What does the London Ear hear? What is it listening for?
Join us on a two mile sonic stroll through the City of London. From church bells to road crossing beeps, we’ll turn an inquisitive ear to the noises that control, affect and define us. We’ll tune into sounds of the past, like the birdsong that triggered a bucolic hallucination and the metallic rasp that inspired a street name. And we’ll investigate how London’s soundscape is changing today as we echolocate through back alleys and round skyscrapers.
The London Ear is led by Rosie Oliver. A keen London listener, Rosie divides her time between leading Dotmaker walks and producing spoken audio features. Listen to Rosie introduce the Sunday version of the walk.
What to expect
The London Ear guided walk blends real-time listening with stories about sounds from the City’s past and insights into how London might sound in the future. The walk contains stories, insights and surprises for those whose ear isn’t technically trained alongside the more musically minded. Tour goers will be guided to refine their ear for the City and pay attention to what they usually filter out.
The walks each follow a similar route, but encounter some very different sounds.
- • The New weekday walks coincide with London’s hectic lunch hour or rush hour. Expect a strange mix of ancient bell-ringing with twenty-first century wailing sirens, rattling pile-drivers and hissing espresso machines.
- • The walk on Saturday 19th April is a chance to hear London’s famous Bow Bells attempt to ring a peal.
- • The walk on Sunday 11th November will take in St Paul’s Cathedral bells, newly restored, ringing half-muffled on the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day.
An amazing tour … Rosie was highly prepared and deeply researched – she really knew her stuff. She had the most fantastic energy and kept us engaged for some two and a half hours … I cannot recommend this tour more highly.
… just incredible. Walking round the City of London learning about the history of the area through sounds – from stock exchange to poetry to bells. Really rich and enjoyable.
Scheduled public walks
Dates in 2018:
Sat 14 April, 11am from Cannon Street tube station
Wed 2 May, 5.30pm from Cannon Street tube station
Wed 16 May, 12.45pm from St Botolph-without-Bishopsgate Gardens
Tues 12 June, 5.30pm from St Botolph-without-Bishopsgate Gardens
Wed 17 October, 12.45pm from St Botolph-without-Bishopsgate Gardens
Sun 11 November, 11am from St Paul’s tube station
Suitable for: adults.
Tickets: £15 adults; £12 over 65s and full-time students with proof of status. Price includes a noisy snack. Booking essential, whether you wish to buy tickets or redeem gift vouchers.