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Outline map of the north end of South Uist, marked with grid references for Togha Mòr, on a dark orange background, overlaid with overlapping orange circles.

Walk in Progress: Howmore Machair

Walk in progress: come and hear how our new Soundwalks compositions are developing! Join us to listen in to what’s been created so far, and share your stories of Howmore machair. 

Composer Duncan MacLeod has had a fruitful season of sonorous creativity, collaborating with local community groups in developing two new soundwalks at Balranald and Howmore, having previously composed the ‘Machair’ Soundwalk at Liniclate for An Gàrradh as part of the Dandelion project.

A special mix of environmental sound, music, ecological ideas and song; a soundwalk is a mapped route which uses GPS to link to a soundtrack through an app, playing the composition in coordination for a beautifully extended experience of the place you walk through.

Combining original compositions, sounds from nature and spoken word, these sonic trails evoke a sense of place that draws upon the isle’s natural environment, rich cultural history and agricultural practices.

Facilitated through a series of workshops led by Duncan MacLeod, with the assistance of ethnologist Kirsty MacDonald, artist Calum Ferguson, and creative producer Sorcha Monk, local folk have had the opportunity to join in in a variety of ways including mapping walking routes and contributing material for each soundwalk. The soundwalks also feature historical sound recordings drawn from regional and national sound archives (The School of Scottish Studies).

You can also experience a Sound Walk being created in North Uist, on Friday 8th September – Walk in Progress: Balranald

This project is being supported by The University of Nottingham, with funds from Research England Participatory Research Fund. 

Further information on the soundwalk can be found at: explore.echoes.xyz/collections/brCjdBgDLdNCTeQZ

Useful information

There is no set start time for the walk – drop in whenever you like between 2pm-4pm. We will be waiting at Howmore church and start points to get you going on your walk.

To find us, turn off the main road at Howmore / Tobha Mòr and follow the road to the church at the end of that road. 

To experience the soundwalk, you will need to download the free app Echoes on a smartphone. We recommend you do this in advance where possible. A selection of wired and Bluetooth headphones will be available, or you can bring your own if you prefer. Headphone adaptors and splitter cables are also available for those who wish to share their smartphone. 

The walk route is relatively rough terrain that is usually dry. Please bring suitable clothing and footwear, bearing in mind the changeable weather here. We recommend bringing some sunscreen and a bottle of water. 

The nearest toilets are at Howmore church.