The Listener

USB stick (4 GB) + .wav/quad .wav/.jpg in envelope. Illustration by Jana Winderen. Designed in October 2016 by Philip Marshall.

Now sold out, but the audio is available at Bandcamp.

Freshwater biologists count underwater insects and use this data as an indicator of the water’s health. If one identifies the sound of specific underwater insects with their varying ability to survive forms of pollution, one can possibly, through focused listening, reach an understanding of the health of the river. Underwater insects use stridulation to produce sound, such as Corixa, the lesser water boatman, which lives its whole life underwater. It also uses an air bubble carried on its abdomen as a physical lung, whereby oxygen flows from the water into the bubble. This bubble might also be amplifying the sound they make.

The Listener is a sound composition created from hydrophone recordings in the River Orne in Normandy. A 6 channel sound installation made for the exhibition Second Nature is part of a 3 year investigation into the health of the river.

Published by Touch Music/Fairwood Music UK Ltd. Production ésam Caen / Cherbourg.


  1. The Listener