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BE THE SEA, 2021


BE THE SEA is a project commissioned by Sea AIR, part of SeaScapes Co/Lab the creative engagement project for SeaScapes: Tyne to Tees Shores to Seas that asks:


how we can become more capable of living with and not just on the coast - in ways that are mutually sustainable with fellow human and non-human beings?


BE THE SEA is a collaboration between Louise Mackenzie, SeaScapes Co/Lab Artist-in-Residence, Hayley Jenkins, composer and lecturer at Sunderland University and Dorinda Kealoha, Intertidal Interactive Officer at Durham Wildlife Trust. Our extended project team includes field recorder and sound artist, David De La Haye and the Self-Publishing Lab at Sunderland University.


The BE THE SEA project centres around three methods to foreground listening:

  • Attunement field-recording activities that zone in on the non-human sounds of the coastal seascape through listening and recording.

  • Resonance deep listening activities and voice/instrumental activities that use imaginative and creative strategies to develop an empathic and reflective relationship with the coastal seascape.

  • Resilience sound collage activities leading to a publication and composition that engenders ongoing stewardship of the coastal seascape.

Participants can join the BE THE SEA project to learn how to connect to the coastal seascape through sound-based art practices. We will learn skills in acoustic ecology, deep listening, field recording and expanded collage that will lead towards the collaborative development of a publication of “Instructions for Listening” to the marine environment and a series of sound-based sharing events. 

BE THE SEA is inspired by theoretical practices of Deep Listening and Acoustic Ecology in the work of Pauline Oliveros, Hildegard Westerkamp, Stephanie Loveless, Barry Truax and Bernie Krause.


Sea AIR is part of SeaScapes Co/Lab, a two-year creative engagement project for SeaScapes, which is led by University of Sunderland. Sea AIR brings SeaScape partners together with artists, academics and coastal communities to explore ways we can connect to our natural, cultural and industrial marine heritage through socially engaged artistic and creative practices.

Participant contributors to the BE THE SEA project:

David Miller

Julie Lane

Alice Highet

Emma Mehta 

Darmendra Mehta

John Timney

Penny Riley-Smith