A collection of past works, projects, collaborations, commissions and personal explorations in sound & nature.
Quiet Parks International is a non-profit committed to saving quiet for the benefit of all life, recognising the immediate need for identifying and protecting endangered locations because quiet places are quickly becoming extinct.
Since April 2023, volunteering as a regional representative for Provence (France), I have been engaged in documenting public parks and wilderness areas to be considered for QPI certification following the Quiet Parks International Standards.
You can follow my fieldwork by clicking on the links provided below :
earth.fm is a non-profit, free repository of pure, immersive natural soundscapes and a fundraising platform for local, grassroots charities that support the restoration of our natural world.
"Wind Is the Original Radio" is a podcast series aimed at helping us to connect to ourselves and to our earth by deep listening to natural soundscapes. Based on empirical evidence as well as numerous recent studies from all over the world, listening to natural soundscapes (particularly mindful listening) has a great positive impact on our wellbeing, and potentially on our respect for nature.
Deep, rolling waves.
Carrying the ocean’s song to the shore
Smooth pebbles caressed by time
We can hear the ocean waves rolling in at high tide, but what creates that wonderful deep roar are the wooden groynes that have been installed along the beach shoreline. They create resistance to the force of the ocean and reduce the amount of longshore drift, helping sand to build up in front of the cliffs. They have been constructed to preserve the shoreline and to protect the dunes and cliffs from erosion. The cliff retreats an average of approx. 2m per year here. Erosion is a natural and beautiful process in and of itself, and one that inevitably occurs over the passing of time. Intervention techniques such as groynes can be used to add an element of control to the situation, and for me demonstrates a constructive collaboration between man, technology and nature which demonstrates how we can create sustainable spaces for future generations to benefit from.
North Sea Waves was recorded by Mat Eric Hart at Overstrand Beach in Norfolk, England. February 2023.
Here I lay down to listen to the rolling waves
Lapping against the ancient cliffs
Small wrens echo in the valley
The word calanque (from Provençal calanco) refers to a valley dug by a river, then recovered by the sea.
A peaceful pebbly cove, looking out on the Mediterranean Sea to the West of the coastal town of La Ciotat.
Recorded by Mat Eric Hart at Calanques de Figuerolles in La Ciotat, France. October 2022.
Johnny Hawaii (Hang On To Your Echo) invite ce mois-ci Mat Eric Hart aka Sonic Tapestries, artiste, producteur et field recordist londonien basé en Provence depuis quelques années.
Embarquez pour une heure de musique ambient cosmique en haute altitude!
Interactive sonic voyage presented by the Radiophonic Travel Agency, a collaborative project of The BBC's Radiophonic Workshop featuring original field recordings taken from the Mat Eric Hart Japan Collection supported by The British Library Sound Archive.
"Hiking With The Yamabushi Mountain Monks" invites the listener to discover the inner realms and wonders of the holy mountain monks of Yamagata - the Yamabushi - ancient protectors of nature and spirits. Join them on their journey through the sacred Dewa Sanzan mountains, sit with them under night skies and hear their voices echo through the forest...
Sound installation for a multidisciplinary, multi-sensory exhibition commissioned by the tourism office of Bouches-du-Rhòne in partnership with the eco-design agency Canopée exploring the natural environments of four communes of Southern France - Miramas, Istres, Martigues & Salon-de-Provence.
This sonic journey invites the listener to discover the hidden and traditional worlds found in these pockets of Provencal history. From the banks of Étang de Berre to the ancient Roman shepherd flatlands of Le Crau, through the lush forests, weekend markets and port villages.
This piece has been mixed, presented and recommended for headphone listening.
Featured presentation "L'esprit de l'écoute" at Forum des Paysagistes Sonores organised by the association
PePaSon in partnership with La Semaine du Son de L'UNESCO.
"Mat Eric Hart donne à entendre le fruit de voyages plus lointains. Sur la montagne Haguro, au nord du Japon dans la région sacrée de Yamagata, sa pratique de l’enregistrement s’apparente à une forme de méditation."
Fieldwave, Vol. 2 is the second release in Nonclassical's compilation series produced by broadcaster and sound collector Nick Luscombe.
Bringing together artists with field recording at the heart of their work, this second volume focuses on the sounds of Japan, with tracks from Japanese musicians and from British artists who have gathered recordings via trips to Japan.
“A window into the world of field recordings and wider acoustic ecology, via the work of recordists, sound artists and musicians from around the world", says Nick Luscombe, "For this, the second volume of Fieldwave, I decided to look to Japan as inspiration – surely one of the most sonically rich places on earth."
"All the tracks are delightful, but my favourite is the one Mat Eric Hart conjured from sounds recorded around Mount Haguro, a holy mountain which is full of shrines to half-forgotten deities. You hear water, the sound of footsteps, wind in the trees and suddenly the most extraordinary haunting cry. It’s probably one of the ascetic devotees of the Shugendo religion who live on the mountain blowing a horogai, a conch-shell trumpet blown to aid meditation. But to my English ears it sounded thrillingly like Tennyson's “horns of Elfland faintly blowing”. It’s a burst of something rich and strange, which comes as a shock amidst so much quietly ordinary beauty."
Collecting the sounds of woodlands and forests from all around the world, creating a growing soundmap bringing together aural tones and textures from the world’s woodlands. These sounds form an open source library, to be used by anyone to listen to and create from.
Presented at Timber Festival 2021
Recording of Mt. Haguro forest ambience standing in front of the ancient Granpa cedar tree known as Jijisugi (爺杉). The flow of the Haraigawa river can be heard amongst the evening chorus of native forest wildlife including the evening cicada known as higurashi (茅蜩) (tanna japonensis), and the large brown cicada known as abura-zemi (油蝉) (graptopsaltria nigrofuscata).
Interview with Radio Pays d'Herault following the screening of the documentary "L'esprit des Lieux" at Le Sonambule in Gignac as part of the 22nd edition of the documentary film month, in partnership with the Communauté de communes Vallée de l'Hérault and the Réseau des bibliothèques de la Vallée de l'Hérault.
'The screening of the film was followed by an exchange with Mat Eric Hart who explores the fields of natural recording and composes original soundscapes. His conception of sound art leads him to a practice deeply rooted in listening and connecting with the natural world. A meditative and sensitive journey where only the sounds around us matter."
What can we learn about culture, society and environment through sound? In this special online talk, artist and sound recordist Mat Eric Hart and DJ, field recordist and broadcaster Nick Luscombe will take us on an auditory journey across Japan. Field recording has been growing in popularity in recent years as it offers different ways to listen to our world, whether it is through the representation of ethnomusicological recordings, environmental documentaries, or the presentation of natural or urban soundscapes as music.
The Belfry Centre, Overstrand, Norfolk, UK
During the lockdowns from September 2020 to July 2021 this Labyrinth was drawn on the beach in Overstrand at each new moon as a symbol of hope, so that we could connect to each other whilst we were unable to meet in person. The beach Labyrinth was then brought into the Belfry Arts Centre for an exhibition during the summer of 2021 in the form of a wooden labyrinth accompanied by a prepared soundscape featuring original field recordings made at Overstrand beach by Mat Eric Hart.
The exhibition was also a commemoration of those who lost their lives during the pandemic.
The final work being pieced together as our lives and community were also gradually pieced back together again.
The single path of a labyrinth from the outside to the centre and back out again feeds a human need for time, space, ritual, symbolism, prayer or meditation. As such it transcends all religious and spiritual beliefs.
Sound recordist for this episode of the Eat, Move,Think podcast, hosted by Medcan CEO Shaun Francis and produced by Ghost Bureau.
Recorded on location in Aix-en-Provence, France.
Prepared soundscapes using field recordings made during a series of field recording workshops exploring the sound worlds of trees. p
Presented by Mat Eric Hart and organised by Phonurgia Nova in partnership with the Bibliothèque Départementale CD13 Bouches-du-Rhòne.
Held at the Médiathèque Municipale Marc Mielly in Noves, Médiathèque Isidore Rollande in Châteaurenard and Médiathèque of Saint Martin de Crau.
If a tree falls in a forest, and no-one is there to hear it, does it make a sound? Caroline Steel speaks to experts in hearing, biology, philosophy, physics and sound design, which takes her to some unexpected places. Professor Stefan Bleek is an expert in psychoacoustics who says that sounds only exist in our heads. Dr Eleanor Knox and Dr Bryan Roberts are philosophers that make her question if anything exists outside our own perception. Professor Lilach Hadany wonders if it’s limited to humans and animals - could other plants hear the falling tree too? And Mat Eric Hart is a sound designer who says that sound is subjective – it’s always tangled up with our own interpretations. Things get truly weird as we delve into the strange implications of quantum physics. If there is such a thing as reality, doesn’t it change when we’re there to observe it?
Does the tree even fall if we aren’t there? Presented by Caroline Steel and produced by Anand Jagatia for the BBC World Service.
A collaboration between the organic Provençal brasserie Aquae Maltae and the League for the Protection of Birds (LPO) and the Regional Center for the Safeguarding of Wildlife based in Buoux (Luberon).
Directed by Camille Ai
Music & Sound by Mat Eric Hart
"Air cannot be seen, but can be felt by its movement. This installation is an instrument that makes the air element palpable. The movement of the pendulums are triggered by wind that pushes the leaflike panels at the top. Once the pendulum is in motion, it creates differing lights, sounds, and wind prompting unique experience for each visitor." [Archicomplex]
Emmanuel Mieville, Kwan Queenie Li, Satria Adiyasa Anggapradja, Ghoniyya Hamida, Joseph Kamaru Mwangi, Christina Hazboun, Levi C Masuli, Tini Aliman, Miguel Buendia, Heu Heu, Pipatpong Seepeng, Emma-Kate Matthews, Luke Poulson, Mat Eric Hart, Frances Ulman, Sarah King [sculpted + produced by MSCTY_STUDIO]
Shortlisted for the "Best Artificial Sound" category of the Sound of the Year Awards 2020 presented by The Museum Of Sound in partnership with The New BBC Radiophonic Workshop.
"I imagine this sound to be what we would hear if we could poke our heads under the ground and submerge our ears in the deep root network of trees. I have often attempted to record the sounds of trees, and even recently have been leading field recording workshops exploring this very practice. Though the practice is often challenging! With this sound, I wanted to create a space that would sound natural, despite its artificial nature. The source of this sound was created using a single contact microphone placed on the central stem of a pine cone. With my fingers I manipulated the scales, much like a kalimba player would to play the instrument. I then used an array of multiple effects in editing, including reverb, time stretching and frequency modulation to create the finished sound."
Sound recordist for this episode of the Talent Takes Practice podcast, produced by New Era Ingenious Ltd. featuring guest contributor Cesc Fabregas. Recorded on location in Monaco, France.
Sound editor for A Breath of Fresh Tea podcast, produced by Martyn Fowler, Oliver Rabie, Jay Catalano and Leon Johnson.
Radiophonic piece for the 2021 International Sound Art Festival "60 Secondes Radio"
I once visited an old traditional Japanese ryokan inn named Tamanoi, in the small seaside town of Tsuyazaki, Fukuoka.
Whilst there, I was graced with the presence of its owner - Mr. Fuminori Abe - and whilst recording our conversation, I noticed a beautiful sound world unfolding around us. In the near stillness, close to silence, this old inn seemed to breathe. I began to feel a kind of presence; a spirit of place. With this work I wanted to explore this experience using only recordings made during this brief interview, evoking this mysterious communication between worlds.
Original sound design, foley and score by Mat Eric Hart.
Interpretation of Ridley Scott's original Alien (1979) opening sequence.
Original sound design, foley and score by Mat Eric Hart.
Webradio station Radio Zaï based in Aix-en-Provence launched in Spring 2021.
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