ISSTA invites you to Shannon Fields, an augmented sound walk. This project highlights the region defined by the Shannon River, on the campus of the University of Limerick. Presented through a mobile application, sounds will be activated based on your proximity to key locations.
What you need
You will need a mobile phone running Android, plus headphones.
Get the app from the Google Play store by searching for “Shannon Fields”. It’s by Black Bear Software.
Walk the route in your own time, listening to the sounds around you, and also tuning in to the audio provided by the application. Allow yourself an hour.
This project will be active for two weeks, starting 23 August 2018. Join us for Limerick Sound Festival on Friday 24 August, when we will be walking the route and sharing our experiences.
The following locations correspond to the photograph markers on the map. The total distance is just under 3 km, which will take about 90 minutes. There’s no need to do the whole walk in one go. Note that there are stairs in two places.
At each place marked LISTEN you will be able to hear sounds created specially for this walk. At other places you may wish to listen to the sounds around you.
01 Irish World Academy
This is our home and the start of our expedition. Walk towards the pedestrian bridge (behind us in this shot).
02 Health Sciences
Look to your left and see the Health Sciences building. Fairly science-fiction.
03 The Living Bridge
The Living Bridge has been built to react to its environment. As you proceed, you cross the border from County Clare to County Limerick.
04 Shannon River
To the right, the raging Shannon River. These photos were taken in spring when the water was at its brownest.
05 LISTEN Living Bridge
There are five of these waystations along the bridge. The first listening point is at the third such.
06 islands in the Shannon
Looking to your right, you can see islands where swans and other birds nest. If you are lucky, a heron will fly overhead.
07 path below
To the left and below us, notice a path. We will follow this route in a short while.
08 Millstream Café
Ahead of us, to the right, is the Millstream Café.
09 LISTEN Millstream Circle
Rumour has it that this circle is a site of mystical energies.
10 Millstream Courtyard
Proceed forward into the Millstream Courtyard. We will cross this to the opposite corner.
11 courtyard stairs
Across the far side you will see sets of stairs. The exterior staircase is the most obvious.
12 stairs down
But instead, we will turn right and go down the stairs that were initially hidden from view.
13 stream by residences
At the bottom of the stairs, turn left. Follow the path along the stream. Don’t cross this bridge, but keep the stream on your right.
14 LISTEN Otter Path
Follow the path forward through the tree cover. Otters once made their home in the banks. And maybe still?
15 crossing the road
You will come to a road. Carefully cross to the trail on the other side.
16 LISTEN Kingfisher Trail
A Kingfisher is known to hunt this stream.
17 fauna and flora
Many species of plants line the banks.
18 castle remains
It’s not really a “castle” but every ruin is so called.
19 LISTEN Grove of Ruins
Rest here in this alcove.
20 abandoned foot bridge
This bridge was open until a few years ago. Facing it, turn right and go through the turnstile frame.
21 LISTEN Plassey Strand
This beautiful shoreline is home to those who fish the waters.
22 fishing cottage
Their decorated cottages are to your right. But please respect the residents’ privacy.
23 approaching the bridge
Walking forward you can see the same road we crossed earlier. We will take the path directly ahead, underneath the bridge.
24 LISTEN Concrete Bridge
Underneath the road bridge, concrete meets grass and water.
25 Shannon riverside
Turbulent and peaceful in equal measure, the broad majestic Shannon defines the landscape. Continue along the path.
26 path to fishing shack
This path leads us past a fishing shack, situated on the island to your left.
27 LISTEN Fishing Shack
This shack on the island is a popular fishing spot for locals in the know. Stop here and listen.
28 along the trail
Continuing along the trail, we trace the banks of the river. It’s a popular path for jogging, dog walking, and so on.
29 path to residences
Five listening spots remain. But if you need to cut the walk short, go up the trail to your right. This will take you to Otter Creek, then up the stairs to Millstream Courtyard.
30 LISTEN Under Living Bridge
We now pass under the bridge we previously crossed. The sounds might be different here.
The riverbank serves an important function by cleaning the waters of debris.
32 crow nests
The call of crows might alert you to their home above.
33 LISTEN Wooden Throne
A throne fit for a woodland queen.
34 bridge over stream
Slightly further down the trail, a wooden path to your right will take you back onto the campus.
35 stream bed
A sculpted stream bed lies to your right.
When you get to the concrete wall, turn right and go up the stairs.
37 Plassey House
The footpath will take you to this stately house. Turn left just before it, on the gravel path.
38 into the square
With Plassey House on your right, walk into the square defined by the Main Building. Walk straight ahead, keeping the fountain on your right.
39 LISTEN The Giant
The path will take you around the perimeter of the building. When you see glass doors in front of you, turn right. This Giant will tower over you.
40 across the square
Looking back and to your right, you can see the fountains and Plassey House. But continue straight on, towards the next corner of the building.
41 entrance to Main Building
You will see a small door, almost hidden in the corner. Enter here.
42 Physics hallway
You will find yourself in a narrow hallway. Take the first right.
43 towards the foyer
This is your view. Continue on to the end, where a sitting area opens to your right.
44 corridor to mezzanine
Instead, go left towards the light.
45 LISTEN Ski Slope
You are now overlooking the foyer of the Main Building. Listen here, and also below, at the foot of the curved stairs. Then exit these main doors.
46 the plaza
Ahead of you is a large plaza.
47 towards the library
Walk forward and left, towards the library. A strange silent figure will be your guide.
48 LISTEN The Statue
Turn around completely to face this rather grim figure. This is the final official listening spot.
49 under the walkway
Walk forward and left slightly, passing underneath a pedestrian walkway.
50 across the maintenance road
Continue straight on, between buildings, across this road.
51 avenue of statues
To your left are statues, and ahead is Millstream Courtyard.
52 Millstream Courtyard (reprise)
You have returned to the Courtyard. Veer right and walk back over the Living Bridge to the World Academy.
This walk was created by Robin Parmar, using technology developed by Alan Dormer.