Afloat on the sea of sound there are seven ghost slave ships

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Event details

2022-09-27 18:00
18:00 UTC
Free for supporting members!
Cafe video recording
Only available to registered users.

 Located audio sound artists Ralph Hoyte and Phill Phelps (Bristol/UK) launch their latest located audio sound art work “Colston’s Last Journey” in its international iteration at this evening’s Cafe event, where they join to discuss making sound art about slavery.

“Colston’s Last Journey” is a 21st century 3D interactive audio-walk created in response to the toppling of the statue of Edward Colston in June 2020. We are layering a sea of ghostly whispers, sfx and music over the route along which the Colston statue was dragged from its toppling at Broad Quay in the centre of Bristol to its watery end at Pero’s Bridge. Afloat on this sea of sound are 7 ghost slave ships – the ghosts of actual slave ships which sailed from this very port in the 17th and 18th century, bound for the West Coast of Africa to pick up enslaved Africans, then on to the West Indies to offload their ‘cargo’. In the work, each slave ship represents one particular aspect of the trade in enslaved Africans. 

The soundscape –  the parallel soundworld – is, of course, invisible. But you can follow it with your ears! It is accessed by downloading an app to your mobile device (smartphone), then going to the Colston plinth in the centre of Bristol, opening the app, putting on headphones, and following the instructions. This will launch you on your own personal voyage upon the sea of sound.

Colston’s Last Journey is being launched in two stages: today, 27 September 2022, the international iteration: YOU nominate your own personal statue/site associated with slavery, tell the app where you are – and the soundscape magically unfolds itself around wherever you are, anywhere in the world. The Bristol-anchored iteration will be launched in the spring of 2023 in Bristol.

This Cafe event will be run on Zoom and is moderated by Sound Walk September co-producer, Andrew Stuck.

Ralph Hoyte

Ralph Hoyte

I am a located audio designer (and have been since 2003, tho' the term didn't even exist back then!). I create interactive soundworlds in the areas of dramatised historical scenarios, contemporary poetry and poetry-music fusions accessed thru' the smartpho...

Phill Phelps

Phill Phelps

Lives on Null Island. Last updated his website in 2015. Member of Satsymph. Lectures at University of the West of England, Bristol, UK. Professional audio software developer, and sound engineer.

Andrew Stuck

Founder Online Jury 2022 Online Jury 2023

Andrew is the founder of the Museum of Walking, created to bring people together and to make and showcase walking pieces and performances. Andrew also is a podcaster, interviewing creative people who use walking as a catalyst for their practice. Talking Wa...


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