Professor Stella Barrows tells us about the National Institute for Sonic Geology and explains what will be erupting from underneath the ground on Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 of June.
Hello, I am Doctor Stella Barrows, head of the NISG, the National Institute for Sonic Geology*. You can find more about us here: http://sonicgeology.blogspot.co.uk which is our effort to explain Sonic Geology in layman’s terms for the general reader.
The Institute exits for the purpose of exploring, recording and interpreting geological sonic phenomena in the British Isles and sovereign British territories worldwide.
Sound is erupting underneath us all the time, but it’s hard to pinpoint exactly where and when it will emit so as to be audible for the average person going about their daily business. Using the latest scientific equipment we have however been able to work out the exact time and location of a forceful eruption, which luckily coincides exactly with the Greenwich+Docklands International Festival. We have identified the eruption point to be Greenwich’s St Alfege Park, behind the Hawksmoor Church of the same name.
Using a series of beautifully made Ear Trumpets, fashioned from gramophone horns and instruments requisitioned from bad orchestras; the National Institute for Sonic Geology will help the general public to listen in to the sounds underneath the ground – things they would not usually notice. They may hear bells, ancient ships or even the echo of old music halls. It is, in fact, very hard to say until we are on site and listening ourselves as to what we will hear, but early data from the Greenwich sounding space suggests that sonic phenomena on this site are the result of a unique combination of geological and man-made conditions around the River Thames featuring an abundance of proto-historical events.
We are very excited to meet new, intrepid members of the general public who are happy to take part in the ‘citizen science’ of listening to the world around them a little more carefully. We believe that Greenwich will be a rich location in terms of sonic emission: the Royal Borough is the site of Historic Palaces, Viking invasions and public houses frequented by ancient mariners. The NISG looks forward to meeting you.
Ear Trumpet will take place in St Alfege Park at Greenwich Fair on Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 June. Find out more about Greenwich Fair.
The NISG has some friends who reside at this address:
*‘sonic geology’ is defined as the emerging, experimental science derived from the empirical analysis of subterranean sonic phenomena, and the tapping of historical sonic substrata for the release of revelatory data