Marconi and the Lizard

Joe Acheson collecting sounds
Published : 03 May 2016 Last update : 09 May 2016

A new album that showcases the sounds of the Lizard peninsula in Cornwall has been released.

Marconi & the Lizard, by composer and producer Joe Acheson, is the product of a week-long National Trust sound residency last summer.

The first-ever Trust sound residency, which was based at the hut where Guglielmo Marconi broadcast the ship-to-shore radio transmission, was part of the ‘Sounds of our Shores’ project that ran during the summer of 2015.

Acheson spent a week exploring a coast full of coves and cliffs in wild summer weather to capture the sounds of the most southerly part of the UK.  

Taking inspiration from the Cornish landscape and the people who work in it, Acheson’s EP incorporates sounds of a now decommissioned lighthouse foghorn and fishermen chatting over ships’ radio.

Joe Acheson said: 'It was a privilege to record sounds that are disappearing from the Lizard, such as the old foghorn and the decommissioned spark transmitter.

'Making music that is so deeply-connected to one specific location brought its own resonance to the project. Like the food philosophy, ‘what grows together, goes together’, sounds from one place naturally work well with each other.'

The album is available to buy via Tru Thoughts from 6th May . Visitors to the Lizard can listen to the album at the historic Marconi Wireless Station at Poldhu, on the Lizard or listen to the track today.

Download an exclusive free track from the album.

According to Catherine Lee, National Trust Community and Volunteering Officer on the Lizard, the album brings the rugged beauty of the Lizard to life.

'Living and working here you get used to the sounds of the weather and the sea”, she says. “These familiar sounds, which I never consciously notice, jump out of Acheson’s music.'

Sounds of our Shores was a collaboration between the Trust, British Library and National Trust for Scotland. The project saw more than 680 sounds uploaded on to a crowd-sourced sound map, helping to capture a sonic journey around the 10,800 miles of UK coastline. All of these sounds have now been added to the British Library Sound Archive.