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Street life 2017

An array of daytime recordings made along street markets and other gathering-places which are pedestrianised by official design or unofficial habit. Playback of each recording is synced to a simple animation plotting the route taken.

Walthamstow Market 15:24

Map image extract © OpenStreetMap contributors, reproduced under a Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0 license.

Time, date and weather: 1.10 pm, Saturday 12th August 2017. Partly overcast, 20°C, wind 11 mph.

Description: Starting from the eastern end of the market. Footsteps; voices of passersby and, less distinctly, those of men running a stall for the Socialist Workers Party; airplane drone; a looped electronic tune plays from Walthamstow Town Square immediately to the south of the market; clatter of cookware on a stall, market traders' voices; recorded music plays at several stalls along the way; grating sounds made by fishmongers' electric saws; rustle of plastic carrier bags heard often; faint sound of traffic on Palmerston Road and Willow Walk, and the beep of the pedestrian crossing; a reggae cover of Neil Diamond's 'I Am . . . I Said' plays from a stall; the market thins out and grows quieter from near the junction with Buxton Road; the beep of the pedestrian crossing at St James Street, traffic noise.

Comments: I first visited Walthamstow Market with my mics and recorder in 2008 to make this edited recording of some of the traders' cries and voices. Since then, the easternmost stretch of the High Street has been redeveloped, perhaps with a view to making it appear more salubrious and to encourage the relaxed cafe culture which developers and politicians are so keen on. The market is relatively unchanged west of the junction with Cleveland Park Avenue. The traders seem slightly more restrained in their calls compared to 2008 but it's hard to draw any definite conclusions.