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No Man’s Land – Sound Installation by Chris Watson

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Our Artist in Residence for Nature Unwrapped, Chris Watson, has created a sound calendar of environments from the northern hemisphere. In January and February, you will be hearing sounds from The Wash in East Anglia. Come early to enjoy the installation beginning half an hour before the performances in Hall One.

This is a beautiful and mysterious place where people, quite rightly, fear to tread.

Twice each day the surface of The Wash in East Anglia is transformed by the incoming tide from a solid to a liquid by the rapidly advancing waters that push all before them. During early spring and autumn the vast areas of mud and silt act as a service area for hundreds of thousands of birds who use The Wash as a stopover on their annual migrations. Wading birds such as dunlin, redshank, oystercatcher, curlew and knot feed out on the exposed mud, day or night.

Life out here is not controlled by daylight but by the gravitational forces of the sun and moon. A spring tide will cover all the exposed mud and push the birds off onto the Fenland edge. The movement, rhythm and sounds of these birds on a high tide roost are spectacular.

No Man’s Land is a composition made from recordings of a spring tide roost as the birds and the water pass below, around and above the microphones.

Chris Watson

Read ‘Ears to the Ground’ – an introduction to Chris Watson’s work and his Kings Place residency.


This sound installation can be heard from 10 January until 19 February 2020 ahead of all Nature Unwrapped concerts taking place in Hall One. Access to the installation requires a concert ticket for the relevant main event in Hall One.

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