The Soothing Presence of Strangers is a 40 minute audio piece designed to be listened to on a bus: it explores loneliness, usefulness, and the place a bus route can have in our lives.
Commissioned by Waltham Forest London Borough of Culture 2019.
This 40 minute audio piece, designed to be listened to whilst riding a bus, is an account of the important role that strangers can have in our lives.
The piece combines:
- autobiographical storytelling about a childhood friendship with a bus driver
- interviews with drivers of the W12 bus in Walthamstow
- original music created from field recordings
It was recorded on the W12 bus route in London. Listeners are guided through the experience by Emma Hignett, the voice of the London wide iBus announcements.
The Soothing Presence of Strangers was originally commissioned in 2019 as part of Waltham Forest London Borough of Culture’s Waltham Forest Tours programme, curated by William Galinsky.
In 2020 it was remade as part of the BBC Culture in Quarantine commissions, and broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on 31st August 2020.
Written, recorded and edited by Rhiannon Armstrong.
Sound design by Dinah Mullen.
Music by Dinah Mullen and Rhiannon Armstrong.
Drivers interviewed: Mohammed Shabir and Godfrey Stuart
Executive Producer: Sarah Cuddon