About the project

This project is an ongoing survey of sound levels in urban locations. I spend a few days searching for spaces in the city centre which are literally quiet enough to hear a pin drop.

These places are compiled on a map, as an alternative guide to a city.

The technique is simple: find a public space, close your eyes, drop a pin from arm’s length, and, if you can hear it, mark the location on the map. It appears that the type of concrete, tarmac or flagstones makes a significant difference to the sound, as does the weather of course. The project is primarily about intensive listening and exploring the environment.

Sometimes I do the mapping alone, other times I have willing participants.

I have dropped pins in Edinburgh, Battersea, Cambridge and Colchester (UK), and Yokohama (Japan).

This project was originally supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, and by Escalator East to Edinburgh in 2012. I would also like to thank Battersea Arts Centre, Forest Fringe and Cambridge Junction for their support.