The Ambient Isolation project was started in March 2020 to capture the sonic changes that occurred to our environment during the Covid lockdown of 2020.
I live less than 3 miles from Hyde Park in London, England, so I'm very used to the constant background level of noise that comes with living centrally in a major city. When the lockdown began, I immediately noticed the background noise dramatically reduce as people changed their daily habits and isolated themselves.
With my 2 children suddenly off school and keen to find a project that I could do with my 10 year old daughter, we struck upon the idea of using my contacts within the film industry and via social media, to ask people to make audio recordings of the sonic changes they were experiencing, wherever they happened to be in the world.
Initially we hoped to get recordings from 20-30 people but it quickly turned into something much bigger. Submissions started arriving from March 23rd and after the first 2 weeks alone, we'd already received sounds from over 30 people, with many of the them sharing multiple recordings from multiple locations. As we moved through April and May the submissions continued to come in and by the time we got to the beginning of June we had over 1500 sounds from over 180 people in nearly 40 countries.
Listening back over the recordings now, those that were made in these first couple of weeks of the project are some of the most interesting and peaceful of the lockdown, ironically I feel this is due to the anxiety that people were feeling about the pandemic and this manifested itself in people not only staying at home but even within their own isolated spaces, keeping very quiet.
Currently a single recording from each contributor lives as an MP3 clip on this website. along with any pictures they supplied. My hope is that in 2 years time, all those that submitted sounds can revisit and record at their locations again, giving us a chance to hear the differences that the lockdown gave us.
If at a future date, an installation can be created to highlight the amazing recordings and remind us of the amazing sonic experience that happened during this strange time, I'd be sure it would be a fascinating experience.
A library of the submitted sounds will be available soon to purchase for a charitable donation to The National Autistic Society in the UK.
Thank you and stay safe.