take me to the river
west silverton trail
Asta trail
north woolwich
precious places
ports of call

The Asta Trail, Silvertown

trains, planes and graffiti walls

An audio trail of Silvertown, created by teenagers at the Asta Centre and professional composer, Jo Thomas featuring original music and interviews with local residents. See City Airport, the biggest sugar refinery in the world and discover what it is like to live in their shadow.

  If you would like to walk this trail, download map and mp3 files here  
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Walk 2: The Asta Trail, Silvertown: Trains, Planes and Graffiti Walls

Commentary by Jo Thomas and Toby Butler

The Asta trail was written in the summer of 2007 with the young people of the asta centre. The idea was to encourage the young people to express personal narratives and narratives of place through sound and music. After a number of group walkabouts the young people chose area’s that were important to them, wrote lyrics around the chosen locations and spent two weeks in the summer mixing their words with their own beats. This commission was especially exciting to work on in regards to technology and the distribution of music via Mpeg technology. All the young people had mobile phones and were very technologically advanced.

Some choose to save their music on to their phones via Mpeg 3 technology and listen and share what they had created. The music they wrote became mobile within Silvertown before the project was actually finished.
This mobility of sound through technology naturally captured essence idea of a sound walk.

The young people were given Mpeg 3 players at the end of the project; this technology would enable them to play the music they had written and music of their own choice. They also visited the music studios and the design laboratories of the University of East London and had a chance to work with the facilities there. This gave them the opportunity to find out what happens on the new campus that is on their doorstep, and discover some of the more exciting aspects of university life.

With some professional guidance and tuition from a trained journalist on how to record interviews, small groups of young people armed with a digital recorder also went on visits to question people that had important roles in their community. These ranged from the local shopkeeper to Lord Mawson (responsible for the future development of the area adjacent to Silvertown near Pontoon Dock). These interviews didn’t just give the participants the chance to gain some confidence in oral skills (many of them spoke English as a second language); it also gave the interviewees a chance to meet and really engage with some members of the next generation of Silvertown residents.

Track listings

Walk 2: The Asta Trail, Silvertown: Trains, Planes and Graffiti Walls

1: Song, Voice and Beats

Malcolm; Sydney; young people from the Asta Centre

2. Up and Coming Area

Malcolm , young people from Asta Centre, Mr Sriramamoorthy

3. Silver is as Good as Gold

Malcolm, Kathy Taylor (North Woolwich Old Station Museum), Toby Butler, young people from Asta Centre

4. Pink Hazes of Sugar

Toby Butler, Kathy Taylor, young people from the Asta Centre

5. Vast Skies of Venture

Victoria Jeeves (London City Airport); Toby Butler; young people from the Asta Centre

Music was composed by the young people from the Asta Centre, Silvertown and arranged by Jo Thomas



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