New Soundscapes


Two ways to escape for you, during this downtime, into soundscapes from Islay.


1. Inside the Working Distillery


Sounds: Starting up the mill. Click, clunk the belts begin to move. Mashman and Stillman talk across the tun room. In the field at Octomore James Brown calls in the cows. The old Avery weighs out 40kg. Tip. The wind whips up the surface of An Torran, the water source up Coltoursay hill. Brewing tanks open and into the mashtun the water roars. The boiler hiss runs all day while in the warehouse bungs are hit and the casks rolled into place along their metal hoopedends. In the Harvey hall the aqua bottles are scooshed with air and make their way down the line. A dram is poured on the table and a glass raised.

Put yourself in the boathouse

2. Outdoors on Islay

Sounds: Spring dawn chorus by the burn. Mairi’s cockerel and the Dunlossit farm dogs make themselves heard. A bee passes by on the heath. A lone plane passes above. Down at Loch Allan, to listen to the rain on the tin roof, there hadn’t been rain for five weeks. Everyday national news plays a big part in proceedings. But life working the land goes on and the tractor works the field beside the village with the call of the cuckoos ringing out in all directions. Late March, the last of the migrating greylag geese exit Islay, flying overhead. Walking down to the shores of the Sound of Islay over the crunch of beech masts on the path. A naval ship passes, the hum of its engine bounces down the sound, the waves of its wake lap on the rocky shore. The haar has been regularly rolling down the sound and pouring onto the island’s dips and troughs either side. One night it is so dense the cows call to find each other. The old creak of the boathouse door closing behind, time for home. 


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