Atom Town: artworks and writing about people places and technology by Gair Dunlop

SOUNDINGS is a film by Gair Dunlop, and is one of the creative works made for the AHRC-funded project Sounding Coastal Change (SCC). It represents a collaboration between geographers, film-maker Gair Dunlop, and composers and sound artists Lona Kozik, Sam Richards and Richard Fair. The SCC project explores how sound, music, film and different kinds of listening are useful as tools in a facilitated process of public engagement, helping people to think about how the North Norfolk coast is changing, how people’s lives are changing with it, and how they might respond.


The film is constructed around a wide range of natural, composed, and recorded sounds, offering a new way to consider the mix of human and non-human activities and changes in North Norfolk. Those sounds include Cley Marshes on International Dawn Chorus Day; the multiple musicians’ church performance of Sam Richard’s ‘Matters Arising in Blakeney’; local, expert, and archive voices; schoolchildren recording the local environment and questioning their elders. Expert and dissenting voices are included, creating a bigger picture of who and what the coast is for. Folklore, nature, archive and the present speak together. North Norfolk is understood as a highly technologized landscape; fast jets on bombing runs to Holbeach, passenger aircraft, traffic, sizzling burgers and the underwater murmuring of windfarms are as much a part of the landscape as birdsong.