Some Sounds of Howth



Two days ago I caught the DART to the seaside town of Howth. I’d forgotten what it was like out there as it had been years since I visited. It’s a pretty town with a large harbour, multicoloured painted houses and a cliff walk. The horizon in Howth bears an Island and great stretches of ocean. There’s a plaque on the wall of a bungalow claiming W.B Yeats lived there for some time. In 1890 he published an essay in a London magazine called The Leisure Hour stating ‘At Howth, for instance, ten miles from Dublin, there is a ‘fairies path’, whereon a great colony of otherworld creatures travel nightly from the hill to the sea and home again’. Now it seems the place is inhabited daily by tourists. I wanted to record some sounds from this place and it was a task to keep away from the chatter of visiting rotarians taking selfies. I picked a few of the recordings to include here.


20 seconds in you can hear the feint clamour of a bell from the town. To my ear this recording is peaceful and quite evocative.

More waves…

There is something very seaside about the accordion…

I applied some processing to water sloshing among the rocks. Some interesting patterns of resonance occurred….

Nice crunching sound from this very Irish beach…

Re-pitched seagulls with reverb. Quite haunting…

The simple ambience of the harbour…

A passing boat heads out of the harbour…

heart howth


To conclude, there is something quite meditative about travelling somewhere with the purpose of collecting sounds and as I listened back to the recordings I was instantly transported back to those moments of capturing. This excursion will be one of many and I hope to hone my skills in field recording as this new obsession develops.

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