Affected by Atmosphere

Walking out along the Loughor Estuary last Sunday morning, the weather was still but overcast and the sound of the M4 motorway was even more evident than usual. I love the marshes on the estuary and the old St Teilo’s churchyard, and I normally find that I suppress the sound of traffic in my head and listen instead to the birds, sheep, cattle and wind along with the sound of my footsteps in the grass or mud and the rustling of the reeds.

These are some of the sounds recorded in the StillWalks I have produced here. I did not do any sound recording on Sunday but I got a few shots of the area and thought about how much the sounds we hear are so unique to the time and place we are in. They are the result of things like the weather conditions before and during our visit as well as the activities of others, like driving along the motorway on a Sunday morning to go shopping or visit family or whatever. Twenty five years ago there was virtually no Sunday morning traffic on the M4 but even now the traffic sound can seem distant if the wind is in the right direction or other environmental aspects such as a high tide, rain or time of year change the conditions.

This is something we’ll be looking at on the Sights and Sounds of the Countryside project which you can find out about here or follow on Facebook.

The StillWalks website is offline at the moment due to malicious hackers but you can see 480p versions of two StillWalks from the Loughor Estuary on Vimeo – After the Tide and the Old Churchyard Walk. They will be available to buy in full HD when the site is back up and running.

Here are some photos of the Loughor Estuary and the marshes. Image prints can be purchase at PhotoBox.

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