Market Sounds Workshop

Saturday 25th November, 10am – 5pm, Barrow Market and Cooke’s Studio 

On Saturday 25th November we held a sound workshop run by Octopus Collective, a Barrow-based sound art and music organisation.The day involved a sound walk and creative sound recording techniques to create new soundscapes of Barrow’s Market. During the day, we also touched upon the changes in market sounds over the years, including thinking about the traditional market crier, changes in technology and vehicles.


The group experiment with FM Radio transmission
Glen Boulter of Octopus Collective mixes market sounds
Market sounds map
Duncan talks to Belinda of Lewis's nightwear and underwear stall
Thoughts on a Sound Workshop
Sighted people allocate many more resources to vision than to hearing. Octopus had us demonstrate to ourselves how much brain-power can be freed-up and reallocated simply by closing our eyes and focussing on the audio environment, though this did give the impression to other stallholders that a meditation group had opened-up in their midst. 

After instruction on basic recording techniques and etiquette, our interviews with stallholders, sounds associated with their businesses and generalised market noise were marked on a map of the market and gathered into the Barrow Market Soundscape. 

We also got down to a bit of series (as opposed to serious) jocking, when our reading aloud of past printed advertisements put out by market traders were interleaved live using a mixing desk and the results listened to using lo-fi transmitters and radios. 

So, if you want to see round corners, shut your eyes and you can work 
out what’s there, with a bit of practice – and a sound workshop.
By Duncan MacMillan
Duncan recording sounds in the market
Lee, Lawrence and Derek
Sound recording and mixing equipment on the market stall