‘The Soundscapes of the York Mystery Plays’ Sound Installation

(‘The Soundscapes of the York Mystery Plays’ Sound Installation Presented at the Being Human Festival 2016 – York, UK)


We do not tend to think of sounds as a part of our cultural history, but many everyday sounds have been consigned to history never to be heard again. Seeking to recreate a more three-dimensional version of history, the sound installation, ‘The Soundscapes of the York Mystery Plays’ invites participants to immerse themselves in medieval York. The installation gives attendees the opportunity to listen to the recreated soundscapes in the 16th century. The installation also includes a combination of archival sound recordings on the modern performances of the plays as well as newly recorded material.


Attendee Comments

“York acoustics can indeed be very peculiar.  I live near the District Hospital and on one occasion I was walking along the path that runs by it when the Minster bells were chiming.  I swear it sounded as though the bells were being rung from inside the Hospital buildings.”


“Thoroughly enjoyed the experience of contributing to this soundscape and hope many people will benefit from hearing this splendid addition to the history of the plays.”


“The plays are an amazing living part of York.”


“A good initiative, thank you.”


“Really interesting to hear this assembly of different thoughts and memories of the Mysteries with particular focus on sound.  I’d be interested to hear the interviews sometime as the incidental information can be fascinating (e.g. Noel talking about needing keys to get into the gardens). Keep up the fascinating work!”


“Interesting installation consisting of different thoughts and experiences from different viewpoints. Looking forward to more definitely!”


“Good clear recordings, really enjoyed the experience, worth visiting.”


“Very enjoyable, loved hearing the stories.”