Spirit of the Bay

A sound and photographic portrait of Hervey Bay during the annual arrival of the Humpback whales. Hervey Bay – a place in time, July 2022. 


30th July (8am – 2pm) and 31th July (10am – 4pm),  Urangan Pier Park

Created by Dr Michael Whiticker (composer) and Macdonald Hamilton (photographer).


Michael Whiticker and Macdonald Hamilton will come to Hervey Bay in July to create and broadcast the soundscape “Spirit of the Bay” for the 2022 Hervey Bay Whale Festival.  

Hosted by Fraser Coast Regional Council, Michael and Macdonald will spend their time in residence taking recordings and photographing the environment and interviewing local people. Most recording and photographic sessions will take place in the early mornings and late evenings along the Esplanade. The piece Michael will create will be performed continuously throughout the day on the Saturday and Sunday of the Whale Festival (30 and 31 July). 

The venue will be a “soundwalk” (an aural journey) approximately 180 metres long. The walk will be defined by seven sets of stereo speakers, each about 30 metres apart, placed around the space close to the historic Urangan Pier. The audience is invited to wander amongst the sounds of Hervey Bay – wildlife, boats and water; and the voices of people who experience this place at this time. It may take up to 30 minutes to hear the entire piece but listeners can enter and exit at any point. Alternatively, people may choose to sit close to a speaker and listen to the whole work. 

During the performance Michael and Macdonald will be on site to talk to the public about the composition and show the photos that have been taken. The work will continue to be created right up to and throughout the two days of performance. The final version, which will combine the photos and soundscape, will come in the form of a 30 minute video published following the festival. It will be available online by googling “Spirit of the Bay, Hervey Bay, 2022”.