A new four-track EP ‘Marconi and the Lizard’ by musician and producer Joe Acheson is being released today following a week-long National Trust sound residency on the Lizard staying in the aptly named Wireless Cottage, in Cornwall in August 2015.
The first-ever Trust sound residency, which was based at the hut where Guglielmo Marconi broadcast the ship-to-shore radio transmission on the beautiful south Cornish coast, was part of the ‘Sounds of our Shores’ project that ran during the summer of 2015.
Joe Acheson said: “It was a privilege to record sounds that are disappearing from the Lizard, such as the old foghorn and the decommissioned spark transmitter.
“Making music that is so deeply-connected to one specific location brought its own resonance to the project. Like the food philosophy, ‘what grows together, goes together’, sounds from one place naturally work well with each other.”
Acheson spent a week exploring a coast full of coves and cliffs in wild summer weather to capture the sounds of the most southerly part of the UK. Taking inspiration from the Cornish landscape and the people who work in it, Acheson’s EP incorporates sounds of a now decommissioned lighthouse foghorn and fishermen chatting over ships’ radio.
Catherine Lee, National Trust Community and Volunteering Officer on the Lizard, said: “Joe Acheson’s recordings bring the rugged beauty of the Lizard to life. Living and working here you get used to the sounds of the weather and the sea. These familiar sounds, which I never consciously notice, jumped out of Acheson’s music.
“Acheson transports you back in time to 1901 to the Lizard of Guglielmo Marconi. History seeps into the compositions, with the lighthouse spark generator which has now been taken out of use and lobster pot weaving, a traditional practice now only used by a select few. These sounds might have been lost to history had they not been recorded, shared and celebrated as part of the National Trust’s first ever sound residency.”
Joe’s EP will be available for digital download from the Tru Thoughts website and iTunes or for streaming on Spotify.
‘Sounds of our Shores’ was a collaboration between the Trust, British Library and National Trust for Scotland. The project saw more than 680 sounds uploaded on to a crowd-sourced sound map, helping to capture a sonic journey around the 10,800 miles of UK coastline. All of these sounds have now been added to the British Library Sound Archive.
You can listen to the sounds submitted by visiting the sound map on the British Library website here