"I would say it was enjoyable but it was much more than that...a reward." Liz
Small Silence soundwalks employ a range of listening exercises to explore our relationship with everyday sounds. They also provide an opportunity for participants to respond to the soundscape through mapping, photography, sketching, knitting, creative writing and a host of other activities. The soundwalks are both informative and aim to cultivate a calm presence, not only beneficial for creative responses but providing the foundation for a clearer understanding of the impact of sounds on wellbeing.
This sound-art-walk at Earth Living Festival explored the places we go for quiet. Activities included guided sound meditations, walking meditation and sounding the architecture of the medieval church of St Peter.
A collaboration between small silence and Reading Urban Sketchers group. Sound sketching is drawing what you hear and the sketch is a record of the time on location and a representation of the sounds you noticed relative to yourself. The walk also involved sketching those aspects of the environment that promote a sense of quiet.
This sound-art-walk combined listening and knitting to explore soundscapes around Reading, taking in St John’s Road, the Royal Berkshire Hospital Chapel and the Museum of English Rural Life. We were accompanied by sound artist and local expert knitter Felicity Ford (KNITSONIK).
creative writing soundwalk
Listening and walking with architectural photographer Peter Savage to explore the relationship between quiet spaces and visual 'silence'. The walk responded to the soundscapes of a non-conformist chapel-turned-bookshop and St Mary’s Minster church.
A sound-art-walk with artist, writer and naturalist Geoff Sawers using creative writing techniques to respond to the soundscape of West Reading. The walk took a widdershins path through the soundscapes of West Park, the River Thames, Oxford Road and ending at the Abu Bakr Mosque.
This soundwalk explored the suburban green space of Highwood, near Reading, UK. The walk, led by sound artist Richard Bentley and writer and naturalist Geoff Sawers, explored the mature redwoods, yews and other fascinating species found there. Whilst leaving plenty of time for quiet appreciation of the woodland soundscape, Richard spoke about the role of trees and shrubs in addressing noise-pollution and the restorative qualities of woodland soundscapes.
Our approach to wellbeing
In creating moments of silence we strive to support people’s wellbeing through:
Paying attention to the present moment. Paying care-full attention to our experience helps us slow down, develop a calm focus and appreciate everyday happenings more intensely, encouraging us to be more compassionate to ourselves, others and the environment.
Connecting with others. Making art brings people together in a relaxed and friendly environment, encouraging the exchange of ideas, stories and experiences, while promoting cooperation, friendship and feelings of belonging.
Learning. Participatory arts practice develops a range of interpersonal, creative and technical skills that boost self-confidence, raise self-esteem and foster a sense of purpose.
Keeping active. Arts activities get us out and about, benefitting our physical health and mental wellbeing.
Giving. By sharing our experiences and creations we can inspire others, spark their interest, make them smile and foster understanding. Quietly connecting with others through engaging arts activities, nurtures positive feelings of purpose and self-worth.
Accessing quiet. Stillness and positive experiences of silence underpin Small Silence’s approach. We are committed to protecting and promoting access to public quiet spaces and helping people to enjoy and value small silences in the day that support wellbeing.
(points 1-5 are based upon the ‘Five Ways to Wellbeing’