October, 2021

Smallfolk Foundsounds, created in Coventry June - October '21, worked with children between 2 - 5 years to record sounds of their local environments through self-organised sound walks using a flexible set of prompts. The piece was commissioned by Noortje Marres of the Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies of The University of Warwick for their project 'What does the future sound like? Sampling sounds of Coventry’s future' and works with five sets of families. Let's Animate studio facilitated the created of the animation.

We hear the future sounds of the city through young ears and imaginations, enabling us to celebrate the extraordinary ways young folk interpret what they encounter. At the same time we wished to disrupt traditional adult-led methodologies and (in)accessibilities that are found within academia and the art world when responding to conceptual ideas. Read a blog post about our first meeting here.

Within the project we hoped to encourage an active listening in young children, broadening their horizons of the expansive world of sound and their sensory awarenesses and attention to detail. The project was intended to be playful: we encouraged performance, considerations of the surreality of the city, what we can express and learn through role-play, and how we can make sense of things through using nonsense! We also wanted to gently highlight to children the changes and conditions of the world around them and the importance of noticing, challenging and reflecting in their own unique and optimistic ways.

Many thanks to all involved in supporting the creation of the video: Noortje Marres, Gemma Foy, Eole (2), Bodhi (3), Kitty (3), Rubin (4), Violet (5), Jb Vincent, Rachel and Paul Lumsden, Geeta Sarcar, Claire Coughlin-Hammond, Marc Hammond, Matthew Wishart and Andrew Hollows.