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100 Years of the Picadilly Line

New art of the Picadilly line December 2006 - April 2007

An image by Heather and Ivan Morison
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Heather and Ivan Morison

Heather & Ivan Morison
Knightsbridge station

A year of wildlife sound recordings from the British Library Sound Archive, selected by Heather & Ivan Morison.

Available now as a weekly podcast and at Knightsbridge Tube station from March 2007, throughout the year.

This week's recording is of Zebras braying. The animals were near the edge of a dried up lake, in open country with little scrub and few trees. The weather was fine with a light breeze. The recording was made in Namibia at ten thirty in the morning on the twenty eighth of September 1974, by David Watts.

In Zoorama the artists present the sounds of fifty-two migratory animals - one to represent each of the fifty-two stations along the Piccadilly Line and one for each week of 2007. The original audio material has been sourced with permission from the British Library Sound Archive. Each recording is unique and some are especially rare.

At Knightsbridge Tube station each week's animal call becomes a platform announcement, introduced by Emma Clarke 'the voice of London Underground'. These weekly changing animal calls and songs can be heard on the platforms between trains, mingling with the other announcements.

Emma Clarke also presents the weekly Zoorama Piccadilly Line podcast, in which the full wildlife sound recording can be heard, along with an informative introduction to that week's animal written by Heather & Ivan Morison. Podcasting has become a way in which commuters can easily download their favourite programmes to listen to during their journeys to work, and the Zoorama Piccadilly Line podcast has been produced with this particular use in mind. Next time you see someone on the Piccadilly Line with their earphones in they could be listening to elephants purring in Namibia, or dolphins swimming through the Amazon jungle, or moose bellowing in Canada, or wheezing Manx Shearwaters off the coast of Wales. Once a week, during their regular underground journey to work, these commuters have the opportunity to be transported somewhere entirely different.

The collection of sounds evokes the infinite journeys made on the Tube everyday for myriad different reasons. The featured animals habitually move from place to place as seasons and environments change. The ebb and flow of movement inherent within Zoorama resonates with the urban migration that takes place every day on the Tube.

The fifty-two chosen animals are: African Elephant, Amazon River Dolphin, American Bison, American Toad, Bactrian Camel, Berwick's swan, Bittern, Blackcap, Black-headed gull, Blue Wildebeest, Bobolink, Bottle-nosed dolphin, Buzzard, California Sea Lion, Canada Goose, Cheetah, Common Eider, Common Frog, Common Noctule Bat, Common Pipistrelle, Common Tern, Common Toad, Cuckoo, Eastern Chipmunk, European Blackbird, European Nightjar, Fieldfare, Gannet, Grey Heron, Grey Seal, Grey Wolf, Greylag Goose, Honey Bee, House Martin, Humboldt Penguin, Impala, Large Marsh Grasshopper, Mallard, Manx Shearwater, Marabou Stork, Merlin, Moose, Rat, Red Deer, Rock pigeon, Sandhill Crane, Snow Goose, Spotted Hyena, Warthog, Water Boatman, Whooper Swan, Zebra.

Fuelling much of the Morison's work is a garden in Birmingham cultivated both as research and art in order to examine mans relationship to nature. Recently they have moved to the West Coast of Wales where they live in a 20 acre wood. Here the artists are developing an arboretum that will evolve over the artists' lifespan as they travel from place to place, becoming a record of their careers and lives.

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