The Beauty of Children at Play

12 Oct 2018

Installations at Forest of Imagination 2018 included a sonic landscape at the heart of Kingsmead Square in Bath. Produced by the respected and talented musician Martyn Ware, who found fame at the height of the new wave, electronic and synthpop music in the mid-1980’s, as a founding member of two of the most respected groups at that time; The Human League and Heaven 17. Today Martyn produces, with his company Illustrious: sound scapes, compositions which Martyn describes as: “Sonic murals, murals for the public but in sound”

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Forest of Imagination were thrilled to have Martyn back on board this year composing a new sonic piece for Forest 2018 with his son Gabriel Ware and alongside Tileyard Education MA students Duncan Brookfield and ZoZo Hederwick.

Martyn and Gabriel Ware created a Soundscape entitled, The Beauty of Children at Play, which was played in rotation with Duncan Brookfield’s The Sound Of Water and Zozo Hedderwick’s Waterdrops.

The Beauty Of Children At Play is an hour-long, continuous, immersive 3D soundscape created by Illustrious composers Gabriel Ware, Martyn Ware, Duncan Brookfield and Zozo Hedderwick – featuring the sounds of children playing, laughing and singing around the world. The main soundscape will emanate from the giant plane tree in Kingsmead Square, and various elements of the composition will also appear from within the acorn structures located along Avon St down to the river.


Martyn Ware, describes a sonic soundscape: “This architecture of sound is devised to envelop you with fantastical, magical and realist audible music, which is made up of musical notes, sounds from the natural world, human speech, poetry and other tonal elements we can only imagine and dream of.

The surround sounds, which use height, as well as 3D speakers, provide a totally immersive auditory experience so that as you walk through and amongst the sound scape your mind is transported into pure experience.

I really enjoy creating large scale public realm sound and interpretations of sound. The sound scape is more impressionistic and artistic and less linear than a normal musical composition. It is a pure experience – even dogs and babies in pushchairs react to sound.”



Creative experiences, connecting nature in urban areas and realising that playfulness is free and fabulous is one of the best classrooms. Children, playing, learn through first-hand experiences and in cooperation with others. They play with ideas, thoughts and materials in a safe environment and will get to experience just that at Forest this year – as will adults and all those who come along.

This year the Forest of Imagination installations and workshops took place in and around Kingsmead Square in Bath – traders around this square have embraced the opportunity that Forest of Imagination will present to the area. Bringing in visitors from all over the city and providing a creative and immersive experience that will ultimately make the public feel fundamentally good.

Businesses including: Phat Yaks, Society Cafe, Grace and Ted, Swoon Gelato, Bath Coffee House, Kingsmead Kitchen, Gong Fu – not to mention the fantastic support of Bath College who’s beautiful Willow Tree was a major part of our celebration of nature in urban environments.

Forest of Imagination 2018 focuses on Future Forest – providing four Forest fragments: Kingsmead Square, Bath College, Bath Quays North and the River Avon – connecting people through wildlife corridors and the importance of regeneration. Forest of Imagination is a charity and independently created to  bring creativity for free to all who come to Forest.


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