«Imagine attending a concert but instead of sitting or standing, you walk.
Imagine the music you listen to captured from sounds that already exist around you as you walk through the concert.
Imagine the concert is slightly different each time you experience it because there may be unexpected sounds along the way.
Sans façon and composer John Metcalf have collaborated to create Odd Sympathies, three new sonic pieces that capture the sounds of the city of Cardiff and together form what we believe is the first sonic map of the city.
Drawing inspiration from the iconic work 4' 33" by John Cage, Odd Sympathies is a series of carefully composed sound maps of Cardiff that take in some of the fascinating landmarks in the city and open the ears to a sound world that is in many ways as dense and magical as a rainforest.»
From Artes Mundi project project description.

The audience was lead by a conductor and invited to follow one of the carefully designed and timed itinerary in silence lasting 30 minutes.
The original piece was performed 3 times a day for 9 days in April 2008, starting on the steps of the National Museum of Wales.

John Metcalf
Artes Mundi


We were delighted to re-enact one of the walk from Odd Sympathies 10 years later for the occasion of the book launch Walking Through Social Research. Although the time, season, day were not the ones for which the composition was created, the walk was interestingly similar with some of the sounds still coming in on cue.

Walking Through Social Research is edited by Charlotte Bates and Alex Rhys-Taylor (Routledge 2017). Charlotte Bates is a Sociologist at the Cardiff School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University. Alex Rhys-Taylor is a Sociologist at the Centre for Urban and Community Research, Goldsmiths, University of London.