Braunton Burrows open microphone project



The Braunton Burrows open microphone project is a demonstration stream for the Biosphere

Open Microphones project, a proposed new network of open microphones in the UNESCO.

Biosphere Reserves, relaying real-time sounds and establishing new long-term databases for environmental monitoring, public engagement and research.

We will work with Biosphere Soundscapes and a team at the North Devon Biosphere Reserve (BR) at Braunton Burrows to set up a resilient and afordable open microphone from a site to be determined in the BR, streaming sounds to an icecast server for real time remote listening, and recorded as the basis for a long term dataset publicly available to artists, researchers and activists.

The project will contribute to the workshops proposed by Biosphere Soundcapes. The live stream will be available together with others on the Locus Sonus soundmap throughout the conference, and will contribute to the proposed panel refecting on the Sound + Environment conference in Hull in June, where the Biospheres Open Mic project will be formally launched.


The Biosphere Open Microphone Network is an ambitious multi partner proposal for a new network of open microphones in the UNESCO biosphere reserves, relaying real-time sounds and establishing new long-term databases for public engagement and research.

The proposal originated from meetings at Balance Unbalance 2015 in Phoenix, and is founded in partnerships assembled since then. It has roots in the work of Biosphere Soundscapes with community based explorations of soundscapes in biosphere reserves in Australia, Mexico and S Asia. And it builds on the Cumbria Open Microphone Network, a project by SoundCamp and others to stream live audio from a remote beach on Britain’s North West ‘Nuclear’ Coast into a covered market in Barrow in Furness and to the internet. This project is interested in the ways sound can both defne, and also contest and reconfgure our perceptions of a locale; and it provides a practical collaborative model for developing, funding and realizing a wider network.

We will work with local partners to set up a long-term stream demonstrating the technical feasibility of the proposal. We will use the demonstration as an opportunity to consolidate a working group of key partners around the project, including Biosphere Soundcapes, Locus Sonus (CNRS, France) Sound + Environment (University of Hull), and Cyberforest (University of Tokyo). This group would then seek funding and institutional support to expand the network via further local partnerships in BR sites around the world.

The live streaming dovetails with existing work of Biosphere Soundscapes and other partners and sits within the framework of the Man and the Biosphere programme, with its emphasis on the creative interface between humans, non humans and their environments, sustainable energy, and innovative research and long term monitoring of climate change. It aims to develop a detailed observatory of environmental change in BR sites towards 2030, via live audio, citizen science, public engagement, machine listening and the establishment of unique 24/7 long term datasets for subsequent analysis and demonstration. As such it ties in with calls for ‘Broadening the Application of the Sustainability Science Approach .. to deal with complex,  long-term global issues, such as human-induced climate and ecosystem changes, from broad perspectives’ (

This project contributes to the Biospheres Soundscapes 2-day workshop at Braunton Burrows.

Author Biography

SoundCamp work with sound and place, particularly with live audio streams that connect local and remote acoustic and ecological settings in real time. We organise the annual soundcamp outdoor listening events and produce the 24 hour live daybreak broadcast: Reveil – both on International Dawn Chorus Day each year in May.

Our work has developed in association with partner organisations, especially Locus Sonus and Cyberforest. This proposal depends on their central contributions of technical and conceptual approaches together with the ongoing work of Biosphere Soundscapes.

Balance-Unbalance 2017

Balance-Unbalance (BunB)
is an International Conference designed to use art as a catalyst to explore intersections between NATURE, SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY and SOCIETY as we move into an era of both unprecedented ecological threats and transdisciplinary possibilities.

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