We all carry within us an imaginary soundscape, an idealized version of sounds that whisper and call to us, interrupting our lives with brief memories of other places and times.
On my daily walk south along Ditchling Road the spire of St Peter’s rises to touch the horizon, lifting off into the sky as I descend the final, paved, undulation of the hill. All around me the ever-present rumble of the city, punctuated by the intense wailing of sirens and screeching of brakes and, sometimes, by a quiet call from the North, the sound of skylarks, the humming of insects, breeze through the grass and, from the south, every so often, the sound of the fierce sea churning the shingle with its wild, rhythmic, energetic force.
Brighton is a city bound and shaped by the peculiarities of its geography. Squashed between the hills and the sea it is a city written by the compass: North Road, North Gardens, North Place, North Street, Eastern Road, East Street, South Road, South Street, Western Road, Western Street, West Road, West Street.
This soundwalk brings together three locations: the Iron Age hill fort at the top of Hollingbury Hill at the north end of Ditchling Road, a rectangular section of the beach enclosed by groynes to the south and the roof of the NCP car park in the centre of the city. The reality of the sonic environment in each of these settings is somewhat different from my romanticised expectations and this is reflected in the composition.
The walk takes place in the car park starting on level 7 at the north end and traversing the boundary in a clockwise direction, east, south, west, north, east and south again to finish at the southern exit on level 7.