COVID-19_Belfast City: Lockdown 3

Varoutsos ( Georgios Varoutsos )
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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. This project began on Friday, March 27, 2020, during Lockdown 1, after a year of different lockdowns, we were now in Lockdown 3 on Saturday, March 27, 2021. These recordings reflect the one year of changes due to Covid-19 on our urban spaces. Re-capturing the same first 10 locations from a year prior.

Refer to Covid-19_Belfast City: Lockdown 1 for initial listening comparison:

The project maintains the same recording constrictions of using my one daily activity of walking around the city of Belfast and quickly recording various local or touristic points of interest with aid of the 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 this lockdown is officially lifted, there will be an additional soundscape recording to compare and reflect the changes of these areas such as the Exit Strategies recorded in Summer 2020. There is also the attempt to try and record the locations as close to the same times as the year before.

For this project, the points of interest are (Hyperlinked to Wikipedia Pages):

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– 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- 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.

Scroll to Northern Ireland and you will see all files I have recorded.

3- 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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