Colne Valley listeners

A sound mirror installation neat Slaithwaite in Yorkshire. Some pictures of it.

Commissioned by the River Colne Sculpture Trail and Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival

A Sound Installation by Matthew Sansom


Colne Valley Listeners employs active listening, both as metaphor and as practice, to explore and enhance the relationship between the valley’s beauty and significance with people past, present and future. The project combines a sculptural installation of two acoustic mirrors at the Rotcher Picnic Site and a guided soundwalk with accompanying audio.

The River Colne Acoustic Mirrors are parabolic dishes fashioned in aluminium: one dish eavesdrops on the approach from the picnic site and the other listens out towards the trees and across the valley. Close-up, these devices focus and subtly amplify the soundscape at a focal point a short distance from the centre of the dish. Interaction with the acoustic mirrors helps direct awareness towards the surrounding soundscape, leaving a subtle perceptual imprint on the listener.

The River Colne Soundwalk explores the location of the sculptural installation. It combines material from local children’s sonic explorations of the area, sound archive material and location recordings made along the walk.

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