Listening to the Port
Speculative Soundwalk, 2023
Welcome to Listening to the Port.
This is a Speculative Soundwalk. You are invited to navigate a loop around the Port at your own pace, using your own device and headphones, listening to soundscapes that imagine the history and possible future of the region.
You will be directed to follow established footpaths alongside traffic and other pedestrians. Please remain aware of your surroundings and prioritise safety.
Scroll down for access guide and more information.
Yertabulti, the area around Port River, the land on which this soundwalk was made, is the ancestral lands of the Kaurna People of the Adelaide Plains. I acknowledge and pay respect to the Traditional Owners of this country, to elders past and present. Sovereignty was never ceded. I acknowledge and pay respect to Kaurna spiritual beliefs and connections to land, which are of continuing importance to the living Kaurna people today.
Listening to the Port is designed to be heard on site at Port Adelaide, following the path as directed by the voiceover. Please use headphones.
The piece will take 35 - 40 minutes. The route is approximately 1.9km, beginning and ending at Post Office Projects. The track contains calm first-person narration, field recordings, ambient music and realistic sound effects. You will be given verbal instructions to navigate a specific route: from Post Office Projects down St Vincent Street, to the Old Loading Ramp, around past Hart’s Mill Playground, along the river past the Queens Wharf, ending at the Port Adelaide Lighthouse. Pathways are wide and comprised of pavers or concrete. There is one section of slightly rougher gravel but if required you can navigate to either side of it, and it should not impact the story or pacing. You can go at your own pace. There are opportunities to stop and rest throughout the piece, allowing audience members to get back in sync with the audio and each other. You will be asked to pause the track when you need to focus on crossing the road. You can pause it and be still at any other moment if you want a break.
Listening to the Port deals with topics that may be difficult for listeners. It addresses the historical impact of colonisation on ecology, present-day impacts of climate change, and speculative impacts of climate change in the future. There are some vivid descriptions of ecological impacts on everyday life, e.g. extreme heat, fire, flooding, pollution, erosion, and extreme weather. There are no descriptions of violence towards people. No individual people are named, and historical events are not described in detail.
The piece is designed to be heard through headphones. Noise cancelling is optional but not necessary. With particular headphones (e.g. AirPod Pro), some users may experience head tracking due to binaural panning. The narrative voiceover should be panned centre, and navigation instructions will be panned to the right.
What did you think?
Listening to the Port is supported by Carclew Youth Arts, Open Space Contemporary Arts, Post Office Project Gallery and Studios and Dr Jesse Budel. I am currently developing Speculative Soundwalking with the support of a Carclew Fellowship. To assist with my research I would love to hear your thoughts about the work.