Richard Fair

My passion for sound goes back to my school days, when we spent an entire lesson trying to record the sound of a pin drop.

The majority of my working life (including twenty years at the BBC as a producer and presenter) has been centred around sound and audio/video production.

Some recent projects include:

Open University

Sounding Coastal Change was a research project about social and environmental change in North Norfolk. The idea was to use sound, music and different kinds of listening, to explore the ways in which the coast is changing and how people’s lives are changing with it.

Working with local schools and other organisations, I produced a 24 hour broadcast from Blakeney, Norfolk, and also broadcast the dawn chorus live from from Cley Marshes for International Dawn Chorus Day.

I also installed a piece of sound art called Time and Tide into St Nicholas’ church in Blakeney.

Norfolk Wildlife Trust (NWT)

Working with the NWT, I recorded and installed a series of birdsong soundscapes into shops around the centre of Norwich. The sounds were broadcast using special loudspeakers that turned the shop windows themselves into the sound system.

I’ve produced a variety of other audio/visual projects and exhibitions for them.

I’ve also hosted Introduction to Sound Recording workshops, explaining to novice sound artists the best ways to begin recording the sounds of nature.

Norfolk Rivers Trust (NRT)

I worked with members of the NRT, showing them how to use audio recording equipment and advising on equipment for recording and editing for one of their projects.

Heritage Open Days

For the Portraits of Life project, I interviewed former residents and staff from houses and buildings that no longer exist. The interviews, part of the Heritage Open Days exhibition at The Forum in Norwich, helped paint a picture of a time now gone. All the interviews were submitted to the Norfolk Record Office for posterity.

Norfolk Record Office

I’ve produced a podcast for the Records Office, talking about my approach to sound recording.

Archant Community Media Ltd – Weird Norfolk

Working with the established writers of the Weird Norfolk team, I helped launch the successful Weird Norfolk podcast. The podcast was recently shortlisted in the Publisher’s Podcast Awards.

Oral History Society

I am a member of Oral History Society and member of their Creative Oral History Special Interest Group.

Personal projects

In my spare time I like to experiment with audio I’ve recorded and remix it with my own musical compositions to create new soundscapes. 

Some of these are featured on my latest podcast series called Civilian Listening Service.

I am also an active member of the Disquiet Junto group of sound artists and musicians, and we’re challenged each week to creative sound on prescription.

I’ve worked with sound artist/composer Mira Calix on an installation piece called ’sihlabelela’ that was installed at Hungate Medieval Art centre in Norwich.

I created the Norfolk Sound Map, my personal collection of field recordings and interviews from around Norfolk. Some of my favourites include the dawn chorus at Ranworth Broad and the clock mechanism at City Hall in Norwich. You can hear the revving engines of a group of local scooter enthusiasts gathering on Magdalen Street for a charity ride, or chill to the sound of rain falling softly on the trees at Thetford Forest.