14 On Now

Listen Closely

4th Mar 2019 1st Mar 2020
Project Details
  • Place
Creative Team
  • Lead Artist: Gemma Nash
  • Collaborating Artist: Kristian Gjerstad
  • Producer: Rhyannon Parry
  • Collaborator: Ged
  • Collaborator: 'Benidorm' Paul
  • Collaborator: Tufty
  • Collaborator: Carla
  • Collaborator: Ben
  • Collaborator: Clare
  • Collaborator: Becky
  • Collaborator: 'DJ' Paul
  • Collaborator: Chris
  • Collaborator: Ashley
  • Illustrator: Laura-Kate Chapman
  • Photographer: Michele Selway

Listen Closely is an audio journey through Acorn Farm, based in Kirkby, and is created by members of Acorn Farm (Acorn Massive) working with sound artists Gemma Nash and Kristian Gjerstad.

You’ll hear interviews with members of the Acorn Massive, sharing their knowledge of the farm and the animals they work with, sounds from the farm and some awesome jam sessions.

Enjoy your journey exploring the sights and sounds of the farm!

In this section you will hear some members of Acorn Massive interviewing each other about their work on the farm and the different animals.

Some members of Acorn Massive preferred to operate the recorders, whilst others enjoyed speaking. Everyone had a role to play.

In this recording Ash gives us an introduction and a tour of the farm

Becky introduces us to everyone's favourite bouncy goat Teddy.

"This is Teddy, a Pygmy goat kid. Born in 2019, Teddy is the son of Gerty. His favourite food is grass and alfalfa pellets. He prefers to be inside but loves to be stroked and talk to visitors and staff. He also enjoys playing with all his toys."

"Cathy is a Saddleback sow born in July 2016. Her favourite food is anything that she can find! She has had three lots of piglets since being at Acorn Farm. She loves talking to visitors, lying in the mud and puddles.

Ronny is a Tamworth pig born in April 2016. He loves to eat fruit, eggs, veg and anything he can find. Although Ronny can look scary, he can be friendly. He loves rolling in mud and getting dirty, as well as being sprayed with the hose when it’s hot."

Ash tells us all about pigs Cathy and Ronny and their little piglets

Ash and Becks tell us about two of Acorn Farm's biggest residents, William and Rosie.

"William and Rosie are horses they do everything together. William has a very deep neigh and you can often hear him neighing in the field in the morning. William often falls asleep stood up and is very good at locking his legs so he doesn’t fall over.

Rosie is very friendly and uses her front hoof to bang on the gate or the shed door. To get attention and food Rosie loves to sneak into the arena if the doors open to roll around in the sand."

"We have lots of chickens and they can be quite noisy – especially when they are being fed."

Listen to Clare talking about the Acorn Farm chicks, chickens and yummy eggs.

"We also have a grumpy ram called Roddy – he has a punching bag in the middle of his field!"

Listen to Clare describe Roddy.

In these recordings we meet the meerkats and goats, and Carla and Ange discuss their jobs and favourite animals


Download transcriptions of these recording here:

"As part of the project, we have been creating soundscapes and animal noises using music technology and percussion.

We used cojons, boomwhackers, maracas, glockenspiels, micro-speak recorders, iPhones, zoom recorders, digital audio workstations and bare conductive technology.

We created sound effects by sampling ‘found sounds’ from around the farm, using our voices and from the animals on Acorn Farm."

Gemma Nash reflected on the Listen Closely project:

“Working with Acorn Massive certainly made me more aware of relationships humans can have with animals. How the level of care shown by the group towards the animals, arguably, shows a higher form of emotional intelligence.

Disability studies scholars argue that Intelligence is a social construct which is subjective and cannot be proved. It is a product of a specific time and place, and therefore in another time, in another place, particular types of intelligence would not be considered superior.

All humans and other animals are vulnerable, and this is evidenced by the fact that we all possess a corporeal fragility, and each has the capacity to affect and be affected by others. For example, the work on the farm has definitely improved my mental health especially at a time of illness. The group work well together and support each other, showing great levels of reciprocity.”

Gemma Nash