The Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter has announced a new project, SoundTracks, which will see the creation of audio guides of local walks.

The museum’s curator Tom Cadbury has been working alongside local sound artist Emma Welton to create the project which will explore the past and present of the area’s Green Circle walking routes.

The walks will explore the history and archaeology of the area, and are intended to improve participants’ wellbeing through connection with nature and reflection.

The project comes from Creative Arc, a collaboration between the University of Exeter, Exeter City Council and RAMM to explore how the museum and its collections can “help shape a better Exeter”.

SoundTracks will bring groups of local Exeter people together this autumn to explore their interests through nature walks along the Green Circle network of paths and lanes.

Community members such as mother and baby groups, local history groups, schoolchildren and local ramblers will be invited to take part in routes around Exwick, Redhills and Mincinglake.

Welton is a composer and performs on violin and viola. Her practice includes leading creative listening workshops and walks, and her previous Exeter Sound Walks have featured on BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme.

Welton said: “Rather than highlight sonic beauty spots, I spend equal time with sounds that we turn away from or filter out. I ask, what is the music? How is it made? What happens if we move or is revealed when we wait? Are there patterns? As quiet as I try to be, I hear my breathing, footsteps, clothing. I hear myself as part of an endless realtime composition.

Listening can reveal our relationships with each other, and with all of nature.”

SoundTracks is informed by research into the benefits of nature on wellbeing by the University of Exeter Professors James Clark and Stephen Rippon. Rippon is a landscape archaeologist whose work includes the Exeter: a Place in Time (EAPIT) project with RAMM.

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