On Saturday the 9th of April I visited Glen Finglas again with the idea to walk the same route as the previous day but this time to concentrate on collecting sound recordings that reflected the natural objects and environments that I found captivating during my last visit. I gathered about 30 minutes of recordings with one of my favourites being a burn or stream as it moves underground.


I also learned about a plantation of trees that was planted in the 1990’s by Royal Mail workers. I am keen to expand on this through sound – to combine recordings of postal activities such as a postal sorting office with natural soundscapes from the plantation and possibly some spoken word as well.


Additionally, one of the volunteers is interested to write about the art critic John Ruskin who visited the area in the 19th century. The artist John Everett Millais completed a portrait of Ruskin with a waterfall from Glen Finglas framing his portrait between 1853 and 1854.



Today marked my second site visit to Glen Finglas to develop my audio project compositions. I had offered a informal creative writing workshop to the site volunteers so that they could contribute to the audio project and be more involved in the sound compositions. However, I had no uptake for this workshop so resolved to walk some of the routes and compose writing myself. I did have the company of a family volunteer and of my wee collie dog – shame his tricks don’t involve developing poetry! Lots of fetch though.


I walked a 6k route and collected research photography of objects I will write about and locations I plan to revisit to record soundscapes in. I also did some sound recording to use as background to my future spoken word recordings. I like the idea of using recordings of footsteps and movement to lead up to the beginning of the spoken words – a lead in that will portray one of the main activities that visitors to Glen Finglas enjoy – walking.


Through my discussions with the Glen Finglas site Ranger Gwen, we both agreed that the Audio Interpretation work that is created should have a creative and more abstract slant, rather than being composed of factual information, as the trust already produces various factual leaflets for visitors detailing information about the area.


I plan to develop short sound poems that stem from creative writing exercises. These will include experimenting with Haiku poetry (very short poems that are often inspired by an element of nature, a moment of beauty, or another poignant experience that use 5–7–5 syllable patterns) that is inspired by walking the paths around the glen.


I also aim to try another exercise where I identify a small selection of individual plants, trees or areas to highlight to my audience. Walking to each site, I stand at various distances from the object and describe what I see in one sentence / or collection of words.


For both of these approaches I am hoping that some of the current Glen Finglas volunteers will be interested is attending these creative writing workshops to gain some ownership of project so that it is meaningful for them during the creation of the work and once the audio is installed.