Sounds Silence

Blog Posts

Singing the songs of Mary

Dr Beth Williamson looks at girls' voices singing the Magnificat. Read more.

It's the taking part that counts

Find out how you can get involved with our sound and silence research. Read more.

Making New Music

It is with great excitement that we can now announce our collaboration with two student composers from the University of Bristol, who have taken on the challenge of producing a new commission written in response to the Sound and Silence project. Read more.

Cathedral Sounds after Manchester

Dr Beth Williamson reflects on how the music and silences of the Cathedral effected her following the horrific attack on Manchester Arena. Read more.

What music might you hear in the Cathedral services?

Dr Beth Williamson takes a closer look at the variety of music on offer each month. Read more.

The Bells of Bristol Cathedral

"Standing in the Cloister just before 5.00pm yesterday afternoon, I heard the bells in the central tower chiming." Nerissa reflects on bell ringing in the Cathedral. Read more.

A Space for Silence

Dr Beth Williamson takes a moment to explore the silence of the Berkeley Chapel. Read more.

Sounds of a Cathedral. Part 2: Easter Sunday

"The feeling and sounds of Easter Sunday were different in many ways from those of Good Friday, though naturally one must think of the two as inextricably linked, historically and theologically. Walking in to the cathedral on Good Friday I had been confronted by that sound of lots of people positively and deliberately being quiet together. The sound on Easter Sunday morning was entirely different: the cathedral bells pealed and people greeted one another happily. Clergy and musicians alike had that look of joyful hysteria generated by an intense process almost completed, but still in train." Read more.

Sounds of a Cathedral. Part I: Good Friday

"It was auspicious that the Sounds and Silences project should have begun in earnest just before Easter. I have often observed that the cathedral has its own ‘everyday’ sounds: these include not just the daily and weekly rounds of liturgical observations and services, such as the said Morning and Evening Prayer services, and the music of Evensong, but also the sounds of people walking about the building, ‘housekeeping’ sounds, such as cleaning or moving furniture, or even that rich, resonant silence of a big building just being there. But important festivals in the church’s year provide unusual and distinctive sounds, and the sounds of usual things – like singing – being done with unusual intensity. The Liturgy of the Lord’s Death, on the afternoon of Good Friday, provided much food for thought about sound and the weaving of different types of sound into a fabric of worship, contemplation, remembrance, observation, watching and waiting." Read more.

Welcome to Sound and Silence

"I am thrilled that this project is now underway and look forward to contributing to this blog over the coming months. This first blog post seeks to explain a little bit about how I came to put the project together, and how my own research has led to this point." Read more.

Follow the project on Twitter at @sounds_silence