Back Yard

LIVE STREAM - Back Yard, Loughborough Junction, South London

Everyday sounds from a back yard in Loughborough Junction, South London. A small patch of trees and vegetation surrounded by gardens, buildings, roads, train tracks, not far from the centre of the city.

Ad hoc rewilding project on an accidental patch of land left over between developments, tacked on the back of the last house in a terrace. 'Unresolved patch of the planetary garden' (3rd landscape - Gilles Clément). Experimental field of the acoustic commons.

Sounds from hens, nearby schoolyard at recess, the Cambria pub, adjoining houses and backyards, a neighbour playing drums in his shed. Traffic. Planes on the approach to Heathrow International airport. Wrens, woodpigeons, goldfinches, blackbirds, crows, magpies, starlings, other birds, especially in Spring. Bees. Squirrels. Sirens. Helicopters. Domestic sounds.

Live stream on the Locus Sonus open microphone network, mainly continouous since September 2011 with a series of devices developed in collaboration with Locus Sonus and SoundCamp with input from Udo Noll at Radio Aporee and Max Baraitser Smith, using the open source streaming software Darkice by Ákos Maróy, Rafael Diniz and others.

Microphones based on the Primo EM-172 capsule (with thanks to Zach Poff).

For a period in 2015-16 the stream included an application developed by/with Christian Nold to send live decibel data to Xively, generating a graph of noise under the Heathrow flight path, which supplemented the live audio feed.

The current device uses streambox software slightly modified from the Locus Sonus disk image 3.1 by Stef Cousot et al. It runs on a Rasp Pi 3 with a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Gen 2 USB audio interface and custom microphones based on four Primo capsules. The streambox is housed in a dribox with the microphones installed in the walls under the overhanging lid, and synthetic fur and foam windscreens. A roofing slate overhangs to protect the microphones from rain. The box uses Power over Ethernet from a socket indoors linked to a router via mains wiring. The whole system runs on a solar array on the roof of the house.


Grant Smith, Cambria Road Projects, Soundcamp


Streambox how-to