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Duncan Speakman

Only Expansion

A person with shoulder length hair photographed from behind so face isn't visible is listening to the audio tour while reading a booklet

As sea levels rise and wildfires burn, Only Expansion by Duncan Speakman lets you experience sonically how your own life might change in the future. 

It is an audio walk that combines the sound of your surroundings with recordings of environments from around the world, letting you experience an immersive and visceral response to our current ecological crisis. 

Custom mobile electronics remix the world around you, so the chatter of passers by might become a crackling fire, or a rumbling bus engine turns into a pulsating rhythm, all of these sounds slowly blend into real documentary sound recordings of desert winds and rising flood waters from distant lands. A guidebook in your hand prompts you to explore your local area in different ways, connecting global stories to the place you live, while a richly cinematic music score reframes what you see and feel on your journey through the city.

Presented by Watershed. Only Expansion is commissioned by University of Exeter Arts And Culture. It was developed with support from Lydgalleriet Bergen, Theatre in The Mill Bradford, Watershed Media Centre and Arts  Council National Lottery Project Grants.

About the artist

Duncan Speakman is a composer and sound artist based at the Pervasive Media Studio in Bristol. He creates narrative sound led experiences that engage audiences in uncontrolled public and private space. He regularly creates bespoke work internationally including installations on trains in Guangzhou, loudspeaker symphonies in New Zealand, audio walks in Saitama, and sound installations in Porto; he has also recently developed a number of hybrid print/digital experiments. His current research is in the relationship between locative urban audio experiences and contemporary ecology, wrapping the questions in melancholy and romance. He set up and directed the arts collective Circumstance from 2010 – 2017 with Sarah Anderson and Emilie Grenier, later joined by Tom Abba. He continues now as a solo artist and researcher.

About the organisation

Watershed champions engagement, imagination and ingenuity, working locally, nationally and globally from their home in Bristol.

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