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Brunswick Square Gardens was empty this morning except for a circle of exchange students trading stories about English habits of life, and a long-haired older man walking in circles, puffing on a joint and coughing vigorously. Despite the tall brick buildings around the square I was able to capture a relatively clear image of the UK and the middle of the continent. Yet I failed to recognise the impending rain that would baffle all predictions for the day's weather. Later in the afternoon, at a seminar where three of my PhD students were presenting their work while weather brewed above, ideas of the planetary were discussed in relation to sonic geographies. One of my students is building networks of 'live audio streams' as an investigative tool to listen to sites of extraction, and another is listening across great timespans and timelines through conservtion bioacoustics archives, through which scientists trace the changing compositions of species in landscapes, and observe how the memory of sound is intergenerational, held in the bodies of animals (even non vocal animals) in ways that far exceeds individual lifetimes. As I listened quietly, resisting the urge to speak as the rest of the research group asked probing questions, I reflected on the different modes of planetary 'stretching' and 'scaling' being enacted in their work, and the devices they were using, from DIY audio streamers to experimental notation systems. The climate crisis requires us to 'stretch' and 'scale' but sometimes our conceptual frameworks scale unevenly or in unexpected ways. By the time we had celebrated the seminar and had dinner, the brewing weather had arrived, and it was pouring (an event that had not been predicted on any platform I had checked which suggested 35 percent light rain). I cycled home for 40 minutes, at times coasting through rivers of water that came up to my standing knee. Of course I had also worn my nice white trousers. I felt thoroughly stuck in space-time, unable to stretch or extend, each peddle bringing me two metres closer to home.


21 May 2024 10:58:24


Brunswick Square Gardens, London

Country or Territory

United Kingdom


Sasha Engelmann



Radio Callsign


Latitute / Longitude

51.524639, -0.121587