Only Expansion

Only Expansion

Audio walk

Please note: This event took place in Sept 2021

40 mins

“Winner of the special jury award for immersive non-fiction at International Documentary Festival Amsterdam’

Award-winning composer and Pervasive Media Studio resident Duncan Speakman invites you to experience a one-of-a-kind augmented audio walk through Bristol, one that will beautifully combine the sound of your surroundings with recordings of environments from across the globe.

"I found him digging around in the ashes of what was left. He said ‘You won’t shoot me’, I said ‘I’ve lost everything, got nothing else to lose’"

As sea levels rise and wildfires burn, Only Expansion remixes the sound of Bristol so you can experience sonically how your own life might change in the future. A beautifully made guidebook prompts you to explore the city, choosing your own route, while headphones with customised electronics capture and manipulate the sounds around you. Voices of passers by become a choir, bus brakes create pulsating rhythms, these might then be blended with desert winds from Tunisia or the crumbling coasts of Norfolk.

A visceral and poetic reflection on what it means to live on a planet in crisis, Only Expansion connects the here to the elsewhere, letting you experience our tangled ecology through sound.

Alongside this event there will be a series of other exhibitions, workshops and talks about cultural responses to climate change as part of Sound Walk September and the lead up to COP26. For more information on other events please visit

"A transporting, time-shifting, epic, unsettling and moving walk. I know that this is a complex, detailed creation. But its beauty is in the simple act of being on my own, in my familiar day, looking and then looking again at the space that no longer has me in it." - Kate Yedigaroff, MAYK / Mayfest

Only Expansion is commissioned by University of Exeter Arts And Culture. It was developed with support from Lydgalleriet Bergen, Theatre in The Mill Bradford, and Arts Council National Lottery Project Grants.

Information about the walk

  • This is a 40 minute SOLO walk through the city that remixes the sounds around you in realtime. Combining visceral music and field recordings it lets you imagine and experience how climate collapse might change the future of this city. Although it is designed as a solo experience, it can be done as a pair but as you need make decisions about where to go and it can be complicated. We recommend going on your own routes then comparing stories afterwards.


What happens if it’s raining?

  • If it is torrential rain we may ask your to carry the device under your raincoat, but it can be experienced in any conditions as long as you are up for it!

How accessible is it?

  • As you get to choose your own route and pace it is suitable for any form of mobility. It is a sound orientated work but can be experienced using hearing aids.

Do we have to travel far?

  • It is up to you, but the more you explore the city the richer the experience can be

Credits for Only Expansion

  • created by Duncan Speakman
  • music: Sarah Anderson and Duncan Speakman
  • book design: Tom Abba
  • technical support: Steve Symons
  • production assistant: Will Taylor
  • lasercut design: Fiona Dowling

Only Expansion was developed with support from Theatre in The Mill Bradford, University of Exeter Arts And Culture, Lydgalleriet Bergen, and Arts Council National Lottery Project Grants.

This tour of Only Expansion is being supported by Watershed and commissioned by Season for Change, a nationwide programme of artistic and cultural events that celebrate the environment and inspire urgent climate action. Led by Julie’s Bicycle and Artsadmin, and supported by Arts Council England and Paul Hamlyn Foundation.

The tour includes future showings at the London Film Festival (October) and Bluecoat in Liverpool (November).
The latest tour information is listed here. #SeasonforChange @jointheseason_