About What Does
the Sea Say ?

During July a mysterious beach hut travelled across the UK. Starting its journey in Seaham, County Durham, it will move on to Orford Ness, Suffolk and finish up in Porthgain, Pembrokeshire.

Inside the bright blue hut, an atmospheric sound track conjures up the sounds of the coast. Locals and visitors were invited to enter the mini sound booth where they recorded their thoughts about what the coast means to them.

The soundtrack inside the hut was created by leading sound artist Martyn Ware (Heaven17 / Human League) from recordings held by the British Library. The recordings that people made in the hut will be used by Martyn as contributions towards One and All – a digital voyage through sight, sound and sea. One and All is a co-commission by Trust New Art, the National Trust’ contemporary arts programme, and Sound UK. Three leading artists working across sound, poetry and art will celebrate the powerful emotional and personal links that we all have to our coastal landscapes. Martyn Ware, Owen Sheers and Tania Kovats have been invited to take inspiration from 50 years of Project Neptune, the National Trust’s campaign to acquire and care for coastal land.

The result will be an online digital artwork that combines audio visual and interactive landscapes. It invites the audience to explore a virtual coastal landscape and encounter three unique works that address our relationship with the sea.

Inspired by his childhood one-day-a-year holiday at a steelworks ‘charabanc outing' on the Yorkshire coast, Martyn Ware’s What Does The Sea Say? will create a meditative dreamscape in which the listener can both participate and observe.

As part of the work’s creation, Martyn will travel with the beach hut, collecting new recordings from three post-industrial coastline coastal locations: Orford Ness (Suffolk), Porthgain / Ynys Barri (Pembrokeshire) and Seaham / Black Beaches (County Durham). The hut’s appearance will coincide with community days in Seaham and Porthgain, where local people will have an opportunity to share their feelings about the coast and to learn more about its conservation

The beach hut recordings, together with material from the British Library sound archive, will be reworked, in collaboration with film maker Ben Wigley, into a deeply resonant and emotionally affecting meditative three-dimensional soundscape about place and memory. One and All will be available to experience online from November at nationaltrust.org.uk/oneandall

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What Does The Sea Say?

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