Speakers Corner, Hyde Park - London UK.
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Since the mid 19th Century, Speakers Corner has been a place
where people have gathered to voice their opinions, take part
in lively discussions, verbally fight for their human rights
and beliefs and uphold their democratic right to free speech.
Over the years millions upon millions of people have gathered
each Sunday to take part in and observe discussions on a
wide variety of issues: From religion to world politics
to alien abduction and back again.
Whilst I was growing up in the midlands my Father was working
away in London most of the year. Visiting him at every opportunity,
we frequently spent many hours at Speakers Corner on Sunday
mornings. This spectacle of public free speech and debate
was something very alien to me at such an early age, and
indeed remains so to many of the people who visit the Corner
from all parts of the world. Watching peoples reactions
is in many ways as enchanting as the speakers themselves.
I learnt many many things from our visits there. I learnt
of the power of discussion. I learnt how two people can
see things from completely different perspectives and both
still be right. I learnt that we should never take anything
at face value and I learnt what passionate and fragile creatures
we are. I was last there with him in late 2004. Shortly
afterwards he took his own life after years of suffering
with bi-polar disorder. You can find out more about him
I will miss our outings together. Part of him always remains
there to me.
This project attempts to capture and share the energy and
passion of the people in many different ways. First and
foremost though photography, and simultaneously though binaural
audio recordings made of the photographic subjects.
Visiting New York late last year, whilst strolling down
Broadway in the early morning, I was amazed at the number
of people listening to their iPods on their way to work,
trying to engulf themselves in an environment outside of
their actual reality. This was the trigger that started
this project. One of the experiences of visiting Speakers
Corning is that you are soon engulfed in the atmosphere
and the sights and sounds, to such a degree that you become
blissfully unaware of your physical location, the time of
day, the weather, the other people around you and the rest
of the baggage that you had been mentally carrying around
podcasts and mp3 files are binaural recordings, designed
to be listen to though headphones: In fact the audio recording
technique I have used can only be fully experienced through
headphones. The binaural recording are made by placing miniature
microphones in the same location as my ears by mounting
them on eye glasses. The acoustic properties of the placement
of the microphones and the acoustic mass of the human head
results in a recording, that when listened back to though
headphones, gives the amazing experience of 'being there'.
I plan to capture different speakers, covering many differing
subject over coming months. The results will be published
on this website and available through Apple's iTunes Podcasting
service. The photographic images will also be exhibited
at various studios together with the audio to accompany
If you have any comments please feel free to email me at