taking our culture forward

Smeale Sounds

Tue, 09 Mar 2021

The sounds of a summer on a farm in Andreas have been released online by Culture Vannin.

The recordings, ranging from bird song at dawn to sheep shearing, are an aural telling of life at Smeale farm, enabling people to transport themselves to somewhere peaceful and calm merely through listening.

These field recordings made by Dark Avenue Film were created as record of a Manx farm, as a vivid reminder of life on the Island for those away from home, as a tool for people looking to practise mindfulness and relaxation, and as a collection of files available for others to experiment and use in their own creative way.

James Franklin of Culture Vannin says:

“These field recordings offer a peaceful safe space to transport ourselves. Whether that is for a bit of escapism, a reminder of time spent in the countryside, these recordings are sure to become very special to some people, especially in times like these.”

The 11 recordings include a dawn chorus, sheep in a field, birds in a peaceful lane, bird copse, machinery running, Lhen shore and sheep shearing.

They were recorded during the summer by Dark Avenue Film, comprising Bethany White and Patrick Crellin, who have recently been in the news for their award-winning films, ‘The Lost Wife’ and ‘An Endless Summer.’

Bethany and Patrick say:

“Recording the sounds of Smeale Farm over the first lockdown was a great chance to immerse ourselves in the beauty of the Manx countryside, as well as to see how the farming community kept working to keep us fed during the lockdown. We would love to thank Beth, Steve and Chris Martin at Smeale Farm, who let us come and record on the farm socially distanced. Their tireless enthusiasm for Manx culture and their farm is incredibly inspiring. Our thanks also go to Culture Vannin for their support for creatives on the Island. Things looked bleak for our business when lockdown happened, and working on this Treisht project kept us motivated and engaged. We hope these sounds can bring comfort and inspiration to those who listen to them too.”

These recordings were produced as one of the Treisht projects commissioned by Culture Vannin. Re-purposing grant and development money from events and projects cancelled during the start of the first lockdown, these projects offered a wide range of creative opportunities for creative freelance professionals to engage with Manx culture.

Treisht projects already released include Phil Kneen’s photographs of the Island in lockdown; Manx music and song lessons by Isla Callister, Ruth Keggin Gell, Peddyr Cubberley and Beccy Hurst; art inspired by Manx culture from Beth Louella, Matthew Clayton and Juan Moore; music recordings by David Kilgallon, Rory Murphy, Laura and Dave Rowles; films by Open Water films and M is For Manx Cat. The final projects are being released by Culture Vannin over the coming months.

James Franklin of Culture Vannin says:

“These projects were created in a time of worry and need, but they were creating something which will make a difference to people in the Isle of Man and around the world long into the future. We are very proud to add these marvellous ‘Smeale Sounds’ to this collection.”

The recordings are available to enjoy on the Culture Vannin website or BandCamp or SoundCloud pages.