While we are used to thinking about purposefully created music as a sound world, it can be easy to forget that we are constantly surrounded by a world of sound that we can tune in to.

Musician Emma Welton runs the Exeter based Aubergine Family Orchestra with BSO Associate Musician Hugh Nankivell; she has created several walks around the area of Exeter aiming to tune in to these sound worlds. Emma describes the walks as musical compositions; ‘the choices I make shape a particular listening experience for somebody else.’


The walks are drawn out with stopping points marked and numbered, along with suggestions of things to listen for. Some examples are: the peeps of great-crested grebe chicks, the flags on top of some rugby posts creaking in the wind; finding the perfect balance between the sound of traffic and the river Exe at the Blackaller Weir.

Sound walking is a mindful way to renew our connection to the environment surrounding us, by taking the time to really listen.

You can find Emma’s website (including downloadable walks) here

For information about Family Orchestras and BSO Participate click here

For the BSO’s Summer Activities Participate Press Release click here


Maybe there is a walk local to you that encompasses interesting sounds? Could you make a soundwalk?


Emma’s tips for Sound Walks

Go alone or with a quiet friend

Close your eyes

Pause for a while to hear what is there

Allow sounds to find you