Mike de Sousa

Our Town

Our Town was a major innovative community arts project enjoyed by over 10,000 people and involving over five hundred contributors that ran throughout the year 2000.

The project included:

· The music composition Our Town

· The exhibition Our Town, My Space

· The Our Town Print Publication.

Human Stories & Connections...

The WIllis Museum Basingstoke

Our Town captures a place and its people at the turn of the 21st century and is about human stories, connections, and dislocations.

Music Composition

Our Town is a composition of music, speech, and ambient sounds forming an integrated whole and where all elements are treated musically.

Not So Long Ago , Seperation, The Barman and Full Circle are available to listen to on my Portfolio Page and you may view a PDF of the transcript and accompanying notes here:

Our Town Transcript , Composer Notes and Credits

From infancy to old age, bankers and beekeepers, mothers and fathers, rich, poor, happy, angry, sad. Some tell of their passions, of those who have left an indelible mark on their lives, and others of their journey as it nears its end.

All the sounds you hear in Our Town were recorded in Basingstoke and Deane, Hampshire, England.

Our Town My Space Exhibition

The Our Town, My Space exhibition provided a voice for over five hundred people, many never having expressed themselves publicly before. Visitors to the exhibition heard sounds, conversations and music collected from the people and place of Basingstoke, which forms the hour long 'audiotexs' Our Town.

The Willis Museum Basingstoke

As visitors to the Our Town, My Space exhibition traveled through the exhibition space, they came across a wide variety of visual media. Some people used paint to express how they felt about their space, some chose to represent their space in a concrete or representational way, others decided to exhibit an activity they did in their space.

Supporters and Sponsors

Our Town was co-commissioned by The Willis Museum, Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, and Central Studio Arts Centre. Our Town received a grant from The Millennium Festival Awards For All programme. Supported by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, Hampshire County Council, The Four Lanes Trust, Hampshire Museum's Trust, Southern Arts, The Automobile Association, The Basingstoke Press, NTL telecommunications, Sun Life of Canada Financial Services, Virgin, and Wiggins Teape.

A Message from the Mayor of Basingstoke & Deane

'One of the pleasures and privileges of my Mayoral Year has been to be associated with the Our Town project. It is a wonderful project which has brought together so many members of our community.

I knew of the project in its early stages long before I became Mayor and I know how much is due to the enthusiasm and genius of its initiator and project developer Michael de Sousa with the able support of the Steering Committee.

The project has undoubtedly enhanced the community spirit of the Borough, and everyone of us should be grateful for such a gem to start off the Millennium.'

Lynden Jones, Mayor of Basingstoke and Deane, 1999-2000



  • Our Town Credits

    Project Organization

  • Mike de Sousa   Project Director, Composer, Curator, Exhibition Designer, Fundraiser, Administrator, Marketing and Promotion
    Sue Sharpe   Graphic Designer
    Hazel Hartgill   Exhibition Technician
    Tim Evans   Exhibition Technician
    Pat Bonifacio   Curatorial Consultant
    Izita Kerr   Exhibition Consultant
    Alan Williams   Exhibition Consultant
    Derek Bunyard   Exhibition Consultant

  • Steering Committee Members

  • Felicity Brooker   Town Centre Manager
    Tim Evans   Curator, The Willis Museum
    Christopher Holland   Solicitor, Project Treasurer
    Rob Iliffe   Leisure Officer, Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council
    Izita Kerr   Artist (Committee Member 1998-1999)
    Phil Pennington   Director Central Studio
    Mike de Sousa   Project Director
    Sue Sharpe   Graphic Designer

  • Project Backers

  • Grant Assistance

    Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council
    Four Lanes Trust Millennium
    Festival Awards For All Programmes
    Hampshire County Council
    Hampshire Museum Services
    Southern Arts


    Corporate Sponsors

    The Automobile Association
    The Basingstoke Press
    Hammicks Bookshops
    ntl Telecommunications
    Sun Life Financial Services of Canada
    Wiggins Teape

  • Venues

  • Exhibition Venues

    The Anvil Central Studio
    The Haymarket Theatre
    Saint Michael's Church
    The Willis Museum


    Venue Personnel

    Christine Bradwell
    Tim Evans
    Phil Pennington
    Rev. Philip Welsh
    Tim Wills


    Chief Executive, The Anvil
    Curator, The Willis Museum
    Director, Central Studio
    Saint Michael's Church
    Theatre Manager, The Haymarket Theatre

    Contributing Schools

  • Bishop Challoner Roman Catholic Secondary School
    Bishopswood County Infant School
    Bramley Church of England Primary School
    Fort Hill Community School
    Kempshott Junior School
    Kings Furlong Junior School
    Manor Field Junior School
    Marnel Junior School


    Merton County Infant School
    Oakley Junior School
    Park View County Infant School
    Queen Mary's College
    Richard Aldworth Community School
    Rucstall Primary School
    Saint Anne's Roman Catholic Primary School
    Testbourne Community School

    Special Thanks

  • Barbara Applin
    David Arnott
    Sarah Boundy
    Annette Churchill
    Lesley Clark
    Jeanette Davies
    Aileen McDonald
    Rob Denham
    Daryl Fraser
    Nadia Harding
    Gordon Hill
    Angie Holmes
    Paul Littlehayes
    Ken Single
    Bill Smith
    Julie Smith
    Janice de Sousa
    David Tattersal
    Mary Thomas
    Peter Thomson
    Jamima Trotter
    Rob Verner-Jeffreys
    Gill Walle


    Basingstoke Archaeological and Historical Society
    Communications Director, Sun Life Financial Services of Canada
    Public Relations, NTL Telecommunications
    Human Resources Manager, Wiggins Teape
    Sponsorship Manager, Sun Life Financial Services of Canada
    Head of Art, Testbourne Community School
    Day Care Manager, Saint Michael's Church
    Head of Art, Bishop Challenor
    Arts and Heritage Manager, Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council
    Unit Manager, Audley's Wood Resource Service
    Managing Director, The Basingstoke Press
    Head of Art, Kempshott Junior School
    Manager, The Walks Shopping Centre, Basingstoke
    Day Care Helper, Saint Michael's Hospice
    Marketing Director, The Basingstoke Press
    Community Embroidery Teacher
    Quality Control and Editorial
    Manager, Corporate Public Relations, The Automobile Association
    Community Art Teacher
    Chief Executive, Saint Michael's Hospice
    Leader, Audley's Wood Outreach Centre, Basingstoke Day Care Services
    Manager, Hammicks Bookshops
    Head of Art, Fort Hill Community School

  • Composition Contributors

  • Audley's Wood Resource Service
    The Anvil Grapevine Information Services Ltd
    The Automobile Association
    All Saints Bellringers
    Awards For All
    Basing Clog Morris Dancers
    Basingstoke Community Day Care Services Basingstoke Cycle Works Kingsclere MOT Centre Basingstoke Ice Rink North Hampshire Quilters
    The Basingstoke Press
    Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council The Malls
    Basingstoke Model Engineering Society
    Basingstoke Salvation Army Band
    Basingstoke Sports Centre
    Business Support Centre
    Basingstoke Ramblers Ordnance Survey
    Basingstoke Rugby Football
    Berry Bros. and Rudd Ltd
    Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
    Central Studio
    Club 2000-2005 Bingo
    Club Queen Mary's College
    Corbett and Gelson
    Fairfields Arts Centre


    Festival Place Shopping Centre
    Financial Services of Canada
    Football Club
    Hammicks Bookshops
    Hampshire County Council
    J Sainsbury's
    Junction 6
    Mayflower Morris Dancers Basingstoke
    Millennium Festival
    Saint Michael's Church Bellringers
    Saint Michael's Church Choir
    Saint Michael's Hospice
    SISK Builders Basingstoke
    Southern Arts
    Sun Life
    The Common Theatre Company
    The Four Lanes Trust The Willis Museum
    The Haymarket Theatre
    The Old Trout Band
    Warner Brothers Cinema
    Wella Bisons Ice Skating Team
    Wiggins Teape

  • Composition Contributors

  • Mike de Sousa   Composer and sound editor
    Piano, keyboards, guitars, percussion and sampler programmes
    vocals (Where I Want To Be)
    Interviews and recorded ambient sounds
    Studio recording, engineering and production
    Keith Marsden   Songwriter: Bring Us A Barrel
    The Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra   Recorded at The Anvil, Basingstoke, Hampshire, England
    Erik Faithfull
      Northumbrian pipes, Uilleann pipes, wooden flute and tin whistle
    Rip Rippingdale   Lead Singer: Bring Us A Barrel
    Saint Michael's Church Choir  

    The Angel Gabriel (extract in Opening): C Edgar-Pettman/Sabine Baring, Organist and Director of Music: George G Hay

    Saint Michael's Church Bellringers   Extract in Full Circle
    All Saints Church Bellringers   Extract in Full Circle
    The Salvation Army Brass Band   Extracts in Full Circle
    The People of Basingstoke   Ambient sounds from public areas
    Sue Sharpe   CD Cover and graphic design
    Sound Recording Technology   High End Mastering and CD Manufacture
    Jack Cruttenden,
    Molly Gray,
    Sue Sharpe,
    Class 5H Kings Furlong Junior School
      CD Picture Credits

  • Music Composition: Contributing Organisations

  • Special thanks to my wife Janice and to those at May Place, Roman House, and Saint Michael's Hospice for their generosity of spirit, time and effort. Our Town would not have come about without the help of many members of the public who kindly contributed towards this work yet preferred not to be mentioned by name in the following credits.


    The Anvil
    Basing Clog
    Basingstoke Cycle Works
    Basingstoke Football Club
    Basingstoke Ice Rink
    Basingstoke Model Eng. Soc.
    Basingstoke Ramblers
    Basingstoke Ruby

    Basingstoke Sports Centre
    Club 2000-2005 Bingo
    Common Players Theatre
    Corbett and Gelson
    J Sainsbury's
    Kingsclere MOT Centre

    Mayflower Morris Dancers
    Morris Dancers Camrose Football Ground Oakley Junior School
    Queen Mary's College
    The Old Trout Band
    Sisk Builders
    The Irish Club Warner Bros. Cinema
    Wella Bisons

  • Project: Individual Contributors

  • The following list of contributors is in alphabetical order and as agreed, no reference is made to their occupation or interest group. Many others contributed but wished to remain anonymous.


    Mrs R L Allen
    Joe Allnutt
    Louise Anderson
    Valerie Applebee
    Ellen D'Arcy
    Angela Athawes
    Emma Atkin
    Richard Atlin
    Arthur Attwood
    Tony Attrill
    Derek Ayling
    Chris Bailey
    Stephen Baker
    Lloyd Ball
    Craig Ball
    Samantha Bandy
    Ian Baneck
    Zoe Barrett
    Ron Bell M Bennett
    Lindsay J Berry
    Elliot Billingham
    M Bibbó
    Kayleigh Bird
    James Blanchard
    Luke Bloomfield
    Christine Bonner
    Jane Bonnin
    Ashley Boon
    Martin Boult
    Joe Bourne
    Earnest Bow
    Rachel Bowden
    Tom Braybrook
    Cyril Brooks
    Tony Brotherton
    C Brophy
    Anne Brown
    Anne Brunton
    Peter Brunton
    Hannah Bryer
    Annabelle Buckland
    James Burke
    Brian Burwood
    Jenny Byford
    Lois Carrington
    Julie Carver
    Hugh Chalker
    Tessa Chevallier
    Peter Churchill
    Christopher Clair
    J L Cochrane
    Ben Constant
    Kimberley Cook
    Matthew Cleaver
    Holly Coles
    Adrian Collum
    Morris Cooper
    Mr G Cook
    Ralph Cook
    Adam Coulter
    David P Coppin
    Verena Cornwall
    Jade Coulter
    Adam Coulter
    Mike Curran
    Rory Chapman
    Peter R Churchill
    Debbie Clarke
    Anne Craddick
    Mrs Crawford
    Paul Cripps
    Paul Crosby
    Nicholas Crowson
    Jack Cruttenden
    Alma Cruttenden
    Fr. Danny
    Colin Davies
    Nigel Darley
    Shiela Darley
    Christopher Day
    Paul Day
    David Deane-Saunders
    Simon Derbyshire
    Cicely Dewe
    Rhiannon Doe
    Emma Dobbie
    Rhiannon Doe
    Sophie Dollin
    Edmund Donovan
    Paul Donohoe
    Yvonne Donohoe
    Carol Dooley
    Ernest Downing
    Chris Duncan
    Bryon Dwyer
    Graeme D East
    Amy Elliott
    Niall English
    Angela C Evans
    Clare Evans
    Margaret Evans
    Jason Ewins
    Niamh Fagen
    Janet Farmer
    Mike Farrow
    Sam Flint
    Michael Forbes
    Pippa Forster
    Barbara Foster
    Paul Gallie
    V Gilmour
    Mgr. Jeremy Garratt
    William Garrey
    Melinda Gatcum

    Clive Grace
    A Godfrey
    R Gowling
    Gavin Greenhalgh
    John Greenwood
    Warren Grew
    Jenny Grieves
    Abdul Gioffar
    R Gowling
    Molly Gray
    Warren Grew
    Alexander Hackett
    Iris Harding
    John Harding
    Mr G Hargrove
    Chris Harris
    Ian Harris
    Mavis Gwendoline Harvey
    Richard Hasted
    Heather Hasthorpe
    Bill Hayes
    S Haywood
    Stefan Harrison
    S Haywood
    Danika Henderson
    Mrs S M Headley
    Rose Heath
    EJ and SJ Hedges
    Adrian Hemmings
    Danika Henderson
    Joy Hickson
    Helen Hill
    Jeffrey Hill
    Jim Hill
    Tom Hizer
    Alan Hoare
    Leeza Hilden
    Amanda Hobden
    Reuben Horsfall
    Wendy Horsfall
    Claire Hobbs
    Andrew Hobden
    Tony Hollow
    John Holmes
    Linda Holmes
    Ian Holmes
    David Howe
    Nick Houston
    Colin Hyde
    Daniel Ilett
    Chloe Inman
    Catherine Ives
    Daniel Ilett
    Mrs Sandra Jeffery
    Cerys Jenkins
    Emma Jobling
    Amanda Jones
    Lynden Jones
    Rob Jones
    Simon Jones
    Lucy Lucy
    Jordan Lynne
    Pete Jordan
    Russell Keenan
    Jan Kerch
    Emily Kidgell
    Fred Kinge
    Janet Kinge
    John Kinge
    Kirsty Kinge
    Matthew Kinge
    Cheryl Knight
    Janet Knight
    Mrs Shirley Kirsopp
    Shelain Lakhani
    Fiona Lane
    Gary Langham
    Dawn Langley
    Mrs Sheila Lawrence
    Josh Lee
    Shane Lewis
    Paul Littlehales
    Kelly Longhurst
    Carly Louden
    Brenda Lockyer
    Peter Malcolm
    Becky Marlow
    Andy Marshall
    Louise Martin
    Petronella Mattress
    Phillip Mayer
    James Mayers
    Christopher Maynard
    Kathleen McCarthy
    Roy Mears
    Anton Medford
    Melanie Owen Mills
    Daina Mills-Powell
    Rajon Miah
    Ripon Miah
    Kelly Miller
    T Minshell
    John Moffat
    Ann Monger
    Robbie Monroe
    Emma Morgan
    Susan Morris
    Penny Morris
    Kerrie Moth
    Robie Monro
    Phyllis Murray
    Hannah Myat
    James Myers
    Brian and Richard Nagle
    Sheila Nagle

    Craig Newman
    Jason Nethercliffe
    Claire Noble
    Mike Nicholls
    Charlotte Ninnis
    Leanne O'Neil
    Graham Osborne
    Mick Paull
    Mr Pati
    Margarete Payne
    Ian Pegg
    Kelly Pearcy
    John Penfold
    Tim Pickup
    George Plummer
    Gemma Plumb
    Margaret Porter
    Adam Pring
    Simon Pugsley
    Pat Rampton
    Alisdair Ramsey
    Matt Randall
    Rebecca Reilly
    Alex Reid
    Mrs Phyllis Ralton
    Wendy Ray
    Iris Raynbird
    Joan Rhodes
    Mark Richards
    Chris Richardson
    Matthew Rixon
    Daniel Robb
    Eloise Robb
    Mr and Mrs Robb
    Christina Rocca
    Jane Rolfe
    Lily-Bilie Roman
    D R Sadler-Hall
    Sylvia Salter
    David Deane-Saunders
    Erica Schröder
    Cliff Seamark
    Iona Sewell
    Ian Shanks
    Stephen Sheedy
    Jessica Sheldrake
    Mrs Mary Shelley
    Mukhtar Siddiqui
    Linda Simmons
    Jake Simpson
    Andrew Smith
    Jillian Smith
    Julie Smith
    Kirstine Smith
    Terry Smith
    Mr Trevor A. Smith
    Jon Soar
    Jenny Soar
    Kevin Spector
    Grace Springthorpe
    Victoria Stanford
    Natalie Stanton
    Sarah Stevens
    Mrs Alison Jane Stone
    Dave Stone
    Helen Stones
    Aron Stroner
    Kath Sutton
    Sharon Symonds
    David Taplin
    Nathan Danielle Taylor
    Ron Tillson
    Joan Thomas
    Sandra Thomas
    Neil Topliss
    Mathu Trevedi
    Sabina Turrell
    Rosalind Turrell
    Philip Turell
    Pauline Underwood
    Scott Upshall
    Mr Walker
    Mr Barrie Walkley
    Jenny Walker
    Jenny Walpole
    Keith Walpole
    Betty Waters
    Christine Waters
    Alethea Watterson
    Claire Wareham
    Esmé Weaver
    Dorothy Wells
    Rev. Phillip Welsh
    Kelly Wheatland
    Roger Wheble
    Jill Wheble
    Mr J D White
    John White
    Amanda Wilde
    Steve Wiles
    Vanda Williams
    Robin Williams
    Sally Williams
    Mrs E J Wilson
    Jan Wise
    Deborah Woods
    Stuart Woodman
    Mr and Mrs Woodman
    John Wright
    James Wyatt
    Michael Yau
    Vincent Yau