Summer of Sound

Unearth our wild landscape through art and sound.

An illustration of the summer of sound exhibition

Date and Times

9 July – 12 September 2021

10am – 6pm

Members 

Early opening from 9am for Wakehurst and Kew members and one guest on: 

Saturday 24 July, Thursday 26 August, Friday 3 September 

Price

Included with your entry ticket

Tickets

Advance booking to Wakehurst is essential

Pause. Breathe. Listen. 

Do you hear the steady drum of the woodpecker? Or the whispers of the forest? 

This summer, Wakehurst will be brought alive by a symphony of sounds. Six striking large-scale installations situated across the landscape will delicately and playfully inspire a greater connection to nature.

Find a new dimension to the term 'surround sound' as the natural noises of our vast, wild gardens are amplified and explored by award-winning sound artists. 

Listening Horns

Ivor Novello award-winner Kathy Hinde lands two water-based sound installations within our gardens. In our Wetlands, a series of solar-powered metal horns reveal voices from subaquatic worlds recorded from deep inside Wakehurst’s waterways.  

Listening Horns © Kathy Hinde
Listening Horns © Kathy Hinde

Water Balance

In our Water Garden, Hinde’s second installation transforms the movement of water into fresh sound to highlight the importance of waterlogged terrain. Water enters suspended metal tubes until it overflows and chimes against metal gongs, balancing the sounds of our water landscapes.   

A delicately balanced set of water instruments are suspended above a bond.
Water Balance © Kathy Hinde

The Woodpeckers

Award-winning artist Marco Barotti premieres his robotic 'woodpeckers' that peck at chime bars whilst exploring the relationship between your own technology and nature. Use your mobile phone to activate the birds and create a striking real-time soundscape deep in Bethlehem Wood.

A shot of the robotic woodpecker installation
Woodpeckers © Marco Barotti

RUUP: Forest Megaphones

Estonian artist Birgit Õigus amplifies the often-overlooked noises of a meadow with three wooden megaphones in a truly immersive experience nestled amongst Coates Woods. Meaning 'megaphones' in Estonian, RUUP channels the sounds we often take for granted, offering a comforting natural experience while you sit and absorb the display of meadow flowers that carpet Bloomers Valley. 

A giant wooden megaphone installation in the forest
Megaphones © Tõnu Tunnel

Sonic Woodland: Glade

Brighton-based group Hidden Orchestra brings a glade nestled in Horsebridge Woods alive with a new and unique composition using the natural sounds of Wakehurst. This self-generating composition explores the symbiosis of the natural world. Featuring cellist Rebecca Knight of the City of London Sinfonia, this composition gives a voice to the constant interchange within the natural world, offering you a moment of tranquility. 

A woman lays in a colourful hammock amongst a forest glade
Wakehurst, Jim Holden © RBG Kew

Sound Wave

As you weave your way through Coates Wood, encounter a giant string-based interpretation of a musical stave intertwined with the woodlands. The natural movement of air will activate hand-crafted musical instruments as they twist and turn between the trees, designed specifically to draw your eyes to the magnificent canopy of branches above you. 

An artist rendering of red threads through the woodlands
An artist rendering of Soundwave

Summer of Sound workshops

Explore the hidden sounds of Wakehurst's wild landscape with our series of workshops. 

From the family fun of creating your own instruments to deep listening with artist Kathy Hinde, make your summer a sensory experience like no other.

See our workshops

Accessibility buggies

We have a limited number of pre-bookable accessibility buggies that can enable those with mobility issues to comfortably enjoy our site.

These are available only on 12, 20, 28 July, and 5,13,21,29 August, and 6 September. 

To book a buggy or for more information, contact wakehurst@kew.org 

COVID-19 (coronavirus) notice

Come along knowing that the safety and wellbeing of our visitors are of the utmost importance to us. We are continually monitoring and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic situation as it evolves.  

If you are unable to attend because of government restrictions in place due to coronavirus, please contact the customer service desk at wakehurst@seetickets.com at the earliest opportunity to discuss further.

Read about the changes we've made to keep you safe.

After Hours, Wakehurst Summer of Sound

Summer of Sound: After Hours

See our gardens and sound installations come alive as the sun goes down.