Whispering in the Leaves - Kew installation followed by exclusive Sir David Attenborough and Chris Watson evening, August 2010

Posted: 17th June 2010

Recently, the Royal Botanical Gardens in Kew Gardens began presenting a new sound-installation at its iconic Pal House building. Nothing unusual in that you might say, except that this installation is made up of recordings derived from the natural world and mixed by Chris Watson, possibly the UK's leading wildlife sound-recording engineer.

Split into two movements, Dawn and Dusk, the recordings are played back at hourly intervals, surrounding the visitor with 3D sound of animals, birds and insects, many of which are under threat from man. 80 speakers provide a wash of tranquillity and soundscapes, the like of which you may never have heard, or will hear, again. The installation runs until September (see the Kew Gardens website for details).

In addition and support of this exciting event, its creator Chris Watson and the daddy of TV natural-historians and wildlife broadcasters, Sir David Attenborough, will be engaging in conversation at the Royal Institution in Albemarle Street for which we have tickets on offer at £8 plus fee. Watson was responsible for the amazing sounds captured on the Attenborough "Life" TV series ("Life Of Mammals", "Life In Cold Blood" etc). During the discussion, Watson will illustrate the evening with recordings used in the Kew Installation "Whispering in the Leaves", providing a fascinating insight into the sounds of creatures in a tropical rainforest.

The discussion event will take place on 10th August and tickets are on sale now (but in limited supply).

Paul Pledger