COVID-19_Belfast City: Lockdown 2

Varoutsos ( Georgios Varoutsos )
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Listening Soundscape Study 2
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. After Lockdown 1, which began March 23, 2020, and eased in early June 2020, Belfast entered another lockdown deemed as Lockdown 2 issued for October 16, 2020, at 6pm in which all hospitality sector businesses were to close for a period of one month. This project records the transition prior, during, and after entering this new phase lockdown and highlighting some of the areas or business sectors affected by the closures. Each of the soundscapes lasts two minutes to follow the same project protocol from my first project and how restrictions were in place for daily exercise.

For the Lockdown 2 project, the points of interest are:

Belfast City Hall
Cathedral Quarter
Church Lane (Mentioned in VisitBelfast’s Pub Trail in Belfast)
Dublin Road (Part of The Golden Mile)
Laverys Bar Belfast (Mentioned in Disover NI for Food & Drink)
Queen’s Arcade (Shopping)
Queen’s University Belfast

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 (

COVID-19_Belfast City: Lockdown 2 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- 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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