Must We Suffer in the Rhythm is an immersive installation that forms part of a wider project by Matt that encourages a thinking about the city of Peterborough through our ears as opposed to our eyes. By using noise as a container for issues such as the environment, sound ecology, housing and health, the work both celebrates the potential of the city to sustain itself as it expands but also asks us to speculate on ways in which a thinking through sound might create different, more harmonious cities.

Over the course of the project Matt gathered sounds from in and around the Welland and Cardea areas of the city as well as from sites that link these areas such as the roads, factories, power stations and distribution centres that provide employment and connectivity for the city. He has been working with residents of Welland and Cardea using sound recording as a means of engaging with the rich and diverse sonic environments in and around their neighbourhoods.  

The piece heard in the gallery space draws upon hundreds of recordings made by Matt Lewis and the over 100 people that took part in the project. This installation acts as a self-contained iteration of acoustic power and reminds us of the nexus between energy and the production of sound, with the light of the space being controlled by various elements of the sound’s energy output.

The sources of some of the sounds heard inside the space include the many open spaces, streets, roads and public spaces of the sites, Viridor ERF, Dogsthorpe Recycling Centre and a number of factories and warehouses.

An on-going part of this project has been consultation with local residents and experts into creating a more enriching sonic environment for Peterborough and includes the research and design of creative solutions such as Acoustic Havens.

You can contribute your own sounds to a developing online, interactive mapping or simply to give your opinion, by going to:

Peterborough Soniferous

The project formed part of the Metal show Resident 

Listen Here for a radio feature on Resonance FM about the Resident project.