The London Sound Survey Thames

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12" vinyl / digital download

Thames presents diverse sound interactions along the River Thames that surprise with their musicality. As we travel from central London to the river’s furthest estuary, it feels like we’re travelling back in time. We hear the sounds of nature and industry in competition, from the pitched, quasi-musical sound of Tower Bridge lifting up, to the marsh frogs of Allhallows. More info

Side A

Tower Bridge: North Bascule Chamber [ 6:55 ]
2013. A lifting of the bridge heard from inside the north tower’s bascule chamber. Here the road section’s counterweight slowly descends before being raised again.
Allhallows Marshes: Day [ 3:00 ]
2011. The Allhallows Marshes are at the eastern end of the Hoo Peninsula on the Kent side of the estuary. These sounds of abundant wildlife were recorded on a summer’s afternoon.
Coryton Refinery Siren [ 3:53 ]
2010. A siren wails at the Coryton oil refinery during the World Cup’s England vs Germany match. Recorded from Canvey Island immediately to the east. The refinery was closed in 2012.
Maplin Sands [ 3:56 ]
2012. The Maplin Sands appear along the Essex shore at low tide as a wasteland of puddles and worm casts. Recorded from the Broomway path.

Side B

Tower Bridge: South Bascule Chamber [ 5:58 ]
2017. A later recording made in the south bascule chamber as a comparison. The bridge is lifted on a wet afternoon to allow the passage of a sightseeing boat, which sounds its horn as it goes by.
Allhallows Marshes: Night [ 4:45 ]
2018. The springtime cackling of marsh frogs overlays the hum of container ships as they pass along the estuary in the small hours of the night.
The Albert Basin [ 7:37 ]
2012. The wind beats weighted halyards against a row of metal flagpoles at the mouth of the Albert Basin in the Docklands. The flagpoles have since disappeared during the redevelopment of the site.
Tower Bridge: Machine Room [ 6:35 ]
2013. The sound of the bridge’s electric motors inside the machine room as they raise and lower one of the road sections.
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