Sounds like nature at the Abbey.

Bath Abbey and its environs are going to be the setting for this year’s Forest of Imagination which – for the third year in a row – will offer people of all ages an alternative experience of nature in the city in which the contemporary arts come alive.

Bath Abbey
Bath Abbey – the lantern of the west!

Last year’s event in Queen Square attracted almost 7,000 people.

Last year’s big white rabbit in Queen Square

Headlining this years programme – coming up in June – will be a series of soundscapes created by Martyn Ware – a man who originally found fame as founding member of both The Human League and Heaven 17. Bands which rode the crest of the electronic and synthpop wave.

Martyn Ware – who will be working with Forest of the Imagination this year! ©Forest of the Imagination

He went on to become a record producer with – amongst others – Tina Turner, Erasure, Chaka Khan and Marc Almond.

Now he leads his own company called Illustrious which produces soundscapes – compositions which Martyn describes as ‘sonic murals – murals for the public but in sound.’

The Forest of Imagination website – – has just announced what is happening this year – from June 3 to the 6th.

The following is taken from it – but do click on the link above to go straight through!

“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.

Perry Harris is a regular ‘local’ hero – cartoonist, illustrator and artist – who designs some unique Perry-styled images for Forest of the Imagination each year. ©Perry Harris

Martyn: “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.”

The Forest of Imagination this year is taking place around and inside Bath Abbey. A complete immersive journey will take place. Total transformation both visually and audibly will happen inside the historic Abbey.

Meanwhile, Martyn will create a sonic mural of a British forest in Abbey Green and a further Illustrious soundscape will be created inside a large piece of art.

“I love Bath, it is such beautiful location. The Abby is an incredible building – these is such a huge amount of light flooding into it – churches are designed to be immersive experiences, the sound is amazing inside and the look is unique and while you are inside these buildings you are transported to a different place.

Churches and buildings of contemplation and faith are designed to allow you to open your mind – to have a spiritual experience using sounds and light.”

His recent work includes, developing a sound scapes and other Illustrious projects for organisations such as BP, The British Council, Sony Computer Entertainments Europe, The Science Museum, The Royal Ballet, The V&A, Amnesty International, Unilever, Museum of London. ”

Forest of  Imagination invites everyone to…..

“Come and immerse yourself in a playful programme of sensory installations, artworks, outdoor theatre and participatory creative activities at this 4 day contemporary arts event. Free and suitable for all ages.

Join us as we highlight the inherent creativity of Bath and connect people with nature by reinventing spaces in the city to inspire intuitive play, unleash imagination and encourage exploration…”