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BE THE SEA is a project originally 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. Our contributors and supporters include Women's Health in South Tyneside, Durham Wildlife Trust, Autism Able, Stronger Shores and Research England. 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, sharing what the coastal seascape means for local communities and engendering ongoing stewardship of the coast.

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.

Participant contributors to the BE THE SEA project:

Alex Inkster

Alice Highet

Amanda Bell

Angela Filipe

The staff and group members of Autism Able

Benjamin Lockhart

Beth Carruthers

Brian Degger

Cameron Stoddart

Jake Lockhart

David Miller

Dharmendra Mehta

Donna di Stefano

Dorinda Kealoha

Emily Balfour

Emily Ross

Emma Bacon

Eve Megginson

Glenda Young

Harriet Rust-Graham

Hazel Young

Hollie-Anne Morgan

J Shearer

Ian Graham

James Gorringe

Jayne Daglish

John Timney

Julie Lane

Julie Ballands

Karen Daglish

Lily Daniels

Liz Young

Lottie Simpson

Penny Riley-Smith

Peter Clar

Rachel Wiborg

Ros Day

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.


Instructions for NonHuman Listening

publication now available


20 July - 30 November 2023

The Word, UK

5 June 2023, 10-3pm

Embodying Sound 2

Workshop at Souter Lighthouse

22 May 2023, 10-3pm

Embodying Sound

Workshop at Souter Lighthouse

3rd April 2023

Sound Walk, Field Recording and

Sound Collage Part 2

Location: The Wherry and Souter Lighthouse

2nd April 2023

Sound Walk, Field Recording and

Sound Collage Part 1

Location: Sandhaven Beach and The Word

11 March 2023

BE THE SEA Introductory Meeting, South Shields

22 March 2022

World Water Day Workshop on Roker Beach

29 October 2021

Virtual Coastal Meditation on

28 October 2021

Intro to BE THE SEA on

16 November 2021

Sound Walk and Field Recording at Hendon Beach

17 November 2021

Sound Walk and Audio Editing Workshop

Roker Pier and Sunderland University 

18 November 2021

Sound Walk and Sound Score Making Workshop

Roker Beach and Self-Publishing Lab, Sunderland University

24 July 2021

Sound Walk and Field Recording with

Durham Wildlife Trust Beach Rangers

13 June 2021

Research Sound Walk with

Durham Wildlife Trust Northern Explorers

BE THE SEA is also supported by The Word, Stronger Shores and the Environment Agency's Flood and coastal resilience innovation programme.

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