memories starting with one that resonates the most to me. Each of the pieces will be distinct through the generative design process, yet remain part of a recognisable group. Im keen to ensure the project is personal, yet have a universality to it for others to connect with.

With fantastic box method interrogation with Verity and Rachael, I spent time really trying to pin down what I feel the heart of the idea is. It seemed fitting to visit a place, document and record some sounds and images as a research and development trip to really seed some initial proof of concept ideas.

I took a residential trip to somewhere I hadn't been for 30 years, one of the strongest places that seeded and inspired the project - Blue Anchor Bay. 

Aged 4 and half playing with flying technology on the beach.

Aged 36 and a half. Playing with flying technology on the beach.

Blue Anchor holds many special memories personally, flying flappy birds to jumping over the carpet of secreted sand deposits from lug worms with my brother, unlike any other beach I remember. 

Its safe to say this project represents my nostalgic side, my peaceful reflective and contemplative part of my personality and some of the things that matter most to me in my life.. my family. This visit really caught me emotionally and I was keen to ensure I took away new thoughts as well as visiting the past.

I traversed and explored the almost Jurassic craggy landscape capturing images using a DSLR, aerial shots with a Parrot Drone and sonic snippets with a Zoom field recorder. The beach seemed even more angular than I ever remembered which was striking a visual form in my head before I even entered the coast road. It is definitely going to inspire the look of the object.

The textural feeling in my hand of many of the surfaces really inspired thoughts about materials to produce the object. Im still keen on the adoption of a seashell shape as it fits the aesthetic purpose and user interaction that has existed for centuries (seashell resonance and the use of shells to listen to the sea) but the form and feeling of the object I create is open to exploration. Im still undecided, and this is something I will continue to explore over a period of time and future development.

Sonically, the shoreline is always beautiful, peaceful and rhythmical to me. I find it incredibly reflective to stare across the sea and absorb the sounds. Much like Boards Of Canada, I aim to weave a strong nostalgia, childhood memories and a rich ambience with textural found sounds into the audio compositions.


Throughout the rest of the week I attempted to form clay seashells, something I'm not very good at, and jam some technology inside to playback some of the initial ambient recordings of the waves. Initially the proof of concept is satisfying enough, yet leaves me with many many questions.

I quite like the dialogue surrounding my choices and other peoples perceptions of how the project should unfold. With client work I am used to bending, yet with this project its nice to stand firm on my initial thoughts whilst allowing some others to rattle around my head a little more.