New Forest Sounds
Bringing the sounds of England’s New Forest National Park to you wherever you are.
Hello, it’s nice to have you here.
New Forest Sounds invites you to immerse yourself in the sounds of the beautiful New Forest National Park in Southern England. From bubbling streams, birdsong and natural sounds, to the bustle of our villages and peaceful ambient music. It’s good for you too — research suggests that bringing the sounds of nature into your life can be very beneficial; it’s widely proven to significantly reduce anxiety and stress levels.
There’s more about how to enjoy the website and get around in the paragraph below, but before you do, simply try this…
What you’ll find within.
As you begin to explore New Forest Sounds, you’ll come across field-recorded soundscapes, together with unusual sound art pieces the have been manipulated from forest sounds and then handmade into something new, often using historic reel to reel tape machines and techniques.
Added to that, you’ll find quiet and pensive ambient music that is 100% forest inspired, and sometimes combines musical sounds with natural soundscapes to produce its relaxing effect.
It’s all completely free.
The whole site is a not-for-profit activity and entirely free for everyone. If you like it, then try to visit regularly, because more new sounds are being added bit by bit, as I record, compose and produce them. If you wish, you can subscribe so that you get an email whenever a new sound is added to the collection. You’ll find a button to do this at the bottom of this page, and also on the menu bar. Connect up some speakers or pop on a set of headphones, and let New Forest Sounds bring the forest to you, wherever you are.
In the news and media.
New Forest Sounds has been featured on BBC Television News, BBC Local Radio, Go New Forest (the official tourism website for the area), The Countryman Magazine, The Lymington Times, Forest FM and across Social Media.
I produced the theme music for the New Forest National Park Authority’s Forest Awakening Festival, and supplied several sound pieces. They also shot a video of me manipulating sound and music in my forest studio. You can find it online. The sound archive is also now being used by The New Forest National Park Authority for their productions and promotions.
New Forest Sounds provided ambient background music for a week-long ‘Art From the Heart’ exhibition in Brockenhurst, which also featured one of my audio/visual installations.
A carefully-curated selection of the sounds have been added to New Forest Knowledge, the website developed by the New Forest Heritage Centre and others as a gateway to information about the forest, which seeks to ensure that its unique cultural heritage is available to all. It provides access to New Forest information held in catalogues, databases, maps and repositories both locally and nationally.
The site has also led to the production of several, sixty-minute programmes for New Forest Hospital Radio featuring the sounds. Through the site, I’ve become a presenter on One World Music Radio, hosting regular city-minute shows for the station featuring the sounds.
I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who is supporting this initiative and spreading the word. But above all, I hope you personally find New Forest Sounds enjoyable. Quite simply, it’s been my reason for creating it.
How to listen to the sounds.
Just go to the Sound Selector in the main menu and then click on a cloud category that you fancy exploring. Scroll the resulting list and pick a sound to listen to.
The Sound Player has a start button on the left. Click it to play the sound. Click it again to pause. You can see the progress of the sound on the playback bar. There’s also a handy time display.
If you’re a regular visitor and would like to find out what new pieces I’ve been adding to the site since your last visit, just click on Recent Sounds in the main menu. The most recent pieces appear at the top of list, and everything here is in upload date order.
Another way to use the site is to try the Keyword Search box on the main menu to make explorations and just see what comes up. Type something in and press return on your computer. Any sounds that are associated with the word you enter will be displayed. Click on the title to load the sound (otherwise the Sound Player won’t appear), then start the Player in the normal way.
I’m also gradually adding podcasts, which are their own complete little radio shows, where I introduce some of the audio materials and take you on sound journeys around The New Forest from your favourite armchair. Simply select ‘podcast’ from the Sound Selector to find these. My podcasts are available through the Apple Podcasts app and Spotify Podcasts too.
Finally, if you click Playlists on the main menu, you’ll find a range of themed playlists that I’ve curated from the sounds. Each of these play just like an album.
Incidentally, some natural soundscape sounds are set to play in a continuous loop until you press stop, so that you can let the forest immerse you for as long as you want.
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