Last Listener at the Mid Atlantic Frost Fair


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Walking piece details

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CC-BY-NC: Tony Onuchukwu

My interdisciplinary approach of collecting, curating and designing have all revolved around the same point on a map – not just a geographical location, but a specific moment in space/time coalescing into a process where I am constantly looping back on myself, repeating, returning and re discovering.

[This soundscape is a sound design of a poem by Michael S Roberts, an English poet and polymath, who made his living as a teacher]

In this piece, his voice becomes the conductor of an audio journey, harmonising with my carefully designed soundscape that embodies the essence of his walk through the cold winter months. He describes a mythical, dreamlike and almost hypersitional experience, producing a hypnagogic, almost liminal state, mirroring a real geographical place or perhaps an imagined one in our collective unconscious.

His verses conjure images of snow-covered landscapes and biting winds, drawing you deeper into the heart of winter’s grip. The sound design weaves together tapestries of sound, the syncopated rhythms evoking the ebb and flow of this imagined frozen world.

The soundscapes morph, as the journey delves into the Earth’s depths, transporting the listener to the mysterious realm of icy caverns and ancient glaciers. You can almost feel the chill in your bones as you venture deeper into the heart of the frozen earth.

Glaciers and icebergs become the protagonists of this tale, as the sound design orchestrates the haunting crashes and majestic splittings. The poet’s verses describe these frozen giants as they glide and collide, narrating the majestic display of nature’s grandeur. The syncopated rhythms echo the unstoppable and indifferent forces at play, creating an auditory experience that mirrors the power and beauty of the sea ice.

Last Listener at the Mid-Atlantic Frost Fair is a fusion of poetry and sound design, entwining the chilling beauty of winter with the artistry of words and music. It invites the listener to embrace the cold’s enchanting embrace and embark on a soul-stirring journey into the heart of winter’s icy realm.

I wanted this audio piece to paint, in every moment, a vivid portrait of a freezing, icy landscape, yet provide an uplifting, promising and triumphant backbone, serving as a testament to the majesty of nature’s frozen wonders.


Michael Symmons Roberts

Tony Onuchukwu

Tony Onuchukwu

SWS Award winner

Tony is a multidisciplinary artist, sound designer, musician and former doctor whose practice explores counter culture, memory and innovation


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