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The Cries of Columbia Road




The Cries of London is an ongoing series of electroacoustic compositions and sound works that draw upon the urban anthropophonic soundscape of London. Taking inspiration from the seventeenth-century works of the same title by Thomas Weelkes, and Orlando Gibbons, this series centres on the human voice within the city, capturing vocalisations drawn from London’s street-markets. At its core, The Cries of London is a response to the presence of the voice within the city where changes in commerce, alongside the forces of inequality and privatisation of public spaces, threaten to silence the speech of the city.

The first work in my Cries of London series is The Cries of Columbia Road (2017) which draws upon the soundscape of the Columbia Road Flower Market located in Bethnal Green, East London. Established in the mid-nineteenth century, the market initially started as a Saturday market, and as the local Jewish population grew a Sunday market was established as well. Over time the Saturday market lapsed whilst the Sunday Flower market flourished, selling plants and flowers grown by local residents alongside leftover stock from Covent Garden Market. The market today consists of 50 stalls, many of which have been passed down through generations of the same families.


MACLEOD, D. (2017). The Cries of Columbia Road. [Acousmatic Composition]. Whitechapel Gallery

Other Type Composition
Online Publication Date Apr 23, 2017
Publication Date Apr 23, 2017
Deposit Date Mar 14, 2023
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Additional Information Premiered at Whitechapel Gallery as part of Sound of Memory:

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