Gosport’s sounds captured in piece using phone GPS

LISTENING James Thomson from Gosport Diving Museum, Gosport and composer Benjamin Mawson listen to the music

LISTENING James Thomson from Gosport Diving Museum, Gosport and composer Benjamin Mawson listen to the music

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WALK around Gosport town centre and you will hear sounds from bygone days and people telling their stories.

But that’s only if you plug in a pair of headphones and switch on a phone app that broadcasts a composer’s audio portrait of the town.

Benjamin Mawson has put together distinctive recordings – from the Big Noise Community Samba Band to 33 Field Hospital’s homecoming from Afghanistan.

Ninety circles of sound are laid out, encircling the area from Haslar Road, to the Gosport Ferry, to Mumby Road and to the east of Morrisons in Walpole Road.

To hear them, you need to use a handset from Gosport Discovery Centre, or a smartphone, and walk into one of the overlapping circles in the town centre.

The software knows where you are through GPS satellites and then plays the right sound for the location.

Mr Mawson says it allows people to create their own portrait with the recordings.

He said: ‘This project has been very exciting, very strange and rather alarming.

‘I didn’t know what it was when I started. Everything that’s in the piece came from here.

‘Things I’ve put into the landscape, they try to be a reflection of the place they are but they also try to give you a narrative.’

James ‘Tommo’ Thomson, 71, of Gosport Diving Museum, took sounds of the Royal Navy from a film and gave them to Mr Mawson.

James said: ‘I spent about a month taking 35 to 40 minutes of sound from the films.

‘I gave him the disks I had and we listened, and I explained what the noises were and he’s been working with them ever since. It’s a great idea.’

Caroline Barnes, from the Big Noise Community Samba Band, said: ‘Ben came along to our practice and did a couple recordings.

‘We were quite nervous as he was recording.’

The project, Written in Water, was funded by Hampshire County Council. For more, see facebook.com/audioportraitofatown

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