With 60 entries for the Sound Walk September Awards 2023, our volunteer Online Jury, drawn from our community of 1600 walking artists, have committed considerable time to reviewing each of the submissions and drawing up a shortlist.
2023 has produced a terrific crop of highly produced sound walks and the valuations for each of the shortlisted pieces, and quite a few beyond, were high. But, numbers don’t lie, at least according to some, and ordering the pieces by their received scores, the eventual cutoff was going to be brutal, wherever the cut was going to be made.
The SWS23 shortlist is the longest we’ve ever had, at 14 pieces. But, two of these can not compete for winning this year’s award; One was created by one of the WLC founders, another by one of the SWS Grand Jury members. So, this year’s field is reduced to 12 pieces which are competing for the SWS23 Awards.
Of the 14 pieces on the shortlist, three are made by Australian walking artists, three are from contributors who have had works shortlisted in previous year, including one previous winner.
Without further ado, here’s the SWS23 Awards shortlist:
- AntVenture (David Merleau, Canada)
- F for Farnham (Sophie Austin, UK)
- Head, Hand and Heart (Curious Lightning, US)
- Headford Lace Trail (Ed Coulson, Ireland)
- Listening to the Port (Keira Simmons, Australia)
- Machair (Duncan MacLeod)
- Portland: The Town That Built Sydney (Hamish Sewell, Australia)
- Semi-Colon (How To Draw A Tree) (Dawn Matheson, Canada)
- Sonic Byte: Wingham Brush Boardwalk (Kim V. Goldsmith, Australia) – out of competition
- Soundpaths: Heptonstall (Yonatan Collier)
- Sounds of Teotihuacan (Adje)
- Stopping To Notice (OSeymour)
- Telescope Club Sound Walk (Telescope Club)
- The Soundtrack of here (Babak Fakhamzadeh, Netherlands/Iran/Brazil) – out of competition
The jurors were also delighted to see A Mull Sound Walk by Tobermory High with the BBC LAB, a submission by teenagers, guided by staff at the Beeb, but just falling short of making the shortlist. We were rooting for so many good submissions this year, but drama is inevitable.
So what happens next?
The shortlist is now reviewed by the SWS Grand Jury, who will meet to discuss each of the pieces as well as deciding on the winner and honourable mentions.
Concurrently, the composers of each of the shortlisted sound walks are invited to write an article about how they came to make their work, and these will be published, here on WLC, in the coming weeks.
The winners and honorable mentions of the Sound Walk September Awards 2023 will be announced at the start of the new year, and, for the first time, they will walk away with a cash prize.
The height of the cash prize depends on the amount of financial support WLC receives from people like you, and we are very close to reaching the threshold for doubling this year’s prize money.
Perhaps now is the time to put in your bit?
Meanwhile, submissions for SWS24 are open. What are you creating this year?