Soundcities – Herd Above The Noise. An installation about the sounds of all the cities in the world.
We cannot be heard in the 'herd' for all the noise. Imagine being able to hear all the sounds in the world all at once.
Soundcities – Herd Above The Noise.
This digital art installation can play thousands of field recordings from around the world onto hundred of speakers. The installation is arranged like a giant map on the floor of the gallery it is installed in. What you see and experience in the gallery is a grid of wires and cables, including up to 300 speakers, and two custom made amplifiers that are all used to make the art installation. The installation can be changed to just focus on any given city, ie, London, Paris, Rome or the whole world, or the audience can control and change the sounds and maps.
What you hear are city sounds, noises the poetic interpretation of the city from the perspective of listening. At the same time maps can be projected onto the wall of the custom software as each city appears on the screens.
The audience can interact and choose the sounds that get played on the speakers. (It is both an interactive and a generative a sound art system.
The audience operate the system from two computers these can also connected to two projectors and thus become performers. These computers show the interactive sound maps. If no one is in the room or they leave it then it works on its own as generative system travelling the globe. The installation features the use of soundcities.com database and live feeds with a new software system.
The sounds of cities give clues to the emotional and responsive way we interact with our cities. Cities all have specific identities, and found sound can give us clues to the people that inhabit these spaces, as well as provoking us and stimulating our senses in a musical way. I am interested in the sounds of specific places, and how the sounds reflect this identity and re-imposes characteristics back onto the location or environment. It has become an online aural experience that evokes place, both as literal description but also developed musical composition. The city is its own music, constantly evolving, a beautiful composition of squeaks, clanks, and pulses. The city is the orchestra. As globalization fractures the identity of the city experience we start to find things that appear the same the world over. Soundcities, involves field recording literally the sounds we hear as we walk out of the door. Not just as noise (data) or as noise pollution but also as an appreciation of sound and how this not only affects the space but is the space. The noise is the city, the noise is the music, the city is the orchestra and we are just conductors whose interactive actions compose this music as we walk around. We control the interface of the city as we navigate the streets. We are responsive in our interactions of the city space.
Soundcities was the first online open source database of city sounds and soundmaps from around the world (made in 2000), using found sounds and field recording. There are now thousands of sounds that can be listened to, used in performances on laptops, or played on mobiles.
The Soundcities database is also open so anyone can upload sounds they collect from world cities, thereby making a contribution to the project and making an online sounds archive. There are sounds from over 88 worldwide cities including Sao Paolo, London, Paris, Dresden, Amsterdam, Saltburg, Graz, Rotterdam, Barcelona, San Sebastian, Manchester, Liverpool, Ljubiana, Frankfurt, Porto, Istanbul, Mexico City, New York. etc See www.soundcities.com
Installation of the work. I will bring all the speakers and systems i.e. all equipment except projectors. I will bring a series of related artworks for the walls if requested. Projection on the wall is optional. Email me for details. Workshops are also available.
Jarvenpaa Art Museum, Finland 2021
World Experience Festival. Bucharest. Romania 2018
La Panacee Centre de Culture Contemporaine. Montpellier France 2015
Filmwinter Expanded Media. Stuttgart, Germany 2014
City of Dreams Lanternhouse UK 2010
Shown here with stanza painting and noise maps.
Soundcities – Herd Above The Noise.
The sounds of cities evoke memories. As globalization fractures the identity of the city experience we start to find things that appear the same the world over. A growing labyrinth, a community of aural cityscapes and collages is now evolving online.The sounds of cities also give clues to the emotional and responsive way we interact with our cities. The city is its own music, constantly evolving, a beautiful composition of squeaks, clanks, and pulses we compose this orchestra as we move about. We control the interface of the city as we navigate the streets. We are responsive in our interactions of the city space.
The noise is the city, the noise is the music, the city is the orchestra and we are just conductors whose interactive actions compose this music as we walk around. What Soundcities does is create an open source archive, a resource to make spatialisation and sonifications of the environment based on the analogue recorded sounds.
Soundcities – Herd Above The Noise. Online interface to use the system online
Workshop Also Available
Stanza workshop with the soundcities project. The workshop investigates field recording, collecting sounds, editing sounds, and finally participants put them in the database and on soundmaps on the soundcities.com site. The group creates these soundmaps in the city by recording sounds using portable devices. The aim is to learn about field recording and using sound for creative uses, ie concerts, installations and enhanced experience of our surroundings.
A two day workshop for up to ten participants. (they need to bring or share their own sound recorder)
DAY 1. Introduction to the project and talk forty mins. Sound recording, the system, and data base. Places to go visit in groups and record the city using recorders.
DAY 2: Morning Edit the sounds. We will need some computers. Group can bring laptops and use their own laptops to speed up the editing Afternoon. Group will place sounds inside the Soundcities database and form a map of the new city and the whole project goes live.
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