Composer Erland Cooper used 5G mics to soundtrack life in Orkney

5G RuralFirst and composer Erland Cooper spearheaded the project, capturing and arranging remote sounds from the Orkney Isles

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Orkney 5G sound project called Tapestry

5G RuralFirst, an organisation set up to explore the potential of 5G in rural locations across the UK, has released an experimental track called Tapestry using the tech. The project was composed by Erland Cooper, an Orkney resident, and had input from other Orkney locals, who submitted their favourite sounds from the archipelago. By setting up 5G enabled microphones across remote settings around the islands, Cooper was able to capture audio that was streamed live via 5G to his studio based in London.

5G RuralFirst set the microphones up at their main trial sites. These areas included Scottish Sea Farms, Hammars Hill wind farm and Skara Brae, a prehistoric village. While Orkney is usually well known for its beauty and rugged ruralness, its network speeds are unfortunately nothing to write (or email) home about.

As one of the worst connected places in the country, 5G RuralFirst used the medium of music to promote the potential for connectivity around Orkney. The result is rather a lovely sonic portrait of the area.

Along with the track, 5G RuralFirst has also created a collection of short films, that include segments from local residents. The residents describe Orkney’s beauty, remoteness, and some of the struggles they face with a lack of connectivity. Each film focuses on elements from the track – Community, Air, Connectivity, Wind and Sea.

You can listen to the track here and learn more about how it was made with the behind-the-scenes mini-doc below.

5G RuralFirst is a co-innovation project led by Cisco alongside principal partner, University of Strathclyde. Find out more about them at


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