Sonic heritage of Singleton amplified in latest laneway activation

Published on 01 November 2021

The next instalment in Singleton’s Living Laneways activation program is set to kick off in Tre Bella Lane next month and everyone is encouraged to participate.

Launching in December 2021, ‘Acoustic Alley’ is a soundscape experience powered by the University of Newcastle's Future Art, Science and Technology Lab that invites people to record the sounds of Singleton on their smartphone and submit it online. The sounds will then be played out of context in the laneway in an activation designed to connect people with the sonic heritage of Singleton.

Vicki Brereton, Council’s Director Organisation and Community Capacity said the activation was the perfect opportunity for people to get involved in a public art experiment while promoting greater engagement with the town centre. 

“Building on the amazing work by local mural artist Sally Hinchcliffe that was painted last year, Tre Bella Laneway will become ‘Acoustic Alley’ in December where, by using movement-activated sensors, we will play the sounds of Singleton that will make people stop and think ‘what’s that sound?’,” she said. 

“Sound can be just as important as sight when it comes to arts and culture – and this activation is designed to surprise people, to be disruptive and to make people stop and think.

“This time it’s not about looks, it’s all about the feelings that are provoked by what we hear – whether the sounds are familiar and take us to a particular place, or draw us to new experiences.”

Ms Brereton said this was an opportunity to be part of an interactive art piece that will be seen and heard by thousands of people - and getting involved is as easy as a click of a button on your smart phone. 

“Simply record something that is typical of our area – it could be a coal train rumbling past, the trickle of the river, cicadas or a bird, a gym class, cows in a field or even the sound of the reel on your fishing rod as you pull in a bass at Lake St Clair – the sky really is the limit. Use your sound memo app to record it and upload it to our website,” she said.

“We are really looking forward to our community participating in and being inspired by this cutting-edge activation.”

Professor Paul Egglestone, Head of School of Creative Industries and Director of FASTLab at the University of Newcastle said Acoustic Alley would be an wonderful demonstration of how “making art brings people together to celebrate their creative identities”. 

“It’s a real privilege to partner with Singleton Council on such a brilliant project that connects the community to our artists and researchers who all share a passion for what’s happening here,” he said.

“This time we’re listening rather than looking and the sounds that people are sharing all contribute to creating a more complete picture of Singleton which never exists in total silence – it’s inspiring!” 

The Singleton Living Laneways program is funded by a NSW Government Streets as Shared Spaces grant.