HERD Soundscapes: Three Soundscapes for HERD

Monty Adkins (Composer)

Research output: Non-textual formComposition


HERD is a vibrant, musical odyssey and large-scale participatory project that traces the cultural and industrial story of Kirklees, through its many musical traditions, from brass to boliyaan, choral and gospel, beatboxing, Carnatic singing and much more. HERD features specially-crafted musical sheep sculptures wired for sound, broadcasting soundscapes across the region. Starting with the mother sheep Aina, in St George's Square Huddersfield on 11th July 2023 there are over 20 other sheep, some over 5m tall appearing at Peel St Marsden, Meltham Greenway, Oakwell Hall, Thornhill Rectory Park, The Three Acres Inn, Bank Bottom Mill, Slaithwaite Lock, Milnsbridge Lock, Mirfield Newgate Weir, as well as some floating along the narrow and broad canals. Throughout the week these slowly make their way to the mother sheep, congregating into St George's Square until the whole flock is together, all playing their soundscapes. The whole herd, then parades up to Greenhead park where over 350 local musicians, choirs and bands will be performing live. The whole project has been devised by composer Orlando Gough.

The three soundscapes commissioned for HERD respond to three specific locations - Deffer Wood, Emley Moor, and Mirfield Weir and their particular histories. The first focuses on the voice and integrates the music of Martin Chung and Supriya Nagarajan. The second explores the story of the 1969 destruction of the Emley Tower from bitter winter ice and its rebuilding in 1971 through documentary footage. It utilises melodic fragments from the documentary footage and weaves these throughout the soundscape. The third creates a rhythmically driven soundscape derived from the sounds of hand- and machine-driven looms recorded at the University of Huddersfield and in Slaithwaite. Overall, the three soundscapes explore ideas of oral history, sonic memory, and place based sound installation practice.
Original languageEnglish
Media of outputInstallation
Size63 minutes
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jul 2023

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