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SWS24 2023

Colston’s Last Journey (Worldwide)

Multiple locations
Twi/Akan (in part)


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Sound walk

You can open this version of Ralph Hoyte’s Colston’s Last Journey work of soundart anywhere in the world you want to on an iPhone and in most of Europe on an Android phone (sorry if not in your country – we’re getting there, slowly!)’. Ffi and download instructions search and follow the link to the ‘worldwide’ version.

Open the app and you are instantly afloat on a Sea of Sound. Lost voices, statistics, fragments of audio to do with Bristol and the Transatlantic Trafficking of Enslaved Africans arise out of the Sea of Sound and disappear again into its depths. Circling around you, you will see (on your screen) 9 Ghost Ships (as pulsating coloured blobs). These ghost slave ships actually set sail from Bristol in the late 17th century and in the 18th century bound for the coast of Africa. Once there, they loaded up with enslaved Africans and set sail for the West Indies. Each of these ships represents a different facet of this nefarious trade. The ships process slowly around you. You can ‘board’ each one and listen in to what it has to say or just wander around within the soundscape.


Ralph Hoyte: concept; scripts; direction; production
Phill Phelps: coding; production; audio-engineering; digital music
Saki Yamada: digital music
Voice artists: Jade Fearon; Alan Coveney; Kerry-Ann Waison; Aaron Iyiih
(further credits see website)
Made using public funding by Arts Council England; supported by Bristol Ideas and the University of the West of England Regional History Centre

APA style reference

Hoyte, R. (2023). Colston’s Last Journey (Worldwide). walk · listen · create.

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To saunter, to be slovenly (The Dialect of Cumberland – Robert Ferguson, 1873). Rarely used in Cumbria now but has a meaning of to walk slowly, to amble, to walk with no particular purpose. Used for example in the ballad Billy Watson’s Lonnin written by Alexander Craig Gibson of Harrington, Cumbria in 1872 “Yan likes to trail ow’r t’ Sealand-fields an’ watch for t’ commin’ tide, Or slare whoar t’Green hes t’ Ropery an’ t’ Shore of ayder side “(Translation: One likes to trail over to Sealand Fields and watch for the coming tide, Or slare over to where the Green has the ropery and the Shore on the other side) Billy Watson’s Lonning (lonning – dialect for lane) still exists and can be found at Harrington, Cumbria.

Added by Alan Cleaver

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