COVID-19_Belfast City: Lockdown 1

Varoutsos ( Georgios Varoutsos )
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[ private ] 
In the midst of a global pandemic, countries and cities have become literal ghost towns. Once flustered with sounds from human activities, this has now been overtaken from the subtle industrial, mechanical, and natural environment sounds. On Friday, March 27, 2020, the 5th day of the official lockdown in the UK, I used my one daily activity of walking around the city of Belfast and quickly recorded various local or touristic points of interest with aid of VisitBelfast’s visitor map. Each of the soundscapes lasts two minutes because of the strict lockdown measurements set by the government, only allowing us to be outside for limited periods of time for essential grocery shopping, a daily activity, work, or health-related. Once the quarantine and lockdown have been officially lifted, there will be an additional soundscape recording to compare and reflect the changes in these areas.

For this project, the points of interest are:

Queen’s University Belfast
Shaftesbury Square
Great Victoria Street
Belfast City Hall
Arthur Square
The Entries
St-Anne’s Cathedral
Commercial Court
Albert Memorial Clock
Botanic Gardens

Additional Contributions
1– NI Science Festival: BEHIND THE SOUND | Sounding Belfast During Covid-19 (

During a global pandemic, countries and cities have become literal ghost towns. Once flustered with sounds from human activities, it has now been overtaken from the once subtle industrial, urban, and natural sound environments. Recording multiple points during the lockdown, we are able to chronologically experience the differences imposed by Covid-19 restrictions and how these spaces have changed from the start of the global pandemic.
This project reflects through an auditory and sonic art perspective how the city sounds like without the presence of humans or the normal amount of human density in popular areas in public spaces of Belfast.

This project is accessible via Echoes (GPS soundwalks):

2- COVID-19 Sound Map (

Project 1: COVID-19_Belfast City has now been included on Prof. Pete Stollery’s COVID-19 Sound Map.

3- Cities and Memory (

This sound map is part of Cities and Memory: #StayHomeSounds is a global field recording & sound art work that presents both the present reality of a place and an alternative, reimagined sound world – remixing the world, one sound at at time.

4- Science + Media Museum Present: Sounds of my quarantine (

To celebrate the #WorldListeningDay on 18th July 2020, the Science and Media Museum has launched a collaborative map of the sounds of quarantine! Share with us what you have been listening to in lockdown: what sounds have kept you in touch, cheered you up, calmed you down, made you think, brought back memories, inspired you for the future? You can can share on the map audio files, pictures, videos, YouTube/Soundcloud links, and any other web content!

5- Radio Aporee – Soundscapes in the Pandemic: (

The platform radio aporee is online since about 2000, the project radio aporee ::: maps has started 2006. it is a global soundmap dedicated to field recording, phonography and the art of listening. it connects sound recordings to its places of origin, in order to create a sonic cartography, publicly accessible as a collaborative project. It contains recordings from numerous urban, rural and natural environments, disclosing their complex shape and sonic conditions, as well as the different perceptions, practices and artistic perspectives of its many contributors. this makes it a valuable resource for art, education and research projects, and for your personal pleasure.

In addition to aspects of collecting, archiving and sound-mapping, the radio aporee platform also invokes experiments at the boundaries of different media and public space. within this notion, radio means both a technology in transition and a narrative. it constitutes a field whose qualities are connectivity, contiguity and exchange. concepts of transmitter/ receiver and performer/ listener may become transparent and reversible. 
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