Cities and Memory - remixing the world

By Cities and Memory

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Description

Cities and Memory remixes the world, one sound at a time - a global collaboration between artists and sound recordists all over the world. The project presents an amazingly-diverse array of field recordings from all over the world, but also reimagined, recomposed versions of those recordings as we go on a mission to remix the world. What you'll hear in the podcast are our latest sounds - either a field recording from somewhere in the world, or a remixed new composition based solely on those sounds. Each podcast description tells you more about what you're hearing, and where it came from. There are more than 5,000 sounds featured on our sound map, spread over more than 100 countries and territories. The sounds cover parts of the world as diverse as the hubbub of San Francisco’s main station, traditional fishing women’s songs at Lake Turkana, the sound of computer data centres in Birmingham, spiritual temple chanting in New Taipei City or the hum of the vaporetto engines in Venice. You can explore the project in full at http://www.citiesandmemory.com

Episode Date
Covid home alert, Quebec
100
Recording of the Québec Alert Ready – Emergency Alert for the January 9th, 2021, home curfew. Both English and French versions are recorded.

Recorded by Georgios Varoutsos.

Part of the #StayHomeSounds project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of the global coronavirus lockdown around the world - for more information, see http://www.citiesandmemory.com/covid19-sounds
May 19, 2022
Rendezvous
1809
Estacio do Oriente, Lisbon reimagined by Synnax.

"This is based on further exploration with  the new Rrreeaaa Timestretch algorithm built in to Reaper.  It chops up two minutes of a track by Karhide from their Feb 2022 Project and then extending it out to just under 30 minutes and mixing it with the Estacio do Oriente field recording.  Both of the tracks we heavily processed with plugins including Quadravox (Eventide), TAIP (BABY Audio), Eos 2 (Audio Damage), ShaperBox 2 (Cableguys), smartEQ3 (sonible), StereoSavage (Plugin Boutique), Spaced Out (BABY Audio) and Crystalline (BABY Audio)."
May 19, 2022
Estacio do Oriente, Lisbon
189
Ambience, people chatting and hall reverberation at the Estacio do Oriente station in Lisbon, Portugal, recorded by Marcel Gnauk. 
May 19, 2022
Notre Dame basilica - lockdown in Montreal
120
Recording of multiple groups of people playing and enjoying their time in the public space across the Basilica. Multiple languages are being spoken, highlighting some of the cultural diversity Montreal represents. A bell is struck in the background.

Recorded by Georgios Varoutsos.

Part of the #StayHomeSounds project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of the global coronavirus lockdown around the world - for more information, see http://www.citiesandmemory.com/covid19-sounds
May 19, 2022
Place Jacques Cartier - lockdown in Montreal
120
Recording in front of a Maple syrup stand and a light installation, where multiple groups of people are walking through. This is a low amount of people that would usually fill up this area due to its proximity to various shops and restaurants. There was also supposed to be a small winter festival in this area. 

Recorded by Georgios Varoutsos.

Part of the #StayHomeSounds project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of the global coronavirus lockdown around the world - for more information, see http://www.citiesandmemory.com/covid19-sounds
May 19, 2022
Crescent Street - lockdown in Montreal
120
Recording at the corner of Crescent St and Saint-Catherine St. Cars are slowly driving through the intersection with their tires passing through the snow. In the background, there is a parked truck with its engine on and moments of a few distant voices. This street usually hosts many types of restaurants/bars, yet they have been closed for an extended period and therefore there is no one around these areas.

Recorded by Georgios Varoutsos.

Part of the #StayHomeSounds project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of the global coronavirus lockdown around the world - for more information, see http://www.citiesandmemory.com/covid19-sounds
May 19, 2022
Guy Street - lockdown in Montreal
120
Recording at the corner of Guy St and Saint-Catherine St. City speakers playing music during the holiday period with cars and pedestrians travelling around. A snow removal truck lowers its plow to start scraping off the snow from the streets. There are still little amounts of afternoon commuters.

Recorded by Georgios Varoutsos.

Part of the #StayHomeSounds project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of the global coronavirus lockdown around the world - for more information, see http://www.citiesandmemory.com/covid19-sounds
May 19, 2022
Xpodium - lockdown in Montreal
120
Recording between Rue de la Montagne & Drummond Street on Saint-Catherine St. Montreal built a tiny platform that allows you to walk onto each sidewalk. As pedestrians walk onto the metal stairs and platform, you hear each of their footsteps. While standing over passing vehicles.

Recorded by Georgios Varoutsos.

Part of the #StayHomeSounds project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of the global coronavirus lockdown around the world - for more information, see http://www.citiesandmemory.com/covid19-sounds
May 19, 2022
First Pass Under Heaven
68
Scaffolding being erected at the First Pass Under Heaven Gate of the Great Wall of China, Shanhaiguan, recorded by Mark Wilden. 
May 19, 2022
Pass to Heaven
317
Scaffolding at the Shanhaiguan gate of the Great Wall of China, reimagined by Karhide. 

"This was created using the new Rrreeeaaa stretch algorithm that has been added to Reaper.  The sample was stretched out to 40 minutes and then chopped up and reassembled in to a 5 minute track."
May 19, 2022
Do they tip here?
132
Da La night market reimagined by Dan Rosato. 

"We stood at the ice cream stand for 30 minutes - at first hungry for a cool sweet treat, and then hypnotised by the rhythmic chopping and the motorbike drone. All sounds in this reimagined piece are drawn from the original field recording."
May 03, 2022
Da Lat night market, Vietnam
138
A typical hot night at the Da Lat Night Market, located in the Central Highlands of Vietnam. Locals crowd around an ice cream stand, where they order fresh strawberries chopped into ice cream and rolled up. Small motorbikes are everywhere. 

Recorded by Dan Rosato. 
May 03, 2022
There's not a road here, there's not a river there
316
This composition is all about creating a brand new sense of place by combining elements of two recordings - crows nesting by a stream in some woods in Oxford, UK, and cars passing over a bridge by a cafe in Vicenza, Italy. There's not a road going through the Oxford woods, and yet we hear cars passing by in the soundscape. There are no trees, crows or woodpeckers in this part of Vicenza, and yet we hear them. Through sound, we have created a new, impossible location that exists simultaneously both in Oxford and Vicenza, but which also exists in neither. Created by Cities and Memory. 
Apr 22, 2022
On Ponte San Paolo
281
Binaural recording from street level on Ponte San Paolo, Vicenza. We hear, close up, the sounds of car wheels and engines as cars pass slowly over the cobbled bridge. Between cars passing, we hear the sounds of local cafe customers chatting and laughing, and a man passes close by with a trolley bag. A detailed soundscape.

Recorded by Cities and Memory. 
Apr 22, 2022
Crows in Chilswell Valley
203
In a valley in a nature reserve in Oxford near sunset, crows are arguing loudly in the trees above us as they prepare to nest for the night - we can also hear the alarm calls of a woodpecker in the same woods. To our left, the rushing of a small stream continues throughout. 

Recorded by Cities and Memory.
Apr 22, 2022
The bees are flying. They taste the spring.
298
Natural soundscape on Monte Venda reimagined by Cities and Memory. 

This piece moves as the original recording moves, from a simple, relaxed and natural soundscape to the interruption of a small plane overhead symbolising the intrusion of machinery, urban life and the plague of mankind on the natural world, before passing and leaving peace in its wake once again. 

The sounds are made primarily from manipulated clips of buzzing bees and chirping birds from the field recording. 

The title comes from Sylvia Plath's meditative "Wintering", which seemed appropriate to the themes of the piece: 

Will the hive survive, will the gladiolas
Succeed in banking their fires
To enter another year?
What will they taste of, the Christmas roses?
The bees are flying. They taste the spring.
Apr 20, 2022
Springtime on Monte Venda
143
A lush spring soundscape from Monte Venda, the highest hill in northern Italy's Colli Euganei. You can hear bees feeding on nearby flowers, coming in close to the microphone, several species of birds overhead, and then the buzz of a small plane flying overhead in this short recording. 

Recorded by Cities and Memory, April 2022.
Apr 20, 2022
The empty quarter
422
Desert wind in Oman reimagined by Cities and Memory. 

"Far from being a silent or uninteresting source sound, the original field recording is hugely evocative and oddly emotional, transporting the listener to a unique place of both beauty and epic isolation. 

"For the reimagined piece, I sought to capture and emphasise some of the sense of loneliness and isolation, but at the same time warmth and hope, that the original recording generated in me. Snippets of piano dance around the sound field, anchored by a simple, mellow bassline that keeps us locked into a sense of place throughout the piece. This is The Empty Quarter."
Apr 19, 2022
Desert wind in Oman
420
Desert wind in the Empty Quarter, Oman, recorded by George Vlad.

"The vastness of the Empty Quarter is difficult to fathom. It's larger than many countries but it is virtually uninhabited. There's hardly any wildlife and the continuously moving sand dunes support only a few incredibly hardy plants.

"The sound of the desert is subtle yet mesmerising. Only wind and soft sand movement make up the soundscape, but it varies endlessly. The wind can be muted, soft, soothing, blustery, gusty and many other descriptors. Sometimes it's so strong it can take down my tent, with me in it. Other times it's not present at all, creating a weird sense of weightlessness."
Apr 19, 2022
Upon the Wailing Hill
190
Reimagined sound from Jerusalem, Israel by Sonnie Carlebach.

"This reimagining seeks to draw from the context and content of the field recording by building upon the cries of the man that can be heard in a few points throughout. The man is performing a mystic Jewish practice of calling out to God in the wilderness known as 'Hitbodedut' invented by Rabbi Nachman of Breslov. 

"By sampling and manipulating his cries using pitch, distortion, chorus, and doubling I produced a synth sounding vocal lead for a track that draws heavily from old school UK Dubstep music. This is a genre known for contrasting dark and booming bass and atmospheric sounds with lush and ethereal synths, chords, and melodies as a contemplation upon the darkness and subtle beauty of urban life in the 2000s London. 

"As such, it aptly reflected the pain and compassion expressed in this man's wailing which maintains throughout the track serving as a connection between the buildup, breakdown, and final closing section of the song."
Apr 01, 2022
Hitbodedut (seclusion) on Purim
68
"A man cries out to God on a Jewish festival holiday in a secluded park area, accompanied by birds, car horns, and other cityscapes." 

Recorded in Jerusalem, Israel by Sonnie Carlebach.
Apr 01, 2022
The cycle of days
355
Lockdown thunderstorm in Oxford reimagined by Cities and Memory.

"In lockdown, time seemed to be at a standstill, with every day taking forever to pass, but the months vanishing in an instant. This piece is built on a recording of a thunderstorm taking place when we were all confined to our homes, a slight point of difference in a blank calendar of days that looked and felt the same. The degrading loops represent the cycle of the days passing during lockdown, lulling the listener into a sense of time passing differently. As the loops represent the passing of similar days, the introduction of new elements and more volume represents our growing frustration at the months passing by in lockdown, unable to do anything to help."
Mar 15, 2022
Anti-Ukraine war protest, Oxford
538
6 March 2022: A protest against the war in Ukraine held in Radcliffe Square, Oxford. Hundreds of people listen on and applaud in support of Russians speaking out against the war and Ukrainians speaking of their experience of the conflict. Three Russians tell us that they don't support Putin and the war, and a Ukrainian based in Oxford speaks of her experience and tells us about her family, still in the country. 

Recorded by Cities and Memory.
Mar 06, 2022
Let it go
200
Venetian busker reimagined by Scott Lawrence Whitman.

"I transformed the original field recording into an ethereal pad."
Mar 01, 2022
Let it be in Venice
239
A busker plays "Let It Be" by the Beatles on an acoustic guitar on New Year's Eve in Campo Santo Stefano, Venice. You can hear passers-by and dogs as well as the busker himself. Recorded by Cities and Memory.  
Mar 01, 2022
Walking on freshly-cooled lava
213
Walking on recently-cooled lava at the site of the Geldingadalir Volcano, Iceland, August 2021. Recorded by Mark Wilden.
Mar 01, 2022
Eurydice's shadow
595
Geldingalir volcano lava walk reimagined by presidiomodelo.

"This composition is an inevitable reflection on the current events and a reminder that turning to the past inevitably throws us back to hell itself. Sending a chorus of voices into the cauldron of the resonating fear and violence, we doom ourselves to loneliness, to the past, to an inevitable and helpless repentance in the future."
Mar 01, 2022
Trance-it Zürich
312
Zurich airport shuttle reimagined by Kim Laugs.

"The original recording was dense in sound, so I decided to take samples and rework them trough granulation, pitch and cut-ups to create another reorganized transit trip. Enjoy the ride!"
Mar 01, 2022
South Tangerang
554
Soundscape from South Tangerang reimagined by Luis Antero.

"Listening to the original recording, full of everyday sounds, led me to create a piece in which many of these sounds were eliminated, leaving only a few that, in a way, mirrored the sound identity of that place. In order to create a more harmonious piece, I added musical elements and sound effects, namely granular synthesis, choosing to loop this new soundscape."
Mar 01, 2022
South Tangerang, Indonesia
322
Recording by Arya Adyuta from South Tangerang, Indonesia. 

"From motorbikes muffler buzzing to the kids shouting, here's how the typical suburban housing in South Tangerang sounds like on the afternoon."
Mar 01, 2022
Zurich airport shuttle bus
281
"Hearing different languages and announcements in the shuttle bus taking me from the plane to the airport terminal. Stepping off the bus into the noise of the airside zone, then into the quiet of the terminal itself." Recorded by Shaun Malone. 
Mar 01, 2022
The Icelandic lament
354
Djúpavík oil tank, Iceland reimagined by Audio Obscura

"There was something incredibly moving about this original recording, a reverb heavy voice / moan recorded in an Icelandic oil tank. I wanted to use the singing as it was without alteration and keep the backing sounds to compliment and move the piece along. 

"It felt like I was composing music to add to this as if there was an orchestra inside the tank as well.  The use if footsteps and bangs on the tank as well gave a great sense of the cavernous place and sounds like this appear so visual to me. A great piece of field recording and hopefully I've done it justice. "
Feb 28, 2022
Inside a gigantic oil tank
232
Inside the Djúpavík oil tank, Iceland - a huge reverb, cavernous footsteps and a recording of singing inside the tank. Recorded by Mark Wilden. 
Feb 28, 2022
Partials and overtones
365
Lockdown hum in Oxford reimagined by Robert Dansby.

"I isolated the hum in the title and began to pick apart partials and overtones, from which a I built up an assemblage of details already there, but enhanced - an ambient track made from ambience."
Feb 26, 2022
Stoppelbergen pine forest
377
"'Stoppelbergen' is the name of a 190-hectare wooded area located south of Ossendrecht and northeast of Zandvliet. The area is located on the southern edge of the 'Brabantse Wal', on the border of the polder area. It is a shifting sand area that is wooded with Scots pine, Maritime pine and Corsican pine. The shelduck and the nightjar breed there.

'Stoppelbergen' lies directly east of the Belgian-Dutch border. The area is very popular with hikers and mountain bikers."

Recorded by Tony van Dorst. 
Feb 25, 2022
Sonic description of a forest
175
Stoppelbergen pine forest reimagined by Joel Graham.

"Reimagining the sonic description of a pine forest. All the distinctive sounds in the original recording have been used and reimagined - a whistle is a bird call, a baby is the "Akhaw" bird, etc. "
Feb 25, 2022
Shanhaiguan wedding
326
Shanhaiguan Pass reimagined by Claire Pearson. 

"I wanted to see if I could I create a melodic piece from the discordant sounds in this field recording.  I discovered the instrument was a suona, a traditional reeded pipe instrument often played in China at births, weddings and funerals.  
Shanhaiguan sits at the easternmost end of the wall.  It means both 'mountain and sea pass' and 'first pass under heaven.'  I imagined a wedding procession making its way from the walled city down to where the Great Wall meets the Pacific Ocean. 

I used Ableton to isolate sections of the sample and experimented with reversing, changing the speed and tone until I found passages I liked.  I arranged samples into two tracks then I added some reverb to smooth out the sound and built up instrumentation around the inter-play of the sampled tracks."
Feb 22, 2022
Music on the Great Wall of China
74
A musical instrument being played by a busker at Shanhaiguan Pass at the Great Wall of China, recorded by Mark Wilden. 
Feb 22, 2022
Farmoor or less
288
Wytham Woods, Oxford in lockdown 2020, reimagined by Alan Bleay. 

"Taking a cue from the super wide stereo field of nature, I used the field recording as the central piece of the sound layered with phase movements and harmonic shifting.A simple jazz drum break glues the tempo of the music as it glides through three small sections finally to resolve on a simple chord ending. Nature is the star."
Feb 21, 2022
Cities and Memory - WFMU special show
3540
Cities and Memory show, originally broadcast on WFMU on Sunday 20 February 2022.

https://wfmu.org/playlists/shows/112702 

1. Alex Hehir - The Horses of Seville (field recording: horses outside Seville Cathedral)
2. ILUITEQ - Celebration day (field recording: Armistice Day in Belgium)
3. De Velden - 90 minutes compressed (field recording: Venezia vs. Cittadella, in the stadium)
4. Rob Knight - Hilde (field recording: Arbatskaya metro station, Moscow)
5. Kid Kin - The war on hugs (field recording: Alfons and the Magic Tree, shortwave radio recording)
6. Cities and Memory - Sedimento (field recording: various recordings from across Venice) 
Feb 21, 2022
El tiempo pasando por la ventana
93
Brazilian storm reimagined by Luis EP.

"(Time passing by the window) I imagined a warm but rainy day where I am appreciating the storm through my bedroom window, remembering and letting aroused emotions come and go with the rain. A moment of peace, of presence with a touch of nostalgia."
Feb 18, 2022
A storm on Christmas Day
156
Tropical storm in a country house next to the woods on December 25th, 2020 in Ouro Preto, Brazil. Recorded under roof tiles and at an open window facing the trees, in the afternoon by Mariana de Almeida Lage. 
Feb 18, 2022
It's all you need to live again
252
Shinjuku, Tokyo, reimagined by Cities and Memory.

"The original recording is a super-evocative soundscape, where the hustle and bustle of a big city combines with elements that could only be Tokyo. The recording painted a picture in my head, which, blended with a touch of Blade Runner-esque neo-dystopia, generated the following composition, designed to evoke a futuristic night in Tokyo." 
Feb 17, 2022
Tokyo by night: sounds of Shinjuku
177
Shinjuku, Tokyo recorded by Max Thomson.

"From the exit of the labyrinthine Shinjuku JR station, the sounds of Tokyo at night hit you fast. The loud speaker of a street preacher upon his soapbox, the twang of a buskers guitar and the clash of skateboards all struggling for dominance among the omnipresent sound of advertising - Tokyo style."
Feb 17, 2022
There where the waves shatter
285
Waves on La Guardia beach, Elba reimagined by Cities and Memory. 

"In this reimagined composition, the waves are at the heart, running through its centre and chopped up and timed so they undulate in time with the bassline. The guitars and synths are the sparkling crests of the waves as they wash over the rocks from where the recording was made. This composition evokes the feeling of what it was like to enjoy this idyllic space on a quiet August day."

The title comes from the wonderful Pablo Neruda poem: 

"There where the waves shatter on the restless rocks
the clear light bursts and enacts its rose,
and the sea-circle shrinks to a cluster of buds,
to one drop of blue salt, falling.

O bright magnolia bursting in the foam,
magnetic transient whose death blooms
and vanishes--being, nothingness--forever:
broken salt, dazzling lurch of the sea."
Feb 17, 2022
Chorus of bells
155
At midday, a chorus of different church bells from across the city ring out in the splendid Piazza della Biade in Vicenza. Recorded by Cities and Memory.
Feb 17, 2022
Per chi suona la campana
249
Piazza della Biade, Vicenza reimagined by Richard Watts.

"I've used lots of samples of bells from the original recording and created some repeated rhythms. Then I added some melodies and some reserved samples of the people talking at the end of the original recording."
Feb 17, 2022
Reimagining the Kursaal, 1920-1960s
177
Kursaal Estate, Southend reimagined by Sophie Shields. 

"The Kursaal estate previously was an amusements ground, and this piece extracts sound from old footage of the Kursaal to reimagine what it was like in the 1920's-1960s."
Feb 17, 2022
Kursaal Estate, Southend
142
Field recording of the Kursaal estate in Southend-on-Sea. The Kursaal is one of the oldest buildings still standing in Southend. The site has evolved over the years providing the community with different forms of entertainment. It was supposedly one of the first built amusement parks in the world, until later developed into a housing estate. 

Recording by Sophie Shields. 
Feb 17, 2022
Slow rewind
285
A collaboration between Cities and Memory and Elska built from a field recording of waves on La Guardia beach, Elba, Italy.

Cities and Memory: "The recording of the waves from Elba conjured up a mood that I felt an instrumental track alone couldn't communicate. Having become a fan of Elska's music after she contributed to our Inferno project last year, I thought her voice would be ideal for what I had in mind and approached her with the idea. In the instrumental track, the waves are at the heart, running through its centre and chopped up and timed so they undulate in time with the bassline. The guitars and synths are the sparkling crests of the waves as they wash over the rocks from where the recording was made, and Elska brings the missing ingredients."

Elska: "Having been a fan of Stuart's Cities and Memory project for quite some time, I was delighted at the opportunity to collaborate on a beautiful, instrumental composition that he was working on. Intuitively, I tend to hear overlapping vocal melodies that swell and repeat. Hearing the wave samples from an unfamiliar town in Italy immediately sparked patterns of nostalgia, longing, and wonder in both the vocal phrasings and lyrics. The wave crashes represent milestones and moments in time. We slowly rewind back to days where we felt fearless and comforted by love. We are constantly reaching for this ecstasy amidst the fear. I believe we are meant to dance and progress with nature; ebbing and flowing with the tides and recessions. The guitar helps build momentum; emulating the endless oscillations. The vocal layers swell with these gestures; creating a sense of longing and hope as we keep returning to older days." 
Feb 16, 2022
On La Guardia beach
319
Binaural recording of waves crashing onto the completely deserted La Guardia beach on the island of Elba, Italy. Recorded with a Zoom VR-3 from an outcrop of rocks, around which the waves were crashing on all sides. Recorded by Cities and Memory.
Feb 16, 2022
I can't say much more than that
435
Chongqing docks reimagined by Andy McDade.

"I used the sample as a bed throughout the track but also picked out a few bits to repeat here and there. The track reminds me so much of a place I love: Hong Kong and I was thinking of the time I spent there in the 1990s."
Feb 14, 2022
Islannin kevät
277
Icelandic Rauðamelsölkelda spring reimagined by Arvik Torrenssen.

"Our primary audio genre is composition of generative ambient soundscapes which delicately compliments the natural flow of this carbonated spring recording; we sampled and reconstructed sounds from the recording and reimagined this piece whilst viewing many beautiful broody landscapes of Iceland from multiple video sources."
Feb 14, 2022
Escapism
612
Mexico street band in lockdown reimagined by John Ov3rblast.

"The inspiration for this work came from the need for new hope, a new life.
As the worldwide devastation brought tears, pain, loneliness, lost hope, broken heartbeats.

"The rhythm of life itself brings the celestial message of the metamorphosis of this world."
Feb 14, 2022
Walking in Mukuru (Xqui remix)
285
Mukuru recording reimagined by Xqui.

"The original recording wasn't great so I decided to utilise two excerpts and manipulate them into other sounds.  The children's voices made brilliant sounds for me to work into something very unique."
Feb 14, 2022
Rauðamelsölkelda carbonated spring
97
Recording of bubbling at the Rauðamelsölkelda carbonated spring, Iceland by Mark Wilden.
Feb 14, 2022
Street band plays famous Mexican song
66
"During lockdown all music live events were cancelled. Many musicians went to the streets and played. People from the windows threw them some coins or food. They are playing "Asi Fue" a song by famous and iconic Mexican musician, Juan Gabriel. I love the dogs barking in the distance, annoyed by the music."

Recorded in Mexico City by Luis Arenas.
Feb 14, 2022
Chaotianmen Dock, Chongqing
436
Chaotianmen Dock, Chongqing, South West China, Nov 25 2017, recorded by Ian MacArthur.
Feb 14, 2022
Walking in Mukuru
114
A walk through the enormous Nairobi shanty town Mukuru, as recorded by Luke Henrion.
Feb 14, 2022
Shortwave Transmissions on Resonance FM
3541
Cities and Memory - Shortwave Transmissions, 13 February 2022

A special programme originally broadcast on Resonance FM on Sunday 13 February 2022 to celebrate UNESCO World Radio Day.

In brief:
To celebrate UNESCO World Radio Day on 13 February, Cities and Memory presents highlights from the Shortwave Transmissions project, a collection of compositions built from eight decades of shortwave radio recordings - you can explore the whole project at www.citiesandmemory.com/shortwave.

Tracklisting: 
1. Roberta Fidora - Ottawa shortwave
2. Moray Newlands - The fragility of detente
3. Cities and Memory - The moon in daylight
4. Kid Kin - The war on hugs
5. Cristina Marras - Robert H. Lawrence Jr., trailblazing astronaut
6. David Devereux - Potentialities
7. Rusty Sheriff - The broadcasting service of the Iraqi Republic
8. Arvik Torrenssen - Taajuuksia ja ääniä
9. Tiger Mendoza - Moscow shortwave 1970
Feb 14, 2022
Call and response
253
Orlando Black Lives Matter protest reimagined by de Velden.

"I was struck by how in this recording of a Black Lives Matter protest the tone moved between moments of practicality - organisational announcements - and a profound collective response to a shared experience. Such, I suppose, is the nature of protest. I sought to articulate this musically, underscoring some moments, giving extra space to others. I hope the result does the original recording, and the moment it captured, some form of justice."
Feb 11, 2022
Black Lives Matter, Orlando
251
A Black Lives Matter protest, with call and response chanting, at Lake Eola, Orlando, Florida, recorded in June 2020 by Aaron Cendan.
Feb 11, 2022
Frequency drafts
196
Paragliders reimagined by Lauren Wooley.

"When I first heard this track, I was originally drawn to the drone-like frequency sweeps of the powered paraglider. For this reimagined piece, I used the spectrogram of the original recording as my guide to isolate different frequency bands. I imagine these frequency bands as sonic parallels to air currents, keeping the paraglider afloat as they draft and move through elevation/frequency, hence the title Frequency Drafts."
Feb 10, 2022
Paragliding
63
Recording of two paragliders flying between Buffalo and Lake Erie, by Connor Orrico.
Feb 10, 2022
Kotor
258
Farmers' market in Kotor reimagined by Ronan Considine.

"I used the recording of a farmers’ market in Montenegro as a base and inspiration to create additional sounds. Some of the more experimental sounds are sampled from the field recording, and the synths were improvised while listening to the recording. Like any exploration of a traditional market you never know what you're going to discover, but you’re usually happy with the outcome."
Feb 10, 2022
The Mordens
593
Bells for the death of Prince Philip in Guilden Morden reimagined by Andy Billington.

"The original recording was of the bells of Guilden Morden church ringing out 99 times to mark the death of the Royal consort. I had the idea to remove all of the bells from the original field recording leaving bird song and the faint reverberation of the bell toll rising and falling. These base tracks were merged, reversed and re sampled. Essentially the sounds became ghosted and the bird song re established itself as the dominant sound. I re added parts of the original recording and slowly built out inside my DAW layers of organ and ambient pads. Finally a bass line was "found" and I reworked the track to ebb and flow, shimmer and build then decay. The Mordens describes the area which Guilden Morden forms part of. The track is really a homage to the other sounds on that day. Equally as important i think to the bells..."
Feb 09, 2022
Midday in Piazza dei Signori
428
Arriving into Vicenza's historic Piazza dei Signori, with its remarkable Palladian architecture, just before 12 noon we're treated to a special melody ringing out from the campanile. A few minutes of ambience later with passers-by, dog walkers and so on, the bells ring out for midday. Recorded by Cities and Memory.
Feb 09, 2022
99 bells for the death of Prince Philip
408
"To mark the passing of Prince Philip - an extract of a ninety-nine muffled toll in Guilden Morden. A very beautiful and fitting sound." Recorded by Rob Godman.
Feb 09, 2022
Broke the hop 4.0
356
Florence's Galleria Commerciale Santa Maria Novella reimagined by Michael Lilley.

"I was (arcanely) motivated by the Xmas present of an Akai MPD from my (kind & generous) sister-in-law to make a breakbeat.

All the sounds within my reimagined work were taken from the original field recording. The source of the discordant piano stabs near the beginner can be heard fairly distinctly towards the end of the piece.

Once I was satisfied with the breakbeat, I then re-wove the field recording back.

Hardware used: MPD232 & a MacBook Pro.
Software used:  MPC Beats, T-RackS 5 & Bitwig.
Mastered via Soundcloud"
Feb 09, 2022
Never been at home '93
170
Vicenza's Piazza dei Signori reimagined by Celestial Noise Disco (Aaron Zwintscher).

"I have never been to Vicenza, Italy, so when listening to the sound I selected, I was uncertain where to start; how to take and remake and remix the sounds in a way that speaks to my own personal experiences and ideas to hear through but also translates for an audience. 

But as I was listening, I reflected upon the fact that I have been to Italy. As a small child, I went on a whirlwind family vacation of Continental Europe. It was 1993, I had a glimmer of the sense of the importance of the trip that marked the transition of my family living as Americans in Japan to just living in America. 

It was then that I, entirely by accident, found and isolated a clip from the ambience of the Piazza dei Signori that, to me at least, sounded distinctly like a small child saying (in English) to their guardian: “I’ve never been … I’ve never been at home.” I had found my organizing principle: dislocation, displacement, and a touch of the unheimlich. 

I took that sound clip as well as extractions of bells, horns, and rhythmic walking and affected and arranged them in Cubasis on my iPad. I used a number of the internal Steinberg effects, over-processed Cubasis drum loops, Waves plugins, and several Eventide reverb plugins to create a lofi ambient soundscape that embodied that sense of dislocation and displacement. I think that the overall process was enhanced by the fact that I was composing and arranging on my iPad while myself dislocated and away from home in Florida instead of NYC. I had limited gear with me and adapted those limitations into the overall sound of the piece. As a nod back to my trip to Italy in ’93, I set the BPM at 93 (apt for lofi), and locked many of the plugin controls to 93, 9 (my age on the trip), and a few other numbers relevant and related to that trip and my own personal experience as a small child in Italian piazzas. 

To finish the piece, I mixed and mastered it for surround and Atmos (as much as the headphones I had with me could allow) in Logic and Ableton Live. It is now the musical reflection of a fuzzy memory of of a childhood experience in a foreign country while in the middle of an international move as reflected by dislocated adaptation of a field recoding nearly 30 years later. I hope it translates."
Feb 09, 2022
Ceased to beat
280
Aberdeen fish market ferry, Hong Kong, reimagined by Keith de Mendonca.

"I visited the fish market in Hong Kong many years ago and so I had some small connection with the place and the sound recording - grinding sounds of ice-cutting machines, noises of machinery and wet fish containers echoing about a large hall.  

"Some of these clanging noises were used to create the rhythm of this piece.

"A music box given to me as a Christmas present became another sound source - its sad tones suggested a piece of music about loss.

"I can't quite explain how I ended up listening to an archive radio broadcast from Albania's Radio Tirana... but the portentous message provided the theme and a voice to finally bind the piece together. Enver Hoxha's passing resulted in the opening up of Albania; Hong Kong's political tectonic plates are now also changing fast - moving the island in the opposite direction towards the mainland's political system."
Feb 08, 2022
Plates at Akasaka Mimoki
156
Japanese noodle bar reimagined by Adriene Lilly.

"I just listened to the recording and pulled out everything that grabbed my attention, then used that to try and make a different environment."
Feb 08, 2022
Bumps and whispers
214
Kathmandu traffic reimagined by Stormy. 

"Starting from a first impression of chaos, I tried to construct sounds that reflected multiple temporalities. Acid sounds, frictions, breaths all refer to this first feeling of confusion."
Feb 08, 2022
Tokyo restaurant sounds
296
A busy lunchtime inside the Soba Kira Mimaki noodle bar, Tokyo, recorded by Giulia Biasibetti.
Feb 08, 2022
Aberdeen fish market ferry, Hong Kong
113
Ambience of a ferry departing from the Aberdeen fish market stop at night on the Hong Kong ferry network, recorded by Marcel Gnauk.
Feb 08, 2022
Borders, reimagined
426
Belgian border post reimagined by Lama Sawaya.

"What intrigued me in the original field recording is its richness, a full sound that hid so many layers of nature, and that right away started triggering my imagination, and got me curious to experimenting with textures and movement. 

"The piece is based on associations between sounds and textures, starting and ending with the original field recording, and a lot of abstract freedom in between. A lot of the layers were created by manipulating the original recording and diving in its spectrum,  and then turning them and adding electronic recording sounds, with a drone like electric guitar floating in and out."
Feb 06, 2022
Border post 269
291
"Border post 269 marks the border between Belgium and The Netherlands. This point is regularly visited by hikers who come to visit the 'Groot Buitenschoor' from here. The 'Groot Buitenschoor' nature reserve is a brackish salt marsh area in the Scheldt. It is located at the Belgian-Dutch border where the Scheldt enters the Netherlands and widens from a river to an estuary, the Westerschelde." Recorded by Tony van Dorst.
Feb 06, 2022
A winter snowshoe walk
130
The sound of walking down Monte Rite in the Italian Dolomites with the help of ciaspole (snowshoes) and ski poles. Recorded by Cities and Memory, January 2022. 
Feb 06, 2022
Snow, ski poles, distorted perceptions
135
Monte Rite snowshoe walk reimagined by Steve Burnett.

"Selected elements of the original recording warped and layered back into the original - no additional audio source used. I left the original source material on continuous repeat until my familiarity began to connect recall different elements as evocative across the track as I listened, then tried to recreate what I had heard."
Feb 06, 2022
Some soft thing softly stirring soon to stir no more
245
Scratchy Bottom beach, Dorset, England reimagined by Violetta Suvini.

"I studied modern languages at university, and specialised in Samuel Beckett, an author who regarded sound as architecture in a similar way to how field recordings construct and preserve a space and time from within the capacity of a mic feed. 

"For this project, I wanted to play around with the idea of using a section of a Beckett text as a graphic score. I chose Company, a novella from 1947, which repeats specific cells of words, phrases and syllabic rhythms throughout, creating a tapestry of associations which shifts and shimmers. 

"From a section of the text I particularly like, I converted the structures of the repeated phrases into harmonic motifs, before filling out the rest of the musical architecture with a wash of sounds I personally associate with the sea, such as church bells and cicada-like buzzing. 

"The crackles and fizzes towards the end are meant as reference to the habit of auto-disintegration that Beckett practiced in his prose; pinpricks in an edifice of sound. Thanks to Cities and Memory for letting me experiment with this one!"
Feb 03, 2022
Janet's Foss
268
Waterfall at Janet's Foss, Yorkshire reimagined by Eulipion Corps.

"Listening to the original field recording I imagined various occurrences and phenomena at Janet's Foss such as the downstream journey of a leaf, a light rain, foraging mycelium, a stuck twig bumping up against a rock, various insects at work, etc. These imaginings sparked the musical treatment and gave me a a bit of a story to add to the flowing water."
Feb 03, 2022
The cliffs from above
198
A recording of a beach on a relatively busy day during the July 2020 Covid lockdown at Scratchy Bottom in the Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in England. For many, this month was the first time they were able to go beyond their immediate neighbourhood, and popular spots like this became very busy, very quickly. Recorded by Cities and Memory.
Feb 03, 2022
Trickling waterfall in a national park
269
Janet's Foss waterfall in the Yorkshire Dales, recorded from a distance with the binaural Zoom VR-3 recorder by Cities and Memory.
Feb 03, 2022
Messa per San Gaetano
300
Mass at San Gaetano, Vicenza reimagined by Colin Wambsgans.

"The original field recording is of a mass and also can be broken down into 5 distinct sections, the same number as a traditional mass from classical music. Thinking of that structure helped keep the piece as one continuous thing, even as the sections ended up sounding fairly different from each other."
Feb 03, 2022
An overheard mass
271
Part of a mass service recorded the Chiesa di San Gaetano in Vicenza, Italy in January 2021. The quiet reverence of a ceremony celebrated together. We listen respectfully for a few minutes, and depart quietly back into the city.
Feb 03, 2022
The falls
224
Aysgarth Falls, Yorkshire reimagined by Jonathan Williams.

"Water carries messages like a radio - they’re there, but only when you tune in. I went to Aysgarth Falls when I lived in the UK, and fancied one day I might walk the river to learn more of its story. I’ve recently moved back to Australia and that visit seems very distant, now. But perhaps by immersing myself, by falling into this field recording, I might discover messages, stories and daydreams in the almost overwhelming white noise of the water. 

"Experimenting digitally, I stretched sections of the recording and played with the EQ to find snippets of underlying music. I used this as a base for a few bars of piano, which I played back through an FM transmitter. I combined this with snatches of radio as I ran through the bands, thinking about hidden messages, distance and memory."
Feb 03, 2022
Waterfall torrents in Yorkshire
274
Binaural recording from the lower falls in the cascading series of waterfalls at Aysgarth Falls in the Yorkshire Dales. Recorded by Cities and Memory.
Feb 03, 2022
Summer soundscape of Židlochovice
94
"Oecanthus pellucens - it is a cricket typical of our city and surroundings. This sound is heard every night during the summer. Its sound is reminiscent of an old telephone. On the recording you can hear the distant road and other sounds of this small town." 

Recorded by Tomáš Šenkyřík.
Feb 03, 2022
Clouds
322
Czech summer soundscape reimagined by Roberto Vodanović Čopor.

"Then, what do you love, extraordinary stranger?
I love the clouds the clouds that pass up there
Up there the wonderful clouds!”

― Charles Baudelaire"
Feb 03, 2022
Cop26 out!
240
COP26 helicopter reimagined by Tony Miller.

"I wanted to produce a piece that expressed my anger at the hypocrisy of some world leaders using excessive modes of transport to bring themselves and their entourages to COP26 Glasgow."
Feb 01, 2022
Les Étiolés – from Reaumur Sebastopol to Chateau Rouge
270
Paris metro reimagined by Simon Kennedy.

"The sound piece inspired a short story, the prologue of which was translated into French and narrated. The original sound piece was augmented and mixed with the French narration. A film abstract and a typeface were created to accompany the new sound work."

The film can be watched at https://vimeo.com/672297516
Feb 01, 2022
Reaumur to Chateau Rouge
627
On board the Paris metro, riding from Reaumur Sebastopol to Chateau Rouge towards Montmartre on a Saturday in December 2021. Recorded by Cities and Memory.
Feb 01, 2022
Police helicopter over Garnethill Park during COP26
167
"Garnethill Park is a small community park in the centre of Glasgow. I was having lunch and realised there was a police helicopter hovering over the park. There are some sounds of cars and children playing in the nearby school. The police helicopter was there to monitor a citywide climate protest for COP26."

Recorded by David Devereux.
Feb 01, 2022
Klifavik
255
Klifavik fjord reimagined by Bill Stevens. 

"As I listened to the recording, I began to research the connections between the early visitors and settlers of Iceland by the Scandinavians and the Irish. This mix of cultures brought to mind the folk music of the island that has lasted through generations. 

"The sound of the stream and rivers, only interrupted by the sound of footsteps, created a meditative experience that I wanted to bring forward, emphasizing this cultural mix through my interpretation on the folk music of Iceland. 

"In this piece I made the decision to leave the recording as is with no changes in the hope that the listener will join me on a journey to the past of this beautiful and mysterious island. "
Jan 31, 2022
Where a stream meets the sea
250
Field recording from Klifavik fjord, Iceland - sea water, stream, wind and footsteps. Recorded by Mark Wilden.
Jan 31, 2022
Swim, swim, don't sink
221
Pingo river reimagined by Natalia Ludmila.

"A recording of the Pingo* river from the Patagonia region sparked this sound piece that builds a narrative to describe a state of emergency. For this piece titled "swim, swim, don't sink", I repurposed the calming and soothing sound of the Pingo river flowing. In the piece, the river is the guiding thread in a deep and, at times, dark sound composition. And through this tension, I'm searching to put forward notions of a near and looming critical point of our climate, perhaps one of no return."

*The Pingo river is located in the Torres del Paine National Park in the southern part of the Patagonia region in Chile. The river is near the extensive Grey Glacier that has lost approximately two kilometres of its extension due to calving. And in 2017, had a massive iceberg parted from the glacier.
Jan 31, 2022
Honor thy failures
449
Calton Hill, Edinburgh reimagined by Vlad Suppish.

"The original piece immediately caught my attention - melancholic and wistful, a truly rich sonic source, open for interpretations. Plans for it were epic at first but the compositional process became rather an exercise in reductionism.

"As a main tool were used Make Noise's Morphagene. Despite of dazzling possibilities it has I've decided to keep everything relatively simple, intuitive and immediate. Prepared loops on Morphagene were triggered by hand with Pressure Points while processing it in real time. 

"The recording process felt more like a live recording. A flute was added later as a cherry on top of the most climactic moment. 

"The final piece is not perfect. Mistakes were plentiful but sometimes in emphasizing them is the character and a beauty of the piece.     

"So honor thy failures as a hidden intention."
Jan 31, 2022
The Pingo River, Patagonia
188
A walk alongside the lively Pingo River in Chilean Patagonia on a cold, sunny morning in spring. Recorded by Cities and Memory.
Jan 31, 2022
Sunset on Calton Hill
364
Sunset on Calton Hill, Edinburgh, Scotland - the sounds of walkers and a nearby guitar busker, summer 2021. Recorded by Mark Wilden.
Jan 31, 2022
Le pianiste parisien
352
Street pianist reimagined by Nick St. George. 

"This work comprises mostly variations on the original field recording, manipulated via Emission Control 2 and other effects. Add a 19th C. song by Jean Mercier (thank you Ezwa from Librivox)... et voila!"
Jan 30, 2022
Pianist on the streets of Paris
348
A street pianist performs to a small crowd in Le Marais, Paris, December 2021. Recorded by Cities and Memory.
Jan 30, 2022
Celebration day
423
Belgium armistice commemoration reimagined by ILUITEQ.

"Late spring is the period of the year in which many celebrations take place all over Italy: religious feasts, country fairs, weddings. 

"The field recordings of a marching band, the church bells, the applause and the joy of the crowd are all blended in an airy and dreamy soundscape. 

"Glimpses of a celebration day, marking the end of a long winter and saluting a new spring of life."
Jan 26, 2022
Passo Rolle (reimagined by Cravune)
226
Passo Rolle ski lift reimagined by Cravune, who describes the piece as "a wintry lullaby".
Jan 26, 2022
Ski lift at Passo Rolle
222
Recording of a ski lift mechanism from the bottom of the ski slope at Passo Rolle in the Italian Dolomites. Recorded by Cities and Memory.
Jan 26, 2022
Armistice commemoration, Belgium
994
Armistice commemoration in November 2021 at Berendrecht, Belgium, recorded by Tony Van Dorst.

"The local fanfare 'Koninklijke Fanfare Willen is Kunnen' from Berendrecht is participating in the yearly Armistice Commemoration."
Jan 26, 2022
Half the speed of light
414
Krossneslaug hot spring, Iceland reimagined by Jeff Dungfelder.

"“Half the Speed of Light” is based on reimagining a field recording of the water sounds from the Krossneslaug hot spring in Iceland. Krossneslaug is heated by natural hot-springs, and is considered an ‘Infinity Pool’ due to the fact it has magnificent views of the ocean, with nothing impeding the view between the two waters. 

"Thinking about experiencing the sounds of the spring and the view from the infinity pool made me wonder about light traveling in such a magnificent setting. And what if this experience could be slowed down for maximum enjoyment? It is this concept that gave birth to this piece of music, “Half the Speed of Light”."
Jan 26, 2022
Krossneslaug hot spring, Iceland
147
The bubbling sounds of the Krossneslaug hot spring, Iceland, recorded by Mark Wilden.
Jan 26, 2022
Venice morning, Fondamenta dei Ormesini
193
Fondamenta dei Ormesini, Venice, reimagined by John Tenney.

"A quiet morning in Venice: people chat, others pass by with radios, dogs and cats and pigeons make their contributions. The calm is broken by a runaway cruise ship approaching and crashing into the pilings; afterwards, the city is more peaceful than ever. 

"This is based on a real event from 2019, which injured several people, and had the long-range effect of banning the monstrous ships from docking in Venice. The city has had enough troubles-- sinking, flooding, millions of tourists a year pouring through it--without the ships. And perhaps Venice can regain a little more of the character that makes it unique in the world."
Jan 26, 2022
A Monday morning in Venice
350
Morning life on a regular Monday in late summer on Fondamenta dei Ormesini, Venice. On a Monday in the less touristy Cannaregio district to the north of Venice, during the pandemic when there were also far fewer tourists in the city, a slice of regular life for local Venetians as we walk past the cafes, shops and working boats. Recorded by Cities and Memory.
Jan 26, 2022
Hermitage of Braid
168
Water sounds under a bridge at Edinburgh's Hermitage of Braid, recorded by Mark Wilden.
Jan 26, 2022
Atmospheric trail
337
Edinburgh's Hermitage of Braid reimagined by Daniela O'Fee.

"I chose Mark Wilden’s recording of water rushing under the bridge at Hermitage of Braid in Edinburgh Scotland as a departure for a reimagined, environmental tone poem. 

"Listening to the sound and researching the site’s historic ice house along with its recent extreme flooding called to mind last year’s unprecedented weather disasters in my Canadian locale of Kamloops on the unceded lands of Tk’emlups te Secwepemc. Reflecting on the record-breaking heat, the wildfires destroying neighbouring villages, and the massive flooding from atmospheric rivers led me to step into a flow of geophonic and human generated sounds as a call for universality in the climate crisis. 

"Beginning with my snowshoe trek at Stake Lake, I improvised with internal piano sounds, accordion bellow, loose reel-to-reel tape and deconstructed piano parts before weaving the Scottish stream into our local Peterson Creek in which I tossed stones as wet percussion."
Jan 26, 2022
Advice at San Pietro
229
Covid rail announcements in Italy reimagined by Simon Woods.

"Limiting myself to guitars, this piece was made with nylon string, electric, fretless, acoustic bass, dobro, 12 string and travel guitars, with a little helping of e-bow."
Jan 25, 2022
Covid announcements in Italy, January 2022
347
Covid announcements on board a regional train journey from Vicenza to San Pietro in Gù, Italy during January 2022, with reminders about testing and mask wearing.

Part of the StayHomeSounds project to record and reimagine the sounds of the Covid-19 lockdowns. 
Jan 25, 2022
Talking to Tulovo
187
Train ride in Tulovo, Bulgaria reimagined by Simon Woods.

"The piece is made entirely from samples from the field recording. No synths were harmed during the making of the piece. 

Reproduced in Samplers and Wavetable synths."
Jan 25, 2022
Travelling through Tulovo
207
A train journey through Tulovo in Bulgaria, recorded by Mark Wilden. 
Jan 25, 2022
The moon in daylight
341
"The original recording of shortwave radio conversations crackling back and forth from Antarctica to an isolated radio operator in New Jersey had a real melancholy, especially when I considered that the radio operator who does most of the talking is now sadly no longer with us. 

"The conversation between the two men tends towards the philosophical, and how we are observed different aspects of the same world at the same time. The composition based on this recording is intended to be a floating, melancholic, introspective piece, as if we were tuning into the music of the spheres, picking up the movements of the Earth from its most isolated corners, at the same time as glimpsing this private conversation that connected two men across the airwaves more than 45 years ago."

Composition by Cities and Memory.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Jan 19, 2022
A day in Prescot
198
Motorway bridge in Prescot reimagined by Simon Woods.

"Other recordings were made at Prescot Station and the woodyard next to the station. The sounds of the drumming are made up entirely from the sound of the work in the wood yard.

 The motorway, trains and passing aircraft are added to the woodyard sounds with a selection of synths to make the piece."
Jan 19, 2022
On a bridge over the motorway
197
Field recording made from a bridge over the M57 motorway at Prescot, Merseyside in England by Simon Woods.

Jan 19, 2022
Radio contact between W2PVF and KC4AAC of Palmer Station, Antarctica
1142
These recordings were originally made in 1974 by the late Jim Hayward (W2PVF) in Absecon, New Jersey (USA) with two different ham radio stations in Antarctica.

This first recording is between W2PVF and KC4AAC of Palmer Station.

Recorded by Jim Hayward, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave
Jan 19, 2022
Bollettino del mare
231
"We’re used to working on loops and the repetitive speech of the maritime weather speaker immediately gave us ideas. Moreover, he gives the maritime weather for the Adriatic coast (among others) on which we made field recordings this summer. We therefore created a loop with samplers and synths to set the speaker's voice to music, then we integrated some field recordings from the Adriatic sea. We took the whole source recording, we just sliced the phrasing a bit to give it more rhythm."

Composition by Zuunzug.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Jan 19, 2022
JA4 in Habana
399
"I live on an even smaller remote island in tiny Japan, with only 1,800 people living on it. It is a closed island with only 1,800 inhabitants. I live there somewhat wondering if I have to stay here for the rest of my life. Thinking about Cuba, a tropical country I have never been to.... My beloved car is an old Honda JA4, rusted by the sea breeze. The muffler was rusted and had a hole in it, making a loud noise as we drove at night to the ocean. Listening to shortwave broadcasts from Havana, Cuba. Someday, when I am able to escape this small island in this small country, I will be in Havana, lighting cigars. I will be drowning in rum and dreaming of my mother."

Composition by Yeemeen Nosa.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Jan 19, 2022
Antena Internacional
379
"The piece aims to express the sadness over a country completely mismanaged and destroyed. How an idea can be abused, mislead a population and wreck a nation. The horrific stories told by my studio college, who fled Caracas from the regime ten years ago, have inspired this composition. The main material is from the short wave recording from Antena Internacional de Radio Nacional de Venezuela with sparse synthetic and acoustic gestures floating calmly over the enthusiastic radio presenters."

Composition by Håkan Lidbo.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave
Jan 19, 2022
Ah Ah Ah Ah Uuh
228
"I didn't know what the words meant when I heard this shortwave broadcast, but it reminded me of when I was a little girl being lectured by my school teacher. That feeling of wanting to cry, wanting to run away, the feeling of my head getting all messed up... I used Indian shruti boxes and analog synths to create this image of such a scene. Oh, Santa Maria."

Composition by Dutch Money(s).

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave
Jan 19, 2022
Bollettino del mare (weather report)
203
Studio recording from RAI (Radiotelevisione italiana) of their maritime weather forecast. This recording was originally made in 1997.

Recorded by Andrea Borgnino, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave
Jan 19, 2022
Radio Havana
607
Radio Havana Cuba's Spanish Language Service. This recording was made on February 16, 2016 starting at 6:00 UTC on 11.760 MHz. This recording was made in Chiapas, México with a Keenwood R-600 and Magnetic Loop antenna.

Recorded by Emilio Ruiz, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave
Jan 19, 2022
Radio Trans Mundial - final broadcast
2387
I am monitoring Radio Transmundial via [the PY2BS KiwiSDR in] Brazil. They are in the midst of a final discussion in Portuguese between two announcers, mentioning advances/changes in technology, Internet, etc. that are forcing the station off the air. Many mentions of shortwave.

At about the 9:36 mark in the 1st audio file announcer introduces a technical person (sounded like someone from TWR, but also mentioned was “director of communications”) to begin a discussion about their decision to end shortwave — that discussion lasts until about the 34:30 mark when they go into full IDs.

Recorded by Dan Robinson, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave
Jan 19, 2022
Radio Venezuela
2155
With the news over the past few years, and especially over the last few weeks, of the rapid decline of Venezuela, it’s interesting to recall that there was a day when that country was a powerhouse on the shortwave band, with numerous private radio stations that SWL’s around the world could hear in the 90, 60, 49, 31, and 19 meter bands.

There was also a brief attempt to put Venezuela on the map as an international broadcaster, with Radio Nacional de Venezuela which was audible at good signal levels.

Recorded by Dan Robinson, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave
Jan 19, 2022
Another universe
540
"Like the narrators, I have a fondness for all things space, astrophysics and the big questions like: is the Universe going to end, what are black holes, and why does Surf Guitar sound dangerous? I wanted to create an aural canvas for the late night presenters and their smooth delivery, but there's a lot of flux and chaos around, and some of that creeps in. The story goes through changes - and in the end, there is no end, but the possibility of a strange new beginning. Or this could just be an excuse to play surf guitar."

Composition by Paul Greenstein.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Jan 18, 2022
Tahiti
240
""Tahiti" is a sound abstraction based on a short fragment of "Radio Tahiti" broadcast in the 19 meter band where popular music is heard with brief spoken descriptions in-between. The composition reflects artistically on the distortion experienced by a message through a variable and unpredictable channel like radio transmission in the bands below 30 Mhz, conditioned by the time of day, the time of year, the location of the receiver and the ionospheric propagation conditions, ultimately dependent on solar activity.

Based on the prototypical sound profile that these conditions cause in the reception of shortwave (where the main signal is altered with electrical noises, fading, interferences, echoes and overlaps of random appearance and durations), the work reinterprets the original sound material from a double perspective, timbral and temporal, creating a new discourse that, nevertheless, maintains the essence of the *continuum* sound of popular music from the South Pacific.

The work is based on three sound textures. The main one recalls the timbral essence of the stringed instruments of the popular Polynesian music, as well as the peculiar inflection of its glissandos but transformed in two directions: on the one hand, turning the non-stop accompaniment of these instruments into a set of bursts that generate a new fluffy texture, alternating presences and absences, as if undergoing the effects of ionospheric fading; on the other, altering its spectral composition to create a distorted timbral (applying transformations similar to those experienced by the radio signal received thousands of kilometers away) that recalls its original melodic inflections.

Fragments of the spoken material manipulated by different spectral transformations are arranged randomly on the main texture, in the same way that interferences and other electrical disturbances modify the main speech. The voice also appears in the central part of the work, but now converted into endless echoes and rebounds like those produced by propagation through the long and short path, a common effect in shortwave listening."

Composition by Javier Suarez-Quiros.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Jan 18, 2022
Journey to the phantom place
881
"For me, the noise of the tube shortwave radio was the first "music" I heard in my life.

Ever since then, radio and its broadcasts have been a part of my life. When I was a teenager, I often listened to Radio Moscow because I was geographically close to it and could receive it well. This was right around the same time as this source. It was a time when the Soviet Union still existed as a "dream state" as they called it.

I mixed various "sceneries" that we "heard" from Moscow, the capital of that state, with "poor - as it was" improvised music played on acoustic guitar. Also, I made some edits to the source, remembering the receiving situation at the time. About the guitar, I tried to keep the sound and performance "raw". So that the shades of time, place, and era would emerge more clearly.

The mix was done carefully, but not too delicately.

I wanted to contrast as dynamically as possible the dreams and realities of the people and society of that era with those of today. I think I succeeded in this to some extent."

Composition by Kawol Samarqandi.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave
Jan 18, 2022
Domus aurea
374
"Domus Aurea' came directly out my ongoing fascination with Italian history and larger artistic interests. Firstly, it is about two very specific historical things. It is about the Domus Aurea, which from I understand is no longer accessible.

To quote Wikipedia, "It was a vast landscaped complex built by the Emperor Nero largely on the Oppian Hill in the heart of ancient Rome after the great fire in 64 AD had destroyed a large part of the city" It was re-discovered "When a young Roman inadvertently fell through a cleft in the Esquiline hillside at the end of the 15th century" and "he found himself in a strange cave or grotto filled with painted figures". I was fascinated by this buried, decadent complex and the grotesque figures that covered its walls. My own musical endeavors feel fitting to the grotesque, buried opulence of the Domus Aurea.

My song is also about another historical incident - around the same time as the young Roman came upon the Domus Aurea, a marble tomb was unearthed that contained an almost perfectly preserved young Roman girl from around the biblical age. Romans of the late 1400's were obsessed with her and what she represented. They were obsessed at the time with returning to their own earlier culture, and what she represented was very important to them. I am also fascinated with female bodies have been used and depicted in history and she is a fascinating subject in that regard, especially myself being a female artist.

My song includes text translated into English about how she was regarded. All of this historical fact is important to this song as I grappled with my own artistic fascination with what lies hidden beneath. I used these broadcasts on Christmas Day from the Vatican to engage with the duality of very present and fleeting merriment with the idea of rich, buried history."

Composition by Domenica Diavoleria.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Jan 18, 2022
Hey, listen!
382
"I really wanted to do a track that has old samples in it for atmosphere and the Transmission I was working with gave many juicy bits, it was tough to select. I composed the beats on mobile apps and mixed it down in Audacity."

Composition by Jakub Rokita.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Jan 18, 2022
B-B-B-EB-B-B-E
220
"I selected this sample based on the use of a piano, considering it would make a composition much easier. While my composition turned out more ambient than structured, the sample holds even the “air” behind the piano to keep it in the past."

Composition by Tony Bartels.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave
Jan 18, 2022
Bonsoir Africa
750
This program from January 24, 1982 from my archives is from Radio Canada International which was called Bonsoir Africa. This was somewhat of a mailbag program which read listeners letters. I was fortunate to have a tape recorder running since this was a program about astronomy that was requested by me. This may be the first time I ever heard my name read on shortwave.

Recorded by Tom Laskowski, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Jan 18, 2022
Radio Tahiti
1811
One of the great things about DXing and SWLing is the variety of music  one can hear. One of my favorite stations to listen to on shortwave for “exotic music” was Radio Tahiti, Papeete, French Polynesia, when they were still on shortwave.

If my memory serves me correctly, I believe something happened to the transmitter, and they never got back on SW. They were on mediumwave through December of 2016 (738 kHz); now they are on FM only. (Maybe us hobbyists should start a funding website to put them back on shortwave!)

Many a Saturday night I would turn on the DX-160 (my first SW rig) and let it warm up for a while, before tuning in 15170 to see how band conditions were. If the band was good, I’d get ready to record through the air. Once I started recording, I’d often leave the room and shut the door, because having three brothers around meant the possibilities were high for having “extraneous interference” on my recordings.

Saturday evenings were a good time to tune in, because of a music program that aired with a good selection of island music. The program had an announcer who spoke in the island vernacular (Tahitian?), and when that program ended they switched to French.

Here is a 30-min recording of Radio Tahiti on 15170 kHz from a while ago, most likely around one of the solar maxima of either 1980 or 1991. I’m leaning toward the 1980 cycle. My apologies for not being able to be more specific than that. I kept terrible records of my recordings. This would be recorded either with the DX-160 or a DX-302. Apologies too for the jump in volume at around the 2:37 mark.

So close your eyes, imagine you are lying in a hammock on a beach somewhere in the South Pacific, with a warm breeze off the ocean and your favourite cooled beverage nearby, listening to some of the best island music anywhere.

Recorded by Mark Pettifor, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave
Jan 18, 2022
Pope's Christmas Message and Urbi et Orbi Blessing: December 25, 2018
2390
Live, off-air, approximately forty-minute recording of the 2018 Christmas Message and "Urbi et Orbi" Blessing of Pope Francis as broadcast by Radio Vaticana (Vatican Radio), a division of Vatican Media, on 25 December 2018 beginning at 10:50 UTC on a shortwave frequency of 15695 kHz. This broadcast originated from a 250 kW transmitter at Santa Maria di Galevia, north of Rome, and was beamed to central Africa with an antenna beam azimuth of 145°.    

This broadcast was the English-commentary version of the Radio Vaticana special Christmas Day broadcasts. After the Radio Vaticana interval signal, five or siz minutes of classical music can be heard before the commentator introduces the broadcast. At about 11:00 UTC, commands of the Pontifical Swiss Guard can be heard. This is followed by abbreviated versions of The Pontifical Hymn ("Motetum Vaticanum") and the Italian national anthem ("Il Canto degli Italiani") as played by the Band of the Pontifical Swiss Guard and the Carabinieri Band of the Italian Armed Forces. The appearance of Pope Francis on the central loggia of St. Peter's Basilica is greeted with cheers. He delivered, in Italian, his annual Christmas message ahead of the traditional blessing "Urbi et Orbi" (to the city [Rome] and to the world). This was translated simultaneously by the commentator. Pope Francis also recited the Angelus prayer and the plenary indulgence (in Latin). Following his speech, there was a military salute to Pope Francis with abridged versions again of the anthems. The Bells of St. Peter's peal as the Swiss Guard and the Carabinieri exchange salutes. After the interval signal, two popular Christmas music tunes featuring pan pipes end the broadcast. 

The broadcast was received by the Web-interface wideband software-defined radio at the University of Twente in Enschede, The Netherlands, with a "Mini-Whip" antenna in AMSync mode with 5.08 kHz total bandwidth RF filtering. Reception was very good with a reasonably strong interference-free signal with only slight fading at times.

Recorded by Richard Langley, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Jan 18, 2022
Moscow Mailbag
867
These recordings were originally provided to me on reel-to-reel tape directly from Radio Moscow (which I dubbed to a cassette). At that time, I was program director at St. Cloud State University's radio station KVSC-FM (St. Cloud, MN) and aired Moscow Mailbag once a week during the afternoon news block programming. Transcription shows from other shortwave stations were played on other weekday slots at the same time.

Recorded by Tom Gavaras, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Jan 18, 2022
Warmongers' Monthly
1112
Live, off-air, approximately 20-minute recording of the program "Warmongers' Monthly" transmitted as part of the daily evening show "Tonight" in the North American Service of Radio Moscow on 8 September 1987 around 01:20 UTC on 7400 kHz. The broadcast originated from one of the many Radio Moscow transmission sites in the Soviet Union or was relayed by a site in eastern Europe or Cuba. Radio Moscow never released detailed information on its frequencies and transmitter sites.

"Warmongers' Monthly" was a satirical program targeting (mostly) U.S. policies during the final years of the Cold War. It was hosted by Vasily Strelnikov. He was sometimes accompanied, as in this recording, by Dmitri Linnik. This particular episode on nuclear proliferation was called "A Study in Red" -- a parody of Arthur Conan Doyles' "A Study in Scarlet." Amongst others, famous Radio Moscow personality Joe Adamov also took part in the episode. A brief station identification follows the program and then the transmitter abruptly switches off.

Note that Radio Moscow became the Voice of Russia in 1993, subsequent to the dissolution of the Soviet Union in late 1991.

The time given for the recording might be the midpoint of the program rather than the start of it as the transmitter left the air shortly after the end of the program, which typically happened on the hour or half hour.

Recorded by Richard Langley, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Jan 18, 2022
B-B-B-E
33
BBC World Service interval signals 1980-1, four notes tuned to B B B E. 

Recorded by Jerry Johnston, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Jan 18, 2022
The war on hugs
230
"I used the original recording 'Alfons and the Magic Christmas Tree' in my composition 'The War on Hugs. I wanted to create a piece of music that made me feel like a child at Christmas, but Christmasses gone by, before lockdowns and restrictions, when we could see our families at this festive time of year to celebrate. Last Christmas I could only see my parents very briefly, and we weren't allowed to hug. I wanted to create a fantasy Christmas, a real one, with my family, and Alfons."

Composition by Kid Kin.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Jan 18, 2022
Kampuchea drag 1979
257
"I let the sonic qualities of the transmission dictate the music. I feel much of my music is like an imperfectly tuned radio set anyway. Amusing coincidence = I share my birthday with Pol Pot."

Composition by Neil Campbell.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Jan 18, 2022
National radio of Kampuchea
81
National Radio of Kampuchea @ 918 kHz (MW) heard at 23.00 UTC in West Malaysia. Strong reception up to 00.00 UTC; signal was faintly heard up to 05.00 UTC.
Date of recording: 4/19/2012

Starting time: 23.00 UTC

Frequency: 918 kHz

Recorded by Timm Breyel, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Jan 18, 2022
Alfons and the magic
162
"In making this little mix, I thought about the spirit of the community organization that sent out the original story to its members.

The holiday story of the man finding amazement through rare and hard to find short wave stations is both sweet and eccentric, reflecting the hopes and dreams of a group of short-wave enthusiasts in West Virginia, USA. This reminded me of the eccentric spirit in the song-poem genre, so I used a snippet of the song "Rocking Disco Santa Claus" by the Sisterhood."

Composition by Anna Golden.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Jan 18, 2022
Phœnix ou Lam(in)e(s)
470
""Phoenix ou Lam(in)e(s)" is a short piece composed of small portions taken from the radiophonic original (in particular the Russian songs) and completely re-transformed to be grafted into a new sound tissue produced with a modified analogue magnetophone and demagnetized tape. A sort of regeneration, then, like the mythical phoenix rising from its own ashes. 

The title, which can be read both in French and Italian, alludes precisely to the process of cuts, transformations and grafts with which it was intended to proceed in the composition of the piece."

Composition by Trihn Lo.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave
Jan 18, 2022
82/21 vision
241
"The original recording contains a BBC World Service news report from 1982 concerning the Falklands War. The broadcast is indistinct – distorted, muffled and blended with strange clicks and interference noises. Listening to it triggered some childhood memories (also distorted, muffled and blended) which inspired my piece.

I tried to make something both playful and sinister, referring to the way real-world horrors trickle into childhood games and fantasies. My track is based on two ideas: 
(1) The fictional soundtrack for the sort of videogame I would fantasise about when learning about wars.
(2) Mysterious voices and sounds which I attributed to spies, ghosts or extra-terrestrials when I first messed around with a radio.

As well as the obviously sampled/processed parts of the recording in my track, I used it to make several of the “synth” sounds by looping short sections in a sampler. I also fabricated a “strange voice over the radio” recording of my own and used a recording of electrical interference picked up by a little AM radio for another of the “synth” sounds. The remainder of the track is made up of processed synth, guitar and drums."

Composition by DJ James Naughty.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Jan 18, 2022
Alfons and the Magic Christmas Tree
376
This is a recording of a story featured on HCJB’s DX Party Line hosted by Clayton Howard. As far as I remember it was recorded in December 1974. It’s a short story from SPEEDX about the reception of Tristan Da Cunha and St Helena.  

SPEEDX ran from 1971 until a declining membership forced its closure in 1995.

Recorded by Paul Rawdon, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Jan 18, 2022
Radio Moscow New Year's Eve show
1533
 A studio recording of Radio Moscow featuring Joe Adamov’s New Year’s Eve show.

Recorded by Tom Gavaras, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Jan 18, 2022
London calling in the Falkland Islands
1330
From April 30, 1982 I submit this recording of London Calling the Falkland Islands. I failed to record the time and frequency of this recording but it likely came from Ascension Island. This recording was made during the height of the Falklands War and many mentions to the conflict can be heard in the broadcast.

Recorded by Tom Laskowski, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Jan 18, 2022
Colonial ghosts
598
"The original recording was just over an hour of a Channel Africa news broadcast from (I think) Oct 3, 2014 being broadcast from Johannesburg, South Africa. Channel Africa is a broadcaster that uses multiple media (radio, internet radio, shortwave) to reach as wide an audience throughout the continent of Africa as possible. However, despite their current noble efforts, Channel Africa is the former broadcast network of the South African Apartheid regime. This legacy (and the fact that the broadcast is in English among several colonial as well as native languages) speak to the colonial ghosts and hauntings of the title. The hauntings were also present in the stories covered including those of independence, war, plague, and climate change. The goal with the piece was to highlight this haunted and haunting quality of the news broadcast through a work of noise/ambient music. 

I ran a copy the whole sample through several effects including a significant speeding up. I also isolated several interesting sections and several random sections of different length that I then effected, scrambled, and layered. Some samples were used as drum sounds others as drones, and others as vague melodies. This was combined with a generative synthesizer melody created with MiiRack, also heavily processed. This was a multistep process that went through several iterations before reaching its final version."

Composition by Celestial Noise Disco (aka Aaron Zwintscher).

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave
Jan 18, 2022
Lost nights at Café Américain
267
 "All sounds were created using samples of the original recording, except the drum track.

The Radio Casablanca recording had lots of 1920s/30s big band swing recordings which made the basis of most of the sounds used, and then I resampled/edited these till I found parts I liked. Then it all came together. I kept parts of the original recording and used a noise gate to give it the jittery, rhythmic effect. It was lots of fun making it and I enjoyed hunting for sounds in the original recording."

Composition by Owen Sennitt.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave
Jan 18, 2022
Shortwave transmissions
568
"In this soundwork I used a recording of a radio service shortwaves transmission test as the original basis. I was intrigued by creating a sonic world from this source material of effectively white noises and high frequencies' testings. I wanted to create an inner, musical life for the shortwaves, in which the high frequencies evolve and reveal their music. I used both the original elements and also manipulated the high frequencies to create melodic and harmonic threads. I also used sampled original music. The original resampled music is a composition of mine - Cloud Chasing and features: Phil Bywater - saxophone, Elliot Folvig - electric guitar, Elissa Goodrich - vibraphone. I imagined the soundwork to reveal a window into the inner world of the shortwave radio transmission."

Composition by Elissa Goodrich.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave
Jan 18, 2022
Voice of America (for R.H.K.)
261
"While creating the track I used sounds from AE Modular and source samples uploaded into a Volca Sample. It was played live and recorded. The story in the source recording depicts race relations in USA as in some fairytale. America looks like the land of tolerance for all minorities and immigrants from all around the world which is just a cheesy propaganda in my opinion. So I've recreated the message to look more real and appropriate. For R.H.K means for Richard H. Kirk from Cabaret Voltaire who died just recently, and my piece is heavily inspired by CV sound and aesthetic."

Composition by Artur Kinal (Synthotherapy).

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave
Jan 18, 2022
Kailash Dmyal-ba Ngari
322
""Kailash Dmyal-ba Ngari" is the echo of Tibet radio station, voice of yi-dvags from the deep underground network of Mount Kailash in Tibet.

Ngari was the heart of the ancient kingdom of Guge, the once flourishing ancient kingdom virtually disappeared, leaving theorists to suspect they fled underground to Mount Kailash - one of the most mysterious places on earth: shaped like a pyramid, it has been stated that Mount Kailash is the axis of the world - axis mundi, and according to ancient beliefs, it is the place where we can find the mysterious city of the gods. 

Although Kailash is not one of the highest of Himalayan range, no human being has ever been able to climb it. Rough weather, altitude sickness, diverging in the wrong direction, misleading trails are some of the hindrances that deterred even the toughest of climbers. Another fact of Mount Kailash is time travelling which suggests that the air in the mountain renders to the rapid aging process. This transtemporal travel claim is backed by a story of climbers from Siberia: after trespassing the forbidden line, the group of climbers experienced aging by a few decades and all died within a year."

Composition by Simon Šerc.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave
Jan 18, 2022
Channel Africa
3687
Channel Africa is the international service of SABC of South Africa and the successor to the apartheid era Radio RSA. 

It currently broadcasts on shortwave in 7 languages from the Meyerton transmitter site located around 40 miles south of Johannesburg. 

Recorded by Stephen Cooper, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave
Jan 18, 2022
Radio Casablanca
1957
"On Sunday, December 17th, around 22:00 UTC, I happened to pick up the last thirty minutes of Radio Casablanca; a pirate that plays a nostalgic mix of music from the 1930's and 1940's. They were broadcasting on 6939 kHz in AM. Close your eyes, and you can imagine what it must have sounded like back in the day Phyllis Jeanne Creore Westerman graced the shortwaves.

You'll hear me tweaking the receiver in the first three minutes while, in the background, I was entertaining my children. I though about cutting it out but, on second thought, simply uploaded it as-is. I switched from a very wide AM bandwidth to AM sync and then AM sync with only the lower sideband (to kill some noise in the upper side band) after adjusting the center slightly below 6940 kHz.

I love how the recording starts on a tone and then morphs into Close as Pages in a Book by Benny Goodman and his Orchestra."

Recorded by Thomas Witherspoon, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave
Jan 18, 2022
Shortwave service
685
A test transmission from Shortwave Service (www.ShortwaveService.com) consisting of voice, music and continuous tones. The radio DSP Noise Reduction circuit is turned on and off during the recording to reveal the raw signal and to get clarity on some of the announcements.

Recorded by Mark Hirst, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave
Jan 18, 2022
Learning English
1865
 The Voice of America's Learning English service (formerly VOA Special English).

This VOA broadcast was recorded on January 4, 2014 starting a little before 01:30 UTC on 7,465 kHz. It begins with a few seconds of VOA’s interval signal.

Recorded by Thomas Witherspoon, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave
Jan 18, 2022
Tibet People's Broadcasting Station
60
"Recording of the Tibet People's Broadcasting Station from Lhasa, Tibet. This is a short recording of the station ID with time pips at the top of the hour (12:00 UTC) and identification including English.

Recorded in Pennsylvania in the eastern United States on January 20, 2004 using a Drake R8 with a longwire external antenna."

Recorded by Brett Saylor, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave
Jan 18, 2022
Shortwaving Taki-san
585
 "This piece blends snippets of the original recording with minimalist notes and rhythmical accents which were written and produced as playing an homage to the Mr. Rentaro Taki, the composer of "Kojo no Tsuki" a folk-inspired piece that has long served as interval signal for NHK World Radio, the Japanese public broadcasters shortwave services, and shown here. Mr. Taki died long before the introduction of the radio as a broadcasting medium, but his melody has been part of the aural image of Japan for us beyond the archipelago. Designing this piece was done following a complex song form, ABCBA, being the pink noise (a very natural sound for shortwave radio broadcasts) that connecting thread between beginning and end. Worth to mention too that I've tried to keep the fluctuation of the dynamic sound range of the original broadcast taped as much as possible, to retrieve the sense of being in front of the SW radio, finding and following that broadcasting relayed from who-knows-were in the middle of the night (which brings me child nights along with my grandpa doing exactly that on his old- huge Hammarlund HQ One Eighty back in Venezuela, long ago)."

Composition by Miguel Angel Santaella.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave
Jan 17, 2022
One girl, thirty radios
149
"I isolated several frequency bands that stood out in the original file. The piece is an attempt to capture the swirling trajectories of the shortwave broadcasts flying across your head."

Composition by Joe Pino.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave
Jan 17, 2022
3 minutes
187
"Keeping the vocal parts of the original recording, I removed some background noise using an audio editor program. The tune was made using some drum samples, synths and plugins. A fan, send me a message about this project. I thought it was a great idea."

Composition by Xan Eden (The Fade Beta).

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave
Jan 17, 2022
Radio Flatlands - the even-shortest-ever-lived radio station. or, it wasn't just any old pie
330
Radio art & sound edit: Tara Downs 
Writer & stand up poet: Jonny Fluffypunk

Jonny Fluffypunk: "One of the joys of Short-wave listening that has captivated me all these years is the pure randomness and unpredictability of the experience...'

I was inspired by the explanation that accompanied the original recording; the listener surprised and thrilled by the sudden interruption of unfamiliar station idents and snippets of broadcast… so how about another, even shorter-lived station, ‘interrupting the interrupter’? What comes through on the original recording (some sort of banal anti-smoking advice) is rendered strange and exotic by virtue of it swirling, unexpected, out of the ether, from somewhere unknown on the far side of the world; our shrinking planet suddenly seems vast and mysterious again. So imagine you’re listening from a Polynesian island, in the dead of night, and how- distorted by distance, layered under interference and leaping out of nowhere- the voice of an aggrieved Englishman, exiled to a friend’s shed after a row over a tinned pie, might somehow sound similarly magical. So often when surfing across the wilder weirdnesses of the radio dial the imagination is forced to come up with some sort of flimsy raft of narrative, lashed together from incomplete, ambiguous and incoherent snippets, if for no other reason than so one can get to sleep."

Technical Production & Sound Editing: "A ritual attempt to invoke the gods of otherness and unleash the ghosts in the machine. Text and station ident recorded using 1986 Casio SL-1 keyboard and broken SM58 microphone, fed through Boss loop pedal and recorded on worn-out cassette on Tascam 244 portastudio. Result then played out via MW test transmitter and finally digitally captured for this project crackling from a cranky 1940's Phillips bakelite radio. Then sent to Tara in the Netherlands for further burial into the static... "

Tara: "Jonny and I are similarly entranced by the magic of radio and divinations on shortwaves. This curiosity brought us together as colleagues and provides a constant, erratic wave that runs through Radio Droogdok & our Radiophonic Hut project. 

This was a lot of fun, mixing Jonny’s story into the original piece (picked up by DXer Colin Newell), peppering with field recordings from my own collection (made when resuscitating old radios) , playing with rhythm, distance and proximity to evoke both the feelings of isolation of a lone broadcaster calling out through the ether, and the impulse to connect with the ‘other’ out there. I love both the contrasts between the transmissions and, strangely, the parallels. The seeking of solace in an invisible scattered congregation, and something of a therapeutic, self-help, ‘agony aunt’ quality. And there’s an irony to our piece: we really do both sit in our respective home-made sheds, playing with collections of beautiful old kit, swearing, experimenting and figuring out how to make it work, and how to reach out there into the impossible vastness of reverberating static..."

Composition by Radio Droogdok - Tara Downs in collaboration with Jonny Fluffypunk.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave
Jan 17, 2022
Weekend rain
690
 "As a natural life cycle occurrence, death invites either solidarity or diplomacy. The death of Japan’s Emperor Hirohito in the first January weekend of 1989 brought an end to the so-called ‘62 year-long “Shōwa” (昭和) period of war and peace’. With imperial Japan’s atrocities during World War II long laid to rest, the whole world—including nations formerly made victims of invasion and colonization—has sent its deepest sympathies. This also ushered in the birth of the “Heisei” (平成) era under the succeeding emperor Akihito. Radio NHK’s English shortwave radio broadcast reported a global response to this significant and sad event, heard at 07:50 GMT in January 7th of 1989 at 15270kHz.

“Weekend Rain” reimagines the sounds of rain, contained within recurring cyclical structures that expand in duration over time. Recordings of musical instruments—namely the piano and Japanese koto—and found objects diffuse a canvas of raining sounds as the Radio NHK broadcast interweaves with excerpts of haiku poetry I wrote in 2020 that bore the same title. While context bears no relation to the historical event during its writing, the poetry creates a unique narrative as it now forcibly responds to the broadcast: ‘Someone drops a grain of salt; Massive ocean waves jolt crowds awake! Wide-eyed stray cats rejoice.’ A Spanish numbers station broadcast I randomly recorded (07:55 UTC, October 4th of 2021 at 9065kHz) joins this poetic garb of symbolism, alluding to encryption and secrecy of intelligence communications underneath public access of information with press and media broadcasts. 

This work catches a small glimpse of worlds inhabiting shortwave radio, while reflecting on the impact of Japan’s past and continuing involvement in global affairs."

Composition by Juro Kim Feliz.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave
Jan 17, 2022
Radio Japan
4580
This Radio Japan (Japanese language) broadcast was recorded on January 7, 2014 starting a little before 02:00 UTC on 5,960 kHz. The broadcast begins with a few seconds of Radio Japan's interval signal.

Recorded by Thomas Witherspoon, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave
Jan 17, 2022
Spanish Sahara
147
"On the top-10 list of DX targets in the 1970s was Spanish Sahara, the broadcast service transmitting from Aaiun in what was then Spanish-ruled Sahara in West Africa.  Verification cards and letters were sent to lucky listeners around the world who were able to hear the transmissions which were a mixture of local programs and material from the Spanish national radio.  Frequencies on shortwave:  7,230 khz listed as 10 KW and 4,626 khz which was a SSB frequency listed a 5 kilowatts, described as a service for Aaiun and Villa Cisneros, now called Dakhla, about 330 miles south along the coast from Aaiun.

My reception of Radio Sahara was on a Hammarlund HQ-180 receiver, which due to its superb filtering and vernier tuning capability I used to hear numerous African stations.  According to the QSL letter received from Radio Sahara, and signed by Amparo Martin, their programming was from “0645 to 01 horas” making this one of the few African stations with a very late (or early in the morning) sign on for listeners in the eastern U.S.  (the other being Radio Gambia).   

In this recording you hear music to about the 1 minute 10 mark, then station identification by a male announcer “Musica para ellos.  Radio Sahara de la red de emisoras [network of stations] de Radio Nacional de Espana” and since Spain was still under the rule of dictator Francisco Franco at the time, this was heard after an military march:  “Viva Franco, Viva el Sahara, Viva Espana” followed by what I believe was the Spanish national anthem.

Another frequency for Radio Sahara was 11,805 khz.  In 1975, the station sent out a more traditional QSL card (see below).   The history that followed saw Spain withdrawing troops from the region on January 12, 1976, and ending its presence in the territory February 26, 1976. Morocco immediately claimed sovereignty over the territory and for years a guerilla war dragged on (1975 to 1991) between the Polisario Front and Moroccan forces.  This Wikipedia entry explains the complexities of the situation in what is today called a “partially recognized de facto sovereign state.”"

Recorded by Dan Robinson, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave
Jan 17, 2022
WWV changes announcement format: July 1, 1971
642
"This recording captures the last 5 minutes of WWV’s old format (giving the time every 5 minutes) and the first 5 minutes of the new format (giving the time every 1 minute), which took place on July 1, 1971 UTC.

Apologies for the less-than-stellar audio quality, but I recorded this as a 15-year-old fledgling SWL with limited knowledge of audio recording techniques. So I simply placed the microphone from my cassette tape recorder next to the speaker on the receiver and hit the record button. The signal quality wasn’t the greatest, either — lots of QSB and QRM — but I still managed to get what I was going for.

The resulting recording has accompanied me everywhere since then, preserved only on its original cassette, until 2008, when I finally decided it was time to learn how to transfer it onto my hard drive, burn it onto a CD and stop having to rely on the integrity of 37-year-old audio tape."

Recorded by Brian Smith, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave
Jan 17, 2022
The shortest-lived radio station
130
"On September 11th, 1975 while tuning around for Papua New Guinea stations on my DX150B, I discovered a loud signal on 2654 Khz - playing bouncy big band and instrumental music. Much to my amazement, many station IDs would soon pop out of the noise. This would turn out to be one of the shortest lived shortwave broadcasters ever!

I believe I phoned a few DXers out west to report this station but this is one of the only known recordings of this 2 X harmonic of a Philippines religious station (that had only been on the air 2 or 3 years. The 2nd harmonic on the "120 meter band" would live for another couple of days and be gone forever. One of the joys of shortwave listening that has captivated me all these years is the pure randomness and unpredictability of the experience."

Recorded by Colin Newell, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave
Jan 17, 2022
Death of Emperor Hirohito
567
Radio Japan - January 7, 1989 - 07.50GMT- 15270khz

Recorded by Ian Holder, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave
Jan 17, 2022
Headflood
370
"Headflood is made from a transmission in 1972 by Radio Nederlandes (RNL) as it celebrates its 25th anniversary. In it we hear Maya, a Dutch citizen in her 50s, describing the disabling chronic headaches she lives with, interspersed with sounds from RNL's anniversary broadcast from Hilversum. I spoke to Maya as the COP26 talks on climate change were taking place, and background themes of climate apocalypse led her to recall the impact of watching the movie Apocalypse Now. The war featured in the film is the subject of RNL news reports featured here. 

Maya also recalls memories of her dad's experience of the storm floods which struck Holland in 1953. Her words are interspersed with reportage from the closure of the first dike at which Maya's dad was present. The blaring of tugs and their horns as the dike closes suggested to me something of the chronic head pain which attacks Maya, blotting out awareness of almost all else. We close with Maya reflecting on the strangeness of the climate now, as she recalls the floods which hit the Netherlands and Belgium again, in the summer of 2021."

Composition by Bev Boyd.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Jan 17, 2022
Natural environment of dialect
260
 "A sound exploration of the geographical territory of Slovakia through its different dialects in search of the origin of the expression Veselé Vianoce."

Composition by Carolina Blume.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Jan 17, 2022
De-Konstruktion
485
 "The original recording is about one hour long, so we decided to do a work of sampling by cutting pieces of various lengths, organising them and then modifying, stretching, glitching, and distorting them in different ways. Every single sound of which the composition is made is cut from the original recording, no other sample has been used. The original recording, being an anniversary of the 100 years of Germany's radio transmissions, lead us to think about the essence of radio and thus direct our composition in that way: we created a suite that is continuously changing, glitching, and buzzing, as if we were jumping from a radio station to another. The idea was also to get the samples from an ordered recording of old pieces, cut and reorganise them in a chaotic and glitchy way, and then recompose the new samples in a harmonic and organic manner but recomposed using the modern styles of electronic music."

Composition by Silent Chaos.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave
Jan 17, 2022
Another nightlife
384
"My original recording was lots of disco music. I thought about nights of dancing and sounds moving through space. I chose short parts of sounds and music and combined them to create a sonic collage. My sound art piece “Another Nightlife” was created using original sounds, found sounds, and field recordings that I edited, mixed and manipulated with a variety of techniques."

Composition by Dixie Treichel.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Jan 17, 2022
Voiceover #2: morning meditation
311
"This chaotic re-edit of a recording of All India Radio, is the second in a series of short projects exploring how we attune ourselves to languages we don’t speak, or are trying to learn. As a listener, the original shortwave broadcast arrives at my ear as a panic-inducing tide - mediated by my own language and music, my fetishisations of India and of radio, my ignorance of linguistics, and my years in audio editing with its dull ontology of blobby waveforms and its rigid workflow. As a way of hearing All India Radio, and as a mourning process for everything I cannot hear, I was driven to create a process-based composition that would force all these competing mediations to conflict with each other, and that would force me to say to myself, “is THIS what you want?”. As such, I found listening back to it to be both cathartic and grounding, and a serviceable way of readying myself for whatever I might hear in the day ahead."

Composition by Hector MacInnes.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave
Jan 17, 2022
Radio Nederland's 25th Jubilee: April 15, 1972
4821
"This is a very enjoyable review of the first 25 years of Radio Nederland, hosted by Jerry Cowan. It is the complete broadcast with the news, which at the time was feed via HF from Hilversum to Bonaire. The panel of guests include Bruce Parsons, Neville Gray, as well as the head of the English Department of Radio Nederland, Van Dulken.

It was recorded off air in Queens, NY on 11,730 kHz between 0200-0320 GMT (April 16 GMT).  It came from the relay site in Bonaire, Netherlands Antilles where RNW had a powerful relay transmitter site.  There is some interference but not enough to diminish your enjoyment."

Recorded by Dan Srebnick, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave
Jan 17, 2022
Radio Slovakia Christmas special
1648
The 2020 Christmas Broadcasts of Radio Slovakia International recorded in Hugo, MN on 5850 kHz via WRMI at 0030UTC on December 25 2020.

Christmas Broadcast Program Information: Advent eco calendar, visit to an animal shelter, vegan Christmas foods, and some music.  The signal got kind of rough towards the end. 

Recorded by Matt Todd, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Jan 17, 2022
100 years of radio in Germany
3628
This is a recording of the Welle370 special program to celebrate 100 years of radio broadcasting in Germany. In 1920, test transmissions began from the "Funkerberg" in Königs Wusterhausen, resulting in a Christmas broadcast on December 22. To celebrate the 100 year anniversary of this broadcast, Königs Wusterhausen based Welle370 aired this show on their own low-power 810 kHz mediumwave tx as well as on a local FM station. For international listeners the program was broadcasted via the Moosbrunn shortwave facilities in Austria.

Date of recording: 12/22/2020
Starting time: 1259
Frequency: 5.960
RX location: Wittstock, Brandenburg, Germany

Recorded by Steffen Schulz, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Jan 17, 2022
The Disco Palace
1837
"Perhaps one of the things I love the most about shortwave is the sheer variety of broadcasters out there. We can sample diverse offerings across a broad spectrum--from the BBC World Service to Radio Romania International, from pirate stations to numbers stations. There's even The Disco Palace: a station that plays only disco music, and each show is mixed thematically. This station broadcasts online and over shortwave radio via DRM (Digital Radio Mondiale).

Last week--specifically, on March 15, 2013--I caught about thirty minutes of The Disco Palace broadcast and was able to record it from my Bonito RadioJet IF Receiver. Reception on 17,875 MHz was excellent, although the DRM signal wasn't quite strong enough for comfortable stereo decoding."

Recorded by Thomas Witherspoon, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Jan 17, 2022
All India Radio (DRM): April 14, 2014
3520
"Almost every morning at 5:45AM (Sydney time) I have my first cup of coffee and eat breakfast and listen to the All India Radio Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) Hindi language evening broadcast to Europe. At this time of year in Australia (April) the broadcast starts in darkness and ends as the sun is rising. The broadcast originates from the Khampur (Delhi) transmission facility. 

I have a deep love for India and have spent a large part of my life working and living there, so I take every opportunity to listen to All India Radio in both DRM and analogue mode.

Digital DRM provides the opportunity for fade and noise free reception. But as you can hear on this recording, AIR introduces plenty of unintended noise into their programs even before the broadcast reaches the transmitting antenna. The 50Hz hum is a feature I notice in all AIR DRM broadcasts. On some occasions (perhaps every few months) they "forget" to patch the audio path correctly to the transmitter and all that is heard is the hum without any programming for the hour!"

Recorded by Mark Fahey, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave
Jan 17, 2022
Moderate rain showers
193
"I used only the original recording source and did not add anything to it. I felt challenged to create a piece from this limited material, using various effects to create all the sounds. But mostly I chopped up the recording and pulled out a few bits that I found particularly interesting.

This is a (rather repetitive) weather broadcast and it seems the weather was fair that day, except for some moderate rain showers and thunderstorms. As there were only very few of those, they caught my ear above the rest. The other constant in the recording were the repetitive numbers, reminding me of old spy number stations, so I decided to use the numbers as my base and provide some of the rhythm of the piece.

The piece is broadly structured in three sections to explore different aspects of the recording while always returning to a central theme - weather, repetiton and numbers."

Composition by Florian Staab.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave
Jan 16, 2022
Robert H. Lawrence Jr., trailblazing astronaut
250
"This piece is inspired by Tavares Strachan's piece "Bright Golden Haze" that I saw a few years ago at the Venice Biennale, and never left me. It's about Robert Henry Lawrence Jr. - the first Afroamerican astronaut, hardly even mentioned in all the glorious celebrations of space. Also the starting words of my piece are by Tavares Strachan, who has devoted his work to the unknown history of Afroamericans. I have been haunted by Strachan's piece since I saw it in Venice in 2018, I felt immediately that I wanted to tell a story about it. Here I utilise the news about the Challenger disaster as a backdrop to tell the story of Robert Henry Lawrence Jr. The piece is voiced by my son, Romeo M. Minutolo."

Composition by Cristina Marras.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Jan 16, 2022
Radio Polonia '81
594
"I wanted to create a hauntological piece, since the radio record portrays a disturbing and sad moment in the history of the country. A dystopian perception at the time, through an experimental ambient structure, some piano and minimalism, the sounds that I usually create under my alter ego Lucius Works Here."

Composition by Lucius Works Here.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Jan 16, 2022
Redone thing, revisit Amsterdam 70s to 90s to 20s
1193
"The recording made me think of days in a squat in Amsterdam in the 90s listening to pirate radio, making our own recordings and music from samples of these recordings. often playing with antonyms and industrial sounds. This is a reflection of those days, using a much older source recording mixed with some of the recording I made on a simple Tascam in 1996."

Composition by Euan 'Maco' McAleece.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Jan 16, 2022
As I sit in my own home...
650
""As I sit in my own home..." reworks a recording of King George V's Christmas message from December 1934. It takes its inspiration from the aspects of the king's voice - everything from diction and use of voice to actual recording techniques - and in the surface noise and crackle of the recording medium itself (the recording sounds like a 78, but is most likely an acetate used for broadcast). Thus the methodology pursued was premised on the granular decomposition of the voice, and the use of surface noise as a rhythmic element.

 Nevertheless, the key part of the speech was the sentence "As I sit in my own home, I am thinking of the plenty multitudes all listening to my voice". It is representative of a moment in history when recorded sound, and sound transmission, was indeed so new that the monarch feels it relevant to point this out in his address to the nation. It is also reminiscent of Alvin Lucier's contemporary music classic "I Am Sitting in a Room". The sentence recurs throughout the piece, and also provides it its title."

Composition by Acoustic Mirror.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Jan 16, 2022
Shannon VOLMET: August 5, 2021
902
Shannon Volmet - SIGMET. A Shanwick Radio broadcast from the North Atlantic Communications Centre, providing meteorological information for aircraft in flight within the Shanwick area of international airspace (northeast part of the Atlantic).

Date of recording: 8/5/2021
Starting time: 0935UTC
Frequency: 5.501MHz
Reception location: Dublin, Ireland
Teceiver and antenna: Tecsun PL-660

Recorded by Stewart Killeen, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Jan 16, 2022
Space Shuttle Challenger disaster
979
Thirty years ago today the US Space program came crashing down with the explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger.

I was a student at Purdue University at the time, living in a dormitory.
I decided to make some recordings knowing this would be a historic event.
This is a recording I made of the BBC on the evening of Jan 28 (0200 UTC on January 29). The frequency was most likely 5975 kHz or 9590 kHz.  The dorm environment didn't make a great place for SWL reception and the recording is noisy but still of decent quality.

Recorded by Tom Laskowski, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Jan 16, 2022
Radio Nederland's "What's New"
2113
Radio Nederland's "What's New" was a Saturday night program that featured hits from the weekly Dutch Top 30.  The show was co-hosted by American Bruce Parsons and Australian Graham GIll.  Based on the charts from that week, this show aired on 6 November 1976.  Shows like "What's New" introduced me to pop/rock artists that didn't receive airplay in the USA.  It also introduced me to other shows on Radio Nederland later on, such as "His And Hers," "Happy Station," and especially "Media Network."

Recorded by Paul Harner, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Jan 16, 2022
Radio Polonia: martial law declaration
1330
After the declaration of martial law in Poland on December 13, 1981 Radio Polonia ceased broadcasting. Broadcasts in English instead continued from a military base near Warsaw Airport. The staff of Radio Polonia returned to the air soon afterwards and here are three broadcasts from that period in Poland's history. Of some of the presenters that you will hear, Konrad Gocman is in retirement and works as a translator. However Benny Ludkiewicz (aka "Bengt Scotland") unfortunately passed away a couple of years ago.

Recorded by Jim Jordan, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Jan 16, 2022
King George V's Christmas message
766
 King George V addresses the British Empire during Christmas 1934.

Recorded by Fred Waterer, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Jan 16, 2022
0-kanada
210
"There was limited melodic material available in this recording and what I could get kind implied a more sample based approach, instead of trying to create "instruments" from the recording, and that led to a more hip-hop/beat driven sound than I usually go for. Past that I was interested to explore what messages I could find by rearranging the words spoken in the recording."

Composition by Matt Chapman Jones.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Jan 16, 2022
The end of radio
688
"There’s something inherently intimate, even clandestine about radio – sound sent into the ether in the hope of reaching an ear. We feel much more personally and directly connected with someone speaking to us via radio than, say, television. There’s an added poignancy in the recording of the final hours of broadcast of Radio St Helena that forms the basis of this track, a sense of the condemned awaiting its final extinction and contemplating its fate. I imagined these radio waves echoing around the world beyond their production, slowly dissipating and fading into nothingness. A drone texture, created by stretching the bell signal heard at the start, forms the backdrop to an abstracted monologue created from samples of speech taken from the broadcast and re-edited together, that begins in clarity and close presence and slowly transforms to a distant echo of itself."

Composition by Peter Nagle.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Jan 16, 2022
Out of the static
915
 "I've been fascinated by shortwave radio since a young age - way before the internet - the appeal of being able to hear transmissions from any where in the world was always intriguing. Sadly it's been in decline for a number of years now, you often don't hear many stations these days.

That was the inspiration for this piece, preserving some of the original recording overlaid with signal loss and degradation. I've used the recording as the only sound source, it has been processed with a grain sampler in Hollyhock 5 and I've also used Cataract, Polygon (Glitchmachines) and Shaperbox 2 (Cableguys) and various delays and reverbs to create glitchy, cut-up type effects."

Composition by Andy Lyon.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Jan 16, 2022
Telling it like/Your check shirt
193
""Telling It Like/Your Check Shirt" was created using samples extracted from a 30-minute 2013 shortwave broadcast of Radio Australia Jazz Notes. Sound/conceptual artist Alyce Santoro and composer Reed Maxson collaborated long-distance to create the finished piece, with draft sound files sent back and forth between Texas and California over the course of several days. 

The following works are woven into the piece — all credit is due to the artists: 

The Catholics, Yonder, "I Cover the Waterfront": https://thecatholics.bandcamp.com/track/i-cover-the-waterfront

Jess Green, Tinkly Tinkly, “Your Check Shirt”: https://jessgreensbrightsparks.bandcamp.com/track/your-check-shirt 

Stoneflower, Stoneflower, “Impossible Beauty": https://stoneflower.bandcamp.com/track/impossible-beauty
 
The Catholics, Yonder, "Mr. Crocodile": https://thecatholics.bandcamp.com/track/mr-crocodile"

Composition by Alyce Santoro & Reed Maxson.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Jan 16, 2022
Football spillover
99
"I was travelling on a train between Köln and Berlin; a group of football fans had lined up empty beer bottles in the aisle so when someone would come by, as they made a big step over the bottles, they would cheer on. It made me think how the game spills out in all of our other living spaces, like the train, and how in the head of the fans the match returns romanticised by memory and high spirits."

Composition by Clelia Ciardulli.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Jan 16, 2022
Final broadcast, Radio Canada International
602
Radio Canada International's final shortwave radio broadcast. This recording was made on June 24, 2012 beginning at 1550 UTC on 11,675 kHz. 

Listeners will note that the broadcast ends abruptly during the mailbag program -obviously the transmitters were turned off prematurely.

Recorded by Rajdeep Das, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Jan 16, 2022
Radio St. Helena, The final hour (sign-off)
2194
December 25, 2012: Closedown begins with the last few seconds of Love is Everywhere by Caught in the Act (1995).

Recorded by Sarah Boucher, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Jan 16, 2022
Final sign off of BFBS Malta
572
Recorded by John Bruno, Richard Astbury was the last announcer to speak from Floriana, followed by the Evening Hymn and Last Post, an instrumental version of L-Innu Malti and a church choir sings God Save The Queen, accompanied by a Church Organ and a Military Band. The final program was the Eurovision Song Contest 1979, won by the host nation Israel. The studios of BFBS Malta are still around as of 2018 as for the Malta Environment and Planning Authority. This occurred on the final Saturday of March in the seventies because of the withdrawal of British troops ordered by President Anton Buttigieg.

Recorded by Sarah Boucher, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Jan 16, 2022
The World Cup final
3666
The second half of the 2014 World Cup Final. This recording was made on Sunday, July 13, 2014 starting around 20:00 UTC on 11,810 kHz. The broadcast originates from the BBC relay on Ascension Island.

Recorded by Thomas Witherspoon, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Jan 16, 2022
Radio Australia Jazz Notes
1802
For your listening pleasure: thirty minutes of Radio Australia’s Jazz Notes.

This broadcast was recorded today at 13:30 UTC on 9,580 kHz.  As on most mornings, the signal out of Shepparton, Australia, was very strong; the audio fidelity was, in consequence, very impressive for a transmission emanating from some 9,800 miles away.

Recorded by Thomas Witherspoon, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Jan 16, 2022
Repeating waves on the static sea
178
"There was a lovely intro on the piece I selected, a repeating radio station indent that sounded great. I looped part of this and added a number of synths playing alongside it, some with slight effects, it was a nice sound and I found looping it for a few minutes was pleasent. I added some other little bits of the radio transmission, voice snippets and a sad sounding violin track that was on the piece I selected. That seemed to round the piece off nicely and felt that was enough. I did another version with building beats but decided to scrap this and stick with this simpler version."

Composition by Audio Obscura.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave
Jan 13, 2022
Sunday
210
"The original recording is a broadcast from a Christian radio station based in Papua New Guinea. The snippets I chose to sample includes the radio announcer's speech, a few bars of gospel music and a variety of celebratory whoops. It got me thinking about radio as a force connecting isolated people with their communities or cultures, something which many of us were grateful for during the recent lockdowns. While in the original recording reflects the mood of an evangelical church meeting, it could equally stand for the atmosphere of a rave, a football match or a rock concert."

Composition by Kveis.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave
Jan 13, 2022
And it came to pass
525
"This piece was built around a recording capturing the voice of a Preacher out of Guatemala. I was fascinated by the dial spinning and cruft that surrounded the voice- music, noise, other voices slipping in. I'm fascinated by layered voices- so I dug into my archives and found a number of other sermons that I've used in projects in the past, and layered and spatialized them into and around the recording to complicate the listening experience. I also layered in an improvisation I had recorded on my modular synth rig that included bursts of static filtered through a number of effects, allowing the much cleaner recording to blend with the fascinating grain of the shortwave recording."

Composition by Jeffrey Nils Gardner.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave
Jan 13, 2022
Ottawa shortwave
323
"In a field in Ottawa, Canada, a 1940s facility distributes the signals of time, maintained by the National Research Council and occasional human contact. The 2015 bilingual broadcast sample featured throughout Ottawa Shortwave (provided by SRAA contributor, Richard Langley) is used almost as-is, as it fights against a timestretched version of itself and tries to make every second count, despite the irregularities of the Earth’s rotation. 

Read more at https://www.radioworld.com/global/chu-canadas-time-station."

Composition by Roberta Fidora.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave
Jan 13, 2022
Radio Responsorium
224
"I wanted to keep the very organic feel of the original recording. Using only this single sound through numerous processings, I performed the fragments produced live, as on a theatre stage."

Composition by Stormy.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave
Jan 13, 2022
Transworld Radio, Polish language edition
1107
This broadcast was recorded in Europe on October 17, 2014 at 0545 UTC, shortwave frequency of 7320 kHz.

Recorded by Frank, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave
Jan 13, 2022
Inaugural shortwave broadcast of Wantok Radio Light, Papua New Guinea
1847
Inaugural shortwave broadcast and celebration of Wantok Radio Light, Papua New Guinea on June 11, 2005. Frequency was 7120 kHz. Receiver: AOR AR7030+. Antenna: Wellbrook Communications ALA100 Phased Delta Loop Antenna. Recorded by Guy Atkins at Grayland, Washington USA.
-----------------------------------------------------
00:00 Introduction by speaker or host named "Witness"
01:31 Song "Naso Joda" by the band P2-UIF ("P2-United in Faith"; the Gospel band's name honors those killed in the missionary aviation plane P2-UIF that crashed in Papua New Guinea ). A YouTube video of the song being performed live in August 2012 is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uQvkKWROal0
03:00 Praise for the signal of Wantok Radio Light to go out through all the world
03:50 Testimony of James
09:18 Solo music on harmonica: "Jesus Saves" performed by James
12:06 Phone conversation with "Brother Paul": salutations to Wantok Radio Light; praise for the new shortwave transmitter
15:52 More talk by Witness
17:50 Live music
23:40 Praise & talk with announcer Witness
24:52 Live Music
28:52 Talk & praise by Witness
29:43 "You're listening to Radio Light, Wantok Radio Light, live right here,  the one and only; live right here Amen, at the top of Minion House, right at the top. That's right! We're right at the top."

Recorded by Guy Atkins, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave
Jan 13, 2022
Telling the good news abroad
113
  Broadcaster: TGNA - Guatemala

Frequency: 3,300 kHz

Receiver Location: Kingsport, Tennessee

Recorded by Timothy Land, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave
Jan 13, 2022
Leap second
600
Live recording of time signal station CHU, Canada, on 30 June 2015 beginning at exactly 23:55:00 UTC on a frequency of 7850 kHz. The recording last exactly 10 minutes and 1 second, ending at 0:10:00 UTC. A leap second occurs at 23:59:60 UTC. This can be noted by the 1 second of silence between the 5m:00s mark in the recording (23:59:60 UTC) and the 5m:01s mark (0:00:00 UTC) denoted by the start of the one-second-long tone. This is followed by 9 seconds of silence. Before the leap second, the forecast difference between UT1 and UTC (DUT1 = UT1 minus UTC) to a precision of one tenth of a second was -0.7 seconds. This is indicated by CHU by using a sequence of double tones at 9 seconds through 15 seconds after the start of each minute except for the minute beginning an hour. Following the leap second, DUT1 is +0.3 seconds, marked by double tones at 2 seconds through 4 seconds after the start of the minute, again, except for the minute beginning an hour. 

Recorded by Richard Langley, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave
Jan 13, 2022
Radio Reloj: August 30, 2015
2326
The recording, in Spanish, is a typical Radio Reloj broadcast with two announcers alternately reading news bulletins accompanied by time signals. The announcers identify the station and verbally give the local time each minute. In addition to the verbal station identification, each minute either the letters RR in morse code (using 1800 Hz tones) are transmitted or five-note chimes (D4, G4, B4, D5, B4) are played. The chimes sound like those of a dinner chime or even some door bells and are reminiscent of the U.S. National Broadcasting Company (NBC) chimes. On a couple of occasions in this recording, during a particular minute, neither the morse code nor the chimes are used and sometimes, during a particular minute, both are used. In this recording, we can also hear at some minutes pairs of tones being played going up and down the scale as news headlines are read. On other occasions, three- and four-note chimes in various sequences have been heard (perhaps at the announcers' whim).

Different tones identify each second, minute, and five-minute epochs. Based on measurements, each second is marked with a "seconds tick" consisting 10 cycles of a 1000 Hz tone (0.01 seconds duration). Minutes, except for multiples of 5 minutes, are marked by 172 cycles of a 1000 Hz tone (0.172 seconds duration). Every 5 minutes, the marker is extended to 672 cycles of a 1000 Hz tone (0.672 seconds duration). The minute and 5-minute markers are preceded by 5 cycles of a 1000 Hz tone, followed by 0.013 seconds of silence.

Recorded by Richard Langley, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave
Jan 13, 2022
Shifting stations for string quartet
208
"Gulf Harbor Radio is a radio station that features weather conditions for ships offshore of New Zealand. The audio contains a lot of static along with hosts reading off weather reports. The static itself reminded me of the howling winds and roaring seas so I processed it to further accentuate that. Then I selected a section of the 30-minute recording that I preferred and used them as the backdrop to the piece. Then I took another clean version of the audio and cut out words and phrases to drop in between the music phrases after the musical part was completed. For the musical material, I composed a short melody that oscillates between major and minor and manipulated it many ways to create the themes. Lastly, I added the harmonic texture which mimics the sounds of wind and waves."

Composition by Janae Jean.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave
Jan 13, 2022
Away at sea
130
"Two main considerations influenced my reimagining decisions. First, I wanted to respond to the grainy nature of the recording. I took a section of the radio air and looped it to create a melody. I felt that both the grain and the actual noise of radio fuzz acted as the heartbeat of the entire piece. Second, I responded to the relationship that exists between a speaker and listener, and how the transmission of an Emergency Action Message may influence someone sonically. This produced two results. The first result was a more dreamy, ambient sound that corresponds with the romanticized act of drifting, and where the EAM might appropriately take place. The second was a more tense, decelerated sound that may reflect an inner feeling of loneliness, or even panic if one’s message failed to be heard." 

Composition by Lucy Newton.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave
Jan 13, 2022
Taajuuksia ja ääniä
374
"Our primary audio genre is composition of ambient soundscapes using a combination of digital computer software, analogue field recordings and electronic experimentation to produce acoustic sounds, textures and undulating tones - rather than the more traditional use of musical notes, scales and rhythms - which allows for a richer freedom of expression, resulting in generative soundscapes that can develop with complexity as a track evolves.

This track - Taajuuksia ja ääniä meaning "frequencies and tones" – is based on and uses samples from the reel-to-reel tape recording taken by a young Dan Robinson during the 1970s in the USA, using a rare Hammarlund HQ-180A/X shortwave receiver (the X version uses fixed crystal units in place of the clock). Dan had tuned into the other side of the world to receive the long distance "DX" radio station the Voice of Saudi Arabia which was testing a new powerful shortwave radio transmitter system. Inspired by many such shortwave transmissions, Dan would over the course of the next few decades forge a distinguished career as a foreign and domestic correspondent and Senior White House reporter for the Voice of America, himself reaching out across the world through shortwave and other communications media during 30 plus years of service to the US International Broadcasting Bureau.

Shortwave radio has many similarities with the creation of ambient drone generative soundscapes, such as the use of discrete frequencies, harmonics and heterodynes when using multiple phased sounds and signals; for example, the interference and static from the original track, usually the noises which are unwanted when listening to a radio, are very useful to use within ambient soundscapes, and many were sampled and used, for example the atmospheric “static crashes” and the hum at the start of the recording which was used to create the base layer bass tone. The addition of the halfaouine recreates a typical shortwave broadcast station "interval signal" which we processed using a phase distortion tools to mimic shortwave ionospheric fading and signal degradation.

And exactly as the original recording stated "our present transmission is experimental" - ours is too; and we would like to take this opportunity to thank Dan Robinson for his original recording and to all at Cities and Memory project for this opportunity to reimagine this fragment of shortwave radio history.

Mastered by Francis Gri at KSND (krysalisound.com/mastering)"

Composition by Arvik Torrenssen.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave
Jan 13, 2022
Farmed horses radio
132
"The original radio piece was dominated by static so I sampled some very short parts of this to make percussive sounds to form the rhythm track. Over this I added samples of some of the singing and the main spoken part: "this is the Nigerian Armed Forces Radio" which I edited slightly to make it fit in with the rhythm. The track I created was completely different from the music and rhythms featured on the radio station, which I liked. I didn't want to do an impression of Nigerian music."

Composition by Pete Allen.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave
Jan 13, 2022
MachineStalk
375
"When listening to the full 23 minutes of this recording, at first it seems very repetitive, a combination of tones, silence, station idents and test numbers. Where would it lead me?

As with many of my tracks there are elements of memory attached to them, often as starting points and the starting point for MachineStalk was the date - 1980. The uniformity of the recording, the repetition, somehow led me to think about technology in the eighties and especially the rise of the computer and home computing. Of course like many, it was the idea of computing that took off, not necessarily actually having one at home (something we all seem to take for granted now). There was a computer room at school which looked a bit like the ones in this article that I ended up reading - A brave new world: the 1980s home computer boom - HistoryExtra (https://www.historyextra.com/period/20th-century/a-brave-new-world-the-1980s-home-computer-boom/ ) but on further research it was the images of the huge banks of computers, server rooms with few or no people, reel to reel tape machines and data that became the basis of this track. 

I took the whole of the sound recording and stripped it of silence, repeating this process several times, so that I ended up with hundreds of tiny soundfiles. I then took these tiny pieces of sound and rearranged, overlaid, overlapped and transposed them onto individual tracks. I only used the original soundfile #80 and used just basic processing which resulted in many machines chatting away, singing, music making, thinking...

In this age of personal computers, smartphones and the increasing development of AI, do machines talk to each other at night when there's no one there? Are they plotting? Stalking us? Too much science fiction reading and watching on my part maybe but in my piece the machines have a midnight slumber party, chatting away into the wee small hours."

Composition by Odette Johnson aka Museleon.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave
Jan 13, 2022
Gulf Harbour Radio
1882
ZMH286 Gulf Harbour Radio reporting weather and sailing conditions and communicating with yachts sailing in the South Pacific. Broadcast at 1915 UTC Monday to Saturday, from May to November. Transmitted from Whangaparaoa, New Zealand, kw unknown. In association with Yachts in Transit, http://www.yit.nz/gulf-harbour-radio. There are some deep fades during the transmission. 

Recorded by Lekiodx, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave
Jan 13, 2022
USAF EAM Voice Transmission
145
Emergency Action Message (EAM) transmissions are associated with the High Frequency Global Communications System (HFGCS). The HFGCS is a network of single sideband transmitters used by the United States Air Force to transmit encrypted messages to in-flight military aircraft, ground stations and in some cases, US Navy surface vessels. The purpose and format of the messages are subject to wide-ranging speculation, but are generally thought to be for directing nuclear-capable forces regarding the execution of specific attack options.

Recorded by John Lutz, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Jan 13, 2022
Voice of Saudi Arabia, test transmission
142
Saudi Arabia obtained new transmitters in the 1970's and was widely heard with test transmissions before going on the air with full programming. This transmission was heard on a number of frequencies. Saudi Arabia is today, in 2014, still on the air on shortwave, one of the last of the Middle East countries still using this method of transmission.

Recorded by Dan Robinson, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave
Jan 13, 2022
Nigerian Armed Forces Radio
3615
At 06:00 UTC this morning, I recorded one hour of the Nigerian Armed Forces Radio test on 13,775 kHz. This broadcast was transmitted from a 250 kW transmitter in Issoudun, France.

Hypothetically, this may have been the last test transmission of the NAFR as WRMI's announcement stated the test period would last only one week, beginning June 30th.

Recorded by Thomas Witherspoon, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave
Jan 13, 2022
NIST Radio Station WWVH
1380
NIST Radio Station WWVH as it sounded in the 1980s. To contrast with other recordings of the WWVH station ID, note that announcer Jane Barbe does not say (her now-famous) “Aloha!” at the end of this version.

This recording was found at WWVH in 2015 on an undated cassette labeled “JB on Old Audichron TCG” (which stands for Time Code Generator, the device which reconstructs and plays back Jane’s voice over the air). As such, the precise broadcast year is not known, but it is consistent with the voice and broadcast format of the 1980s, until the introduction of the short-lived digital voice in 1991.

Recorded by Myke Dodge Weiskopf, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Jan 13, 2022
Potentialities
183
"When I was picking a sound to use for my submission, something about the rhythm and sounds of the timekeeping station caught my attention, and I really wanted to run with it and see where it went. I'd recently downloaded a marching band sample library and this gave me an excuse to get to grips with it.

I ran one of the beeps through a sampler and used it to create the other melodic parts, so it all more or less came out of the recording (I later added a synth bass and a choir to add a bit of extra colour).

I decided to use a three minute chunk of the clip, and I had an image of this timekeeping station counting out three minutes, and thinking about all the things that can happen around the world in those three minutes, it's where I got the title of 'Potentialities' from.

An odd thing I found, I went into the project expecting the bpm to be 60, what with it being a timekeeping station, but it turned out to be slightly slower (58 bpm). I can only assume this means the people of Canada take things a little slower than the rest of the world, it sounds like a nice idea."

Composition by David Devereux.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave
Jan 12, 2022
In the wind
297
"This track is a mixture of my field recordings, US coast guard transmissions, the atomic clock broadcast and a guitar track. It (very briefly) explores the development of transatlantic communication.

The field recordings that open the piece were recorded at the site of Marconi's first transatlantic telegraph signal - a windswept peat bog at Derrigimlagh in Connemara, Ireland. On the site of the former transmission station, a wind reed (or aeolian harp) has been installed. The constant wind plays across strings and openings in the structure, causing these haunting, yet musical sounds. This marks the beginning of the development of transatlantic radio communication when it was still incredibly difficult. The site must have been something to behold 100 years ago when the first signals were sent - the huge condenser house, the power house with its 6 boilers burning thousands of tons of dried peat dug from the bog surrounding it, and the massive aerial system consisting of 8 wooden masts, each 210 feet high and 1500 feet long. The aerials gave off sparks which could be heard like lightning cracks for miles around, indicative of the huge power and voltages involved (150KW at 15,000 volts).

The sounds of Derrigimlagh develop into the recording of the US Coast Guard transmitting navigation and marine safety messages over shortwave, from a period where the technology was at its peak and in general use. This recording, from The Shortwave Archive is strange and otherworldly and yet beautiful and completely mesmeric.

To further tell the story of the development of transatlantic communication, and to provide a musical element, I approached my friend Mike Gutterman in the US to record a guitar track (called 'ShortWave'). Our conversation happened by mobile phone and the track was sent over the internet, from his garage (the 'GutterManCave') in Kentucky, to our front room in County Clare, in seconds. 

The contrast between Marconi's huge, inefficient and dangerous infrastructure and the ease with which we can communicate today could not be more stark. Shortwave played its part, but has come and gone in this development.

This was my first ever sound piece of any description, using some of my first field recordings. It certainly isn't polished, but was a fun and interesting challenge. Massive thanks to Mike for allowing me to use the track.
Mike's Bandcamp page: https://mikegutterman.bandcamp.com"

Composition by Barnaby Nutt.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave
Jan 12, 2022
Voices of Biafra
250
”Nobody felt guilty for our country’s disappearance because it hadn’t survived long enough to appear on any official maps. It was more than a rumor but had not become a symbol.” 
 - Louis Chude-Sokei, Floating in a Most Peculiar Way

A longitudinal mix of radio trails from past and present, an echo and clash of historical ruptures and traumatic waves. Electronic string tones are modulated by a 2021 YouTube message from the clandestine revolutionary channel Radio Biafra Israel and Al Sizer’s Setpember 8, 1969 DX recording of Voice of Biafra shortwave in the final days of the civil war between Biafra and Nigeria."

Composition by Tom Miller.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave
Jan 12, 2022
El Trabajo y La Paz
147
"I chose the Radio Sandino shortwave recording because it reminded me of the year I spent documenting a popular uprising in Oaxaca, Mexico, in 2006, when a people’s movement occupied several radio stations and used them to organize and mobilize people all over the state. We listened to the occupied radio stations day and night, and the sound would often blend with the sounds of rural and urban Oaxaca…rain, birds, farm animals. It’s such a strange and comforting experience to listen to something urgent and human while, at the same time, hearing the undisturbed sounds of a natural environment. 

I also did a lot of reading about the clandestine radio stations of Central American resistance movements in the 80s (Radio Sandino, Radio Venceremos), and learned that they often broadcast from very remote locations, literally hiding in the jungle, and the communities that tuned in to their broadcasts were also often in remote, rural locations. The composition I’ve put together is what I imagine it might have sounded like that night that Somoza left Nicaragua, as people all over the country tuned in from their communities, celebrated, listened to the rain, and wondered what would come next. 
Finally, the sounds I’ve included in this mix are all sounds of communication - a hummingbird warning everyone away from it’s territory, chickens wondering if the human has brought food, frogs singing to each other through the night, a thrush harmonizing with itself…like the radio broadcast, they are all announcing something important.

All sounds recorded by me, Jill Freidberg. Accordion and water harp recorded through a LOM Label Geofon."

Composition by Jill Freidberg.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave
Jan 12, 2022
Radio Liberacion 1988
296
"I wanted to play around with the transmission noise-- the squelches and squeals, the static and faint voices behind the broadcast interference. I copied, pasted, and manipulated bits of samples. I really didn't do any processing or modulating. The tones and textures of the captured transmission already had great character."

Composition by Bender.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave
Jan 12, 2022
CHU Canada (Time Station): July 1993
370
" I recorded it in July of 1993 on  7,335 kHz with my Kenwood TS-690S transceiver."

Recorded by Bruce Atchison, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Jan 12, 2022
US Coast Guard Radio Station NMC: Summer of 2003
576
"As for radio station NMC, I forget the frequency. It was somewhere in the aircraft band, somewhere about 8000KHZ. I used a Kenwood TS440S transceiver and I believe it was taped in the summer of 2003."

Recorded by Bruce Atchison, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Jan 12, 2022
Voice of Biafra: September 8, 1969
239
This broadcast was recorded by Al Sizer in North Haven, CT, on September 8, 1969 on 6,145 kHz starting at 2140 GMT. The receiver used was a Realistic DX-150. Mr. Sizer introduces the recording.

Recorded by Al Sizer, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Jan 12, 2022
Nicaraguan clandestine radio station
1656
Radio Sandino, Nicaraguan clandestine radio station, voice of the Sandinista National Liberation Front. Recorded the day Anastasio Somoza DeBayle resigned the presidency and fled to Miami. 

The following is a translation of the first two minutes of the announcement: 

"Somoza is leaving. During these moments, [inaudible]. No one shall act freely. Everyone should act under orders of the one responsible [over them], under instruction of the national joint leadership, FSLN (Sandinista National Liberation Front). We must prevent, at all costs, the individual energy and [inaudible]. The FSLN guarantees publicly and emphatically to respect life and physical integrity of all military and their families once this fight is over. Nicaraguan brothers, abiding by the provisions of the new government, FSLN, reaffirms publicly that executions will not be allowed, nor physical violence against those military members who comply with the orders to ceasefire. Denying disseminated malicious versions by the Somoza [government], the new government of national reconstruction guarantees that the death penalty shall not apply to any military member guilty or not of a crime. The ordinary courts of justice will be the ones who will recognize [inaudible] and judgement. We alert all of the honest officers of the national guard that the Somoza Security Office has initiated a fierce persecution against all honest officers. We call upon you to not let them, and to trust in the guarantee the new government of national reconstruction offers you. We reiterate that every honest officer can integrate to the new patriotic military. We know that many military members have not had the opportunity to get out of the Somoza military. To those, we ask to have confidence in the imminent victory."

Recorded by Tom Gavaras, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Jan 12, 2022
Radio Liberacion SRRN: January 20, 1988
2803
Radio Liberación-Sistema Radial de la Resistencia Nicaragüense recorded in Kalamazoo, Michigan, from 0240 hours to 0330 hours UTC on 20 January 1988 on frequency 5,929.3 kHz. The clandestine station opposed the Sandinista regime in Managua. The transmitter may have been in Honduras.

Recorded by Andy Robins, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Jan 12, 2022
Saharawi
375
"I've used the original recording throughout the piece as a continuous sporadic commentary that struggles to achieve clear transmission, somewhat parallel to the turbulent history of Western Sahara and the Saharawi people. I dived into the their culture and the amazing music of Western Sahara for inspiration and had my partner(features as LadyLópez) kindly translate the radio broadcast into English so that I could better understand the historical context. Using various field recordings, tapes and synths I endeavored to craft the sound of chaos vs beauty and reach out in support of the Saharawi. Thank you also to Katia and Tomas for their vocal contributions recorded proper modern low-fi style though a very popular messenger app."

Composition by Jahzah ft Lady López y CJ.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave
Jan 11, 2022
Radio reverberations
95
"For this piece, I decided to use only elements that were in the original recordings. I wanted to create something that gave a sense of a funeral procession, and I was particularly inspired by the music at the end of the announcement."

Composition by Rosie Parsons.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave
Jan 11, 2022
Transvaal
246
"The idea is about Mandela's flight to Libya a while before the radio transmission. Before Mandela was physically "on air" and after the news about him.

Just before landing going trough the clouds, where the speed feeling disappears and time vanishes. This moment is a blurred border during the crossing countries frontiers for a man fighting against Apartheid."

Composition by Erratic Bloc.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave
Jan 11, 2022
The Voice of Free Sahara
360
"The Voice of Free Sahara, 32 kbps mp3 ripped from a cassette recording. Received with a Sony 2010 and a 40 meter long wire from the France-Switzerland border  in 2002.  After the news bulletin in Spanish, there is a clear ID at 5”45."

Recorded by Enrique Fernandez, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave
Jan 11, 2022
Death of Pope Paul VI
65
Vatican Radio - announcement of Pope’s death
2210 GMT 6 Aug 1978 (i.e. 7 Aug 1978 Eastern Standard Time,
Australia) 9615 KHZ

Recorded by Ian Holder, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave
Jan 11, 2022
Nelson Mandela arrives in Libya
196
Shortwave from Libya as recorded in Australia.

"I recorded this shortwave broadcast from Libya in 1997. I have no knowledge of the source of the broadcast but it may be from the main Libyan radio service. I found this while twisting the dial. There was no general commentary, just the voice of South African President Nelson Mandela on his arrival in Libya followed by music".

Recorded by Ian Holder, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave
Jan 11, 2022
Forever Noël
299
Christmas music in a church in Vicenza reimagined by Cities and Memory.

The natural reverb was the obvious starting point, wanting to create a hyperreal Christmas soundscape in which the church reverb slowly takes over the Christmas songs, finally ending in a somewhat-unrecognisable but still familiar drenched pulse of the original festive song. 
Jan 08, 2022
Christmas in a church in Vicenza
293
Inside the Parrochia di San Michele detta dei Servi in central Vicenza, Italy, Christmas songs are piped through small speakers into the cavernous church space, marking the final day of the festive holiday in January. The natural reverb in the church gives the Christmas songs a nostalgic, melancholic haze. Recorded by Cities and Memory.
Jan 08, 2022
Eldfjall
265
Geldingadalir volcano, Iceland reimagined by Richard Watts. 

"I really like the original recording so have tried to enhance that by bringing up more bottom end and then adding a soundtrack. I wanted to get the feeling of the power of a volcano, its beauty and mystic nature. All the sounds are created by Alchemy in Logic Pro X."
Jan 07, 2022
Geldingadalir volcano, Iceland
201
Geldingadalir volcano in Iceland, recorded from a safe distance by Mark Wilden, August 2021.
Jan 07, 2022
Y2K
338
"The short wave recording used as source for this piece is a documentation of the turn of the millennium in London, as the world entered the year 2000. I wrote a noisy doom metal track emphasizing the angst of contemporary urban life and the unfulfilled promises of the future. The glitchy ending of the track references the dreaded Y2K millennium bug, which was a source of fear and anxiety for many across the globe and was told to be a possible downfall of civilisation."

Composition by Thomas Van den Eynde / Anachoreet.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave
Jan 05, 2022
The fragility of détente
372
"The samples are from a shortwave radio recording of the UN Security Council broadcast in January 1980, one of the first responses to the Russian invasion of Afghanistan one month earlier. The invasion created a high level of political uncertainty, had destabilised the fragile détente (an easing of tensions) between the East and West, and had large ramifications for the future politics of the 1980s. The repeated accusations and pleas for peace by the UN Security Council inspired the track, ending in a failed resolution for a Soviet withdrawal, but the underlying thread is fuzziness and uncertainty. Where are we headed sir, that’s the question I’d like to ask."

Composition by Moray Newlands.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave
Jan 05, 2022
1970 – Neue Jahr Null: Vom Himmel hoch
537
"25 years and one generation on from the end of WWII, 1970 is the New Year Zero / Neue Jahr Null.

In SFO the hippies get heroin and Haight became hate. Janis and Jimi OD, RIP. 

Israel, September 8: a month of plane hijacking begins, known as Black September. Three airliners are hijacked and blown up by Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. 

This is one instance in a year of terror. 70 terror groups are established in 1970, significantly more than any year before or since in the 20C*. In affluent West Germany the Red Army Faction is established (to be known informally as the Baader Meinhof Gang). 

In south London a five year old boy looks at the walnut valve radio in his father’s room. Forbidden to touch the bakelite dials, he reads the illuminated place names. Wildly exotic: Cologne; Brazzaville; Sofia; Hilversum; Riga; Bratislava; Moscow; Havana; Tapei; Anchorage; Vatican City; Leipzig. The broadcasters speak in a musical received pronunciation that belies the chaos they report.

In Cologne, Baader Meinhof, the white collar terrorists, demand "an absolute break with the past and a radical new beginning” as they enact a programme of bombings, assassinations, kidnappings, bank robberies and shoot-outs. Also in Cologne, three friends called Ralph, Florian and Conny set up a studio to bounce new sounds off the ionosphere.

——— 
* Journal of Conflict Resolution 2020, Vol. 64(1) 199-225
——— 
1970 – Neue Jahr Null: Vom Himmel hoch was made with a Synthi 100 and a vocoder."

Composition by Simon Kennedy.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave
Jan 05, 2022
The Afrikaans name for a bird, NYE 1977
98
"This is from a broadcast of South African radio station on NYE 1977. The polite chat and well wishes bring in the year when Steve Biko would be murdered by Afrikaner police. The bit I am captivated by is the explanation to foreign listeners what the Afrikaans name for a bird is. 

I was two years old when this was broadcast. I remember Radio 2000 in the house, along with the world service. The radio was a mystery to me. I used to hunt for stations on AM, flicking across from fm out of curiosity. There’s no map or index. Surfing the spaces between stations was intriguing, but mostly disconcerting. The edge of a clear signal was infuriating. The noise drowns everything out. 

Listening to this broadcast now, I enjoyed the fizz and pips. It is a bit like crickets and birds and leaves, ambient noise of the bush. It made me nostalgic for the names of things, and the Afrikaans words that I never understood, and when news had no meaning. For the joy of serendipity in an ocean of ignorance."

Composition by Marg Laing.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave
Jan 05, 2022
Passed messages
232
"Passed Messages was inspired by the shortwave radio broadcast recording of a news announcement about a Chinese nuclear bomb test on October 5th, 1969. The recording consists of two parts: The first part, which is the announcers voice (in English with a lot of radio static) and the second part, which is an instrumental song. The song in the second part does not fit with the news about an atomic bomb test; it's from a different time with different mores. To the modern ear, it sounds surreal, almost absurd. 

Passed Messages is a message about a message encoded as a sound piece, where transmissions from the past are received and decoded, interpreted to recreate the message, but data gets lost due to interference and time. The message is always shrouded in noise."

Composition by Thomas Haighton.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave
Jan 05, 2022
The Russian invasion of Afghanistan
2410
U.N.Radio-Security Council (Jan7, 1980) United Nations Radio - Security Council. 15410 khz. 2030 GMT (0630 Jan 8, 1980 East Australian Time)

Recorded by Ian Holder, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave
Jan 05, 2022
Palastinian hijackings in Jordan
360
Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC) (8 Sept.1970)

Recorded by Ian Holder, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave
Jan 05, 2022
The millennium
1799
"New Year's Eve has always been a good night to stay home and play radio. This recording is one I won't ever have the chance to hear live again. Here are the last four minutes and forty seconds of the GMT year 1999 and the first 25 minutes twenty seconds of the year 2000. As a tradition I would always welcome the GMT New Year by tuning in to the BBC to hear the chimes from Big Ben (which I believe were heard live).
Date of recording: 12/31/1999."

Recorded by Tom Laskowski, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave
Jan 05, 2022
Radio South Africa (RSA) New Year's Eve broadcast
1359
"During the late 1970s, Radio South Africa (RSA) would broadcast a New Years call-in show. This recording is from 1/1/1978 (12/31/1977 in the US). At two minutes into the recording, you can hear the interval signal for RAI (Italy) in the background. I have scoped (edited) the music. Unsure how long RSA carried on this tradition, but heard a similar call-in broadcast the following year on 1/1/1979."

Recorded by Tom Gavaras, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave
Jan 05, 2022
20th anniversary of the nuclear bomb
346
Radio Peking - statement on nuclear explosion to mark the 20th anniversary celebrations of the Communist Party of China. Broadcast 7.40pm (East Australian Time) Sunday, October 5, 1969.

Radio Peking recorded off air in Brisbane, Australia.

Recorded by Ian Holder, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave
Jan 05, 2022
This is Radio Beijing
445
"I approached the piece with the idea of creating multiple songs to weave into the original recording of the events in Tiananmen Square in 1989. This would be a sort of sonic tryptic as if dialling through imaginary radio waves backwards and forwards in time. 

The first part is a simple refrain with organ like tones interspersed with "turn of the dial" like static and half heard voices. Snatches of the developing story can be heard. 

The second part a fleeting moment of footwork inspired sonic exploration possibly as the dial moves through the radio waves and we travel briefly to a moment of reflection in the future. 

The third part is a more frenetic free form electronic drone cut through with the refrain "this is Radio Beijing". The jingle for Radio Beijing has been reversed at the end of the track and acts as a moment to reflection on an event we sadly cannot reverse."

Composition by Andy Billington.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave
Jan 04, 2022
Voyager 2021
409
"It's all about the feeling of awe. 

A few minutes in space could be few years on Earth. This hypothesis isn't new but it's still mindblowing. As much as a sheer vastness of space and it's incomprehensible scales. How infinitesimally small we are in comparison! But I believe we all feel just how deep the inner spaces of our minds can be.

That's what I was thinking when I heard the original recording. With these thoughts in mind I've recorded a drone piece. Monumental, slowly evolving organ-like timbre and randomly processed original recording are doing the job. And while editing the recording I was constantly remembering scenes from Stanley Kubrick's 2001: Space Odyssey. Hence the name of the piece.

When I think of it all now, it's just simply amazing how astronaut's conversations recorded via radio circa 1986 can resonate here & now. And well into the future."

Composition by Vlad Suppish.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave
Jan 04, 2022
What has to happen
300
"The radio announcer discourses on the necessity of improvisation for dealing with uncommon occurrences such as disasters. This became my watchword. 
This piece is an improvisation. Organized in a generally haphazard fashion, but an improvisation nonetheless."

Composition by Paul Collins.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave
Jan 04, 2022
Outer space
690
"The original file was a recorded transmission between earth base station and the crew in a spaceship.
 
Outer space is the expanse that exists beyond Earth and between celestial bodies.

I have composed an ambient cinematic soundscape, where the listener will find a plethora of layers, orbiting sounds, moving stereo meteorites , floating pads , a soundtrack for outer space. 

The vastness of space, the silence, gave me the opportunity to fill the void with atmospheric elements, wide and deep sound movements.

Esoteric worlds expanding through the sound forces into the outer spaces and beyond, sound is the language of the Universe."

Composition by John Ov3rblast.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave
Jan 04, 2022
Other ghosts
247
"I'm Irish but live in Bulgaria. Like most countries in Eastern Europe there are remnants of Communism everywhere. Although the sample I worked with related to the Communist downfall in Romania, it got me thinking about all the transmissions that must have occurred at the time across this part of the continent. My track is a reflection, or interpretation, of the voices that might never have been heard."

Composition by Ronan Considine.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave
Jan 04, 2022
Romanian revolution
1444
"To mark the 30th anniversary of the Romanian Revolution, a recording of "Austrian Shortwave Panorama", Radio Austria International's weekly DX programme presented by David Hermges.  This was a special edition broadcast a few days after Romania's 1989 revolution originally broadcast on 31st December 1989 (although this recording is of a repeat from sometime in 1990).  Contains off-air recordings of Radio Bucharest and Radio Free Europe (in English, Romanian and other languages) recounting the events of the revolution. 

Frequency: 13.730  MHz

Reception location: Birmingham, UK  

Receiver and antenna: Toshiba portable, telescopic antenna."

Recorded by Tim Harrold, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave
Jan 04, 2022
Radio Beijing (Tiananmen protests)
274
"During the Tiananmen Protests in 1989, a courageous announcer at Radio Beijing went on the air with the following announcement:

“This is Radio Beijing. Please remember June 3, 1989. The most tragic event happened in the Chinese capital, Beijing. Thousands of people, most of them innocent civilians, were killed by fully armed soldiers when they forced their way into the city. Among the killed are our colleagues at Radio Beijing. The soldiers were riding on armored vehicles and used machine guns against thousands of local residents and students who tried to block their way. When the army convoys made a breakthrough, soldiers continued to spray their bullets indiscriminately at crowds in the street. Eyewitnesses say some armored vehicles [inaudible] foot soldiers who hesitated in front of the resisting civilians. Radio Beijing’s English department deeply mourns those who died in a tragic incident and appeals to all its listeners to join our protest for the gross violations of human rights and the most barbarous suppression of the people. Because of the abnormal situation here in Beijing, there is no other news that we could bring you. We sincerely ask for your understanding and thank you for joining us at this most tragic moment.”

The above announcement was followed by a regular newscast.

According to some sources, the announcer was apprehended by the authorities almost immediately and detained for several years where he was separated from his family and underwent extended reeducation campaign."

Recorded by Tom Gavaras, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave
Jan 04, 2022
Voyager Experimental Aircraft Flight Communications
917
"Rutan Model 76 Voyager Experimental Aircraft was the first aircraft to fly around the world without stopping or refueling. It was piloted by Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager. The flight took off from Edwards Air Force Base's runway in the Mojave Desert on December 14, 1986, and ended 9 days later on December 23, setting a flight endurance record. This shortwave recording is a sample of some of the communications between Dick Rutan and his ground crew including a debate if Dick should walk out of the aircraft after it lands.

Note: Best estimate for date of recording is December 22, 1986."

Recorded by Tom Gavaras, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave
Jan 04, 2022
Radio Australia: Cyclone Tracy
3953
"Announcement explaining the reason for a reduced signal strength. Cyclone Tracy put the Darwin transmitter site off air. News bulletin plus other selected items that were broadcast relating to the evacuation of Darwin.  Because the local 8DR MW transmitter was damaged a microwave link was set up between Darwin and Shepparton with the programme transmitted back to Darwin on shortwave.

Date of recording: 12/25/1974
Starting time: 2100 UTC
Frequency: 9.58 MHz
Your location: Lower Hutt, New Zealand, 26 December NZDT
Receiver and antenna: Trio 9R59DSM communications receiver with a random length long wire."

Recorded by Paul Rawdon, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave
Jan 04, 2022
Voyager 1 (90 Deg Bank Angle): Dec 20, 1986
1395
"Recently I came across QSLs that I received from the Voyager crew from their historic 1986 circumnavigation of the earth. After continued searching I also came across the cassette recordings I made of some of their communications between Dec 20 - 22, 1986. The first hour provides the most compelling listening, as I started the tape just before Voyage unexpectedly ran into severe weather issues off the coast of Brazil. The small aircraft was tossed to a bank angle of 90 degrees, which theoretically it shouldn't have recovered from, yet Rutan was just barely able to maintain control and keep flying. At the worst possible time, the Vandenburg transmitter went down leaving Rutan and Yeager out of communication with their weather team who they were depending on to give them a safe heading to fly out of the storms. The stress and tension of the situation are very evident in the voices. I have several hours of additional comms, but this excerpt is the most compelling."

Recorded by Bruce Frederick, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave
Jan 04, 2022
Moon station, lonely bus
277
Puerto Montt bus station reimagined by Philippe Neau.

"The dreamy spirit, listening to the sounds of the bus station in Chile, I took the road to the moon to find a dreamy atmosphere where voices, metallic noises, birdsong, the ocean meet, mingle and intertwine endlessly..."

Image credit.
Jan 03, 2022
Puerto Montt bus station
131
Recording from inside the bus station at Puerto Montt, Chile, by Mark Wilden.

Image credit.
Jan 03, 2022
14,704 hours, 882,285 minutes and 52,937,103 seconds
848
"It has been 14,704 hours, 882,285 minutes and 52,937,103 seconds since the afternoon of March 11, 2020, when the WHO declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. The world changed in an instant! Inspired by the title and date of this shortwave transmission, I wanted to write a reminder that 22 months later in November 2021 we are still in a global pandemic, a "medical emergency" for COVID-19, to take some time to reflect on the universal trauma we have collectively endured and continue to endure as a result of this pandemic. Headphone listening is highly recommended for this piece of music."

Composition by Neil Wiernik.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Jan 03, 2022
Three planes crashed (9/11)
227
"A sound collage in memory of the 9/11/2001 terrorist attacks as they unfolded through the eyes and words of a few of those who experienced it first hand plus additional commentary to augment the Kol Israel Radio news report provided to me for inspiration."

Composition by Scott Lawrence Whitman.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Jan 03, 2022
Act of terror, act of remembrance
601
"What you hear is my third attempt at making something that reflects the confusion of 9-11 twenty years on. Once I'd finished processing the BBC radio transmission I found the repetition of short segments throughout gave it a Chicago bass/footwork feel, so that's where this Act of Terror, Act of Remembrance has gone."

Composition by Michael Lilley.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave
Jan 03, 2022
Volcano Radio: All good things must come to an end
174
"Volcano Radio. Ascension Island. The exotic names drew my attention, and Ascension Island especially captured my imagination, as I’d never heard of any such place. I learned that it’s an isolated volcanic island located in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, about halfway between Brazil and Angola. The British used it as a staging ground during the Falklands War; now it hosts a Royal Air Force station, a NASA tracking station, and what’s sometimes called “the worst golf course in the world.” 

"Volcano Radio began broadcasting in 1958 under the Ascension call sign, ZD8VR, Volcano Radio. Though it was a British station, it was funded for many years by the U.S. Armed Forces Radio Service, enabling it to run around the clock, at least for a time.

"On May 5, 1979, Gary Deacon, a shortwave enthusiast and DXer in Capetown, South Africa, captured this audio recording of Volcano Radio’s broadcast. As he noted in his Cape DX blog, “It was a surprise to receive the 500 watt station with a remarkable peak from across the South Atlantic, over 4 430 km / 2 754 miles away!”

"As I listened to Gary’s vintage, staticky recording, I was drawn first to the British radio host’s sign-off announcement, followed by a recording of “God Save The Queen” that stops mid-stream. After all the static, the sudden silence was blissful. I decided to preserve the end of the original audio in my mix. I also decided to flow a brief, heavily processed field recording of molten lava under “God Save The Queen,” because, why not? It’s Volcano Radio!

"I listened more deeply to the original recording and became fascinated with the jazz show host’s charismatic wrap-up, when he says, “Then there’s the news that the clock on the wall is beginning to strike its magical hour, when all good things must come to an end.” I lifted the phrase “when all good things must come to an end” and seeded it through my mix, processing and transforming it in different ways. 

"The more I worked with the original audio material, the more it suggested an experimental, noise-music treatment for this remix. I went with it.
Volcano Radio stopped transmitting in 2009. All good things must come to an end.

CREDITS:
Field recording of molten lava by ATG142 on Freesound.org (CC0 license).
Synth recordings, production, and mixing by Angela Winter.

THANKS TO:
Gary Deacon, https://capedx.blogspot.com/, for his original audio recording, historical notes, generosity, and enthusiasm.
Sarah Boucher and the Ascension Island Heritage Society for historical notes on Volcano Radio and the original audio recording."

Composition by Angela Winter.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave
Jan 03, 2022
Fratelli Tutti (All Brothers)
350
"Composition inspired by the work and words of American musician and soundscape ecologist Bernard L. Krause. Dedicated to Saint Francis of Assisi. Francis calls for a love 'that transcends the barriers of geography and distance'. 

November 1981, as a 16 year old, I bought a Grundig Satellit 1400 professional World receiver. Long-distance radio transmissions very much became the soundtrack - 'the personal soundscape', if you like - to my middle and late adolescence. 

Recently I picked up a copy of the November edition of Radio User magazine. Here I read about this callout to remix and reimagine the world of shortwave radio.

"FRATELLI TUTTI” (All Brothers). With these words, Saint Francis of Assisi addressed his brothers and sisters and proposed to them a way of life marked by the flavour of the Gospel. It is also the title of the third encyclical of Pope Francis, subtitled "on fraternity and social friendship".

Many of the stories that surround the life of Saint Francis of Assisi say that he had a great love for animals and the environment. Pope John Paul II declared Francis the patron saint of ecology. 

Alas, "A great silence is spreading over the natural world even as the sound of man is becoming deafening," Bernard Krause wrote in his 2012 book, "The Great Animal Orchestra". "Little by little the vast orchestra of life, the chorus of the natural world, is in the process of being quietened." All of the above got me inspired.

Digital tools used : VSTHost by Hermann Seib as the Audio Plugin Host for free VST plugins by Tonecarver, Ugo, HG Fortune and Airwindows. 
Frog calls recorded by my wife on her smartphone at our favourite pond.
Of the original mp3 file I only kept the intro music... as the intro."

Composition by Blijlever.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Jan 03, 2022
Vatican Radio (Portuguese Language Service): August 17, 2021
628
"Carlos Latuff shares the following recording of Vatican Radio made on August 17, 2021, on 13,380 kHz at 18:00 UTC.  Note that Carlos Latuff, is not only a devoted radio enthusiast, but also a prominent political cartoonist in Brazil and throughout the world. Carlos has kindly included his listening report with his original artwork."

Recorded by Carlos Latuff, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave
Jan 03, 2022
BBC World Service: September 12, 2001
1014
"BBC World Service (16:49), September 12, 2001 at 0000 UTC on 5975 kHz. Receiver used was a Japan Radio Co. NRD-545 (Sync on and 10 kHz bandwidth). One can hear minor DSP artefacts (burps) mixed in the background, of course a common trait for the NRD-545."

Recorded by Dave Zantow, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Jan 03, 2022
Kol Israel: September 12, 2001
906
"Receiver used was a Japan Radio Co. NRD-545 (Sync on and 10 kHz bandwidth). One can hear minor DSP artefacts (burps) mixed in the background, of course a common trait for the NRD-545."

Recorded by Dave Zantow, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Jan 03, 2022
ZD8VR Volcano Radio: May 5, 1979
167
"ZD8VR Volcano Radio 1602 AM Closedown 5 May 1979/AFRTS Accession Island signoff. It has end of jazz show, sign off announcement, station ID and incomplete GSTQ by local gender neutral band. Receiver and antenna: 1950's Sierra domestic valve receiver and 20 metre longwire antenna."

Recorded by Sarah Boucher, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Jan 03, 2022
HF Aviation Traffic (Spirit Airlines 558)
226
"Air to ground communications between Spirit 558 and New York.  A phone patch was established to allow the aircraft to talk to a doctor on the ground about a person who had a seizure while on board the flight.

Date of recording: 5/11/2021
Frequency: 8.933
Reciever location: Hugo, MN"

Recorded by Matt Todd, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Jan 03, 2022
Desert Radio Kuwait
651
 "My inspiration for the piece was imaging the fragmented sounds of snippets of radio chatter and music crossing the Kuwaiti desert carried by the desert winds. The voices and music fragments forming ghostly echoes as if the listener is acting as a radio tuning in and out to hundreds of unknown transmissions.

"I used the original recording in a number of ways, firstly to create a number of layered drones, representing the desert emptiness as a well as the idea of a generator for an internal radio receiver. This formed the desert ambience where selections of speech and music were laid out in time for form fragmented voices. Each voice was manipulated from simple panning across the stereo field, to more intense distortions and added glitch/reverberation processing. Some of the vocal snippets were cleaned in Izotope RX to reduce the frequency content to allow for more intense processing without extraneous frequency content. 

"I picked out sections from the original recording which I felt spoke to me, although hardly speaking any Arabic, I chose phrases and sections which resonated with me and spoke to me."

Composition by Neil Spencer Bruce.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Jan 02, 2022
The Happy Station Pre Christmas Message (version)
302
"A naive re-interpretation completed on an octatrack, which acquired on the day of this submission. All sounds are from the original source material."

Composition by John Spartacus.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Jan 02, 2022
Wendego in Space
170
"While listening to this broadcast by Apollo 8 of the first views of the moon in 1968, I was thematically conflicted with a duality of perspectives tied to space exploration. On one hand, this venture offers new opportunities for human expansion and knowledge we have yet to discover about our universe; yet, it also signifies processes of colonization that transcend earths atmosphere to a cosmic level. While creating this re-imagined composition, I was inspired by my Algonquin heritage to grapple with these conflicting themes.

"I envisioned the perspectives of colonization as they may emerge between both the explorer and inhabitant as two separate sound worlds. I move between these worlds as I integrate field recordings that I have captured across Vancouver, BC, oscillating back to the sample recording at times to balance these voices. As the composition progresses, I aim to emulate themes of confusion, disorientation, and eventually destruction that accompanies colonization. I have used this recording in numerous ways, such as adjusting the pitch, adding reverb, frequency manipulation, and altering timing. While there are clear audible sections of this piece interwoven, I have also manipulated large sections to create a keynote drone that slowly builds throughout the piece to gradually reduce clarity.

"I hope this sound art inspires you to consider the intersections of hope and loss tied to space exploration - positioning the listener at a mirror to the past and future. In Algonquin speaking First Nations communities, a Wendego is considered to be a supernatural being. In many legends, this being is driven by gluttony, greed, and a desire to kill. It's important to remember the impact of colonialism as it has existed on our planet, and to tread carefully as we embark on interstellar exploration."

Composition by Lauren Knight.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave
Jan 02, 2022
Voice of America (Apollo 8): December 24, 1968
776
"A broadcast by Apollo 8 of the first views of the moon in 1968. The broadcast was transmitted by the Voice of America, and received in Melbourne, Australia on an AWA CR6A communications receiver. The transmission frequency and exact time are unknown."

Recorded by Stephen Spicer, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Jan 02, 2022
Happy Christmas from the Netherlands
2076
"Radio Netherlands, Happy Station Christmas Broadcast (Studio Recording): December 12, 1956."

Recorded by Walter Santner, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Jan 02, 2022
Radio Kuwait (start of Iraqi invasion): August 2, 1990
1730
"Recording of Radio Kuwait during the start of the invasion by Iraq. My understanding is that the broadcast originated from the Radio Kuwait transmitter site, which had not yet been occupied by Iraqi forces. Transmission consisted of music and announcements in Arabic."

Recorded by Tom Gavaras, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Jan 02, 2022
Afghanistan calling Europe
209
 "I love the randomness of shortwave, the way voices drift in and out of reception, the weird static elements. There is something so mournful about the isolated “Afghanistan calling Europe” that it seemed after a while to be a cry for help - so I included in the background static the morse code for SOS and then sampled and distorted a Taliban interview I found on YouTube to reflect what is happening there at the moment. Inspired by the sounds of the call to prayer I used a detuned synth drone to add to and underpin the whole downbeat nature of the piece."

Composition by Hans Glib.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Jan 02, 2022
Did I hear me?
766
"This is a story of my youth listening to SW radio and playing instruments. The static is the empty space in my mind, the radio is the noise needed to fill the vacuum. The sounds are interrupted and distorted, repeated and flavoured as I try to block out the noise of the world around me. Pulses represent the nagging idea that I should be doing something else, eventually drowned out by the pleasure of the listening."

Composition by Jon Ogara.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Jan 02, 2022
Radio Peking
248
"I was so struck by the way the symphonic intro and outro music was distorted and processed through the shortwave radio medium that I had to use it as source material for a piece. My hope is to retain the strident nature of the original material of the orchestra while creating a hypnotic and open sound environment for sonic exploration on the part of the listener."

Composition by Matt Zook.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Jan 02, 2022
Radio Afghanistan station ID
106
"This second [Radio Afghanistan] recording was made at the end of the 1970s during the soviet occupation of Afghanistan when RA programmes were rebroadcasted via Soviet transmitters. In this case it is the english service beamed to several parts of Asia.

The recording was made one some day at 0900 GMT on 15435 kHz. It was a relay via Soviet transmitter."

Recorded by Manfred Reiff, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Jan 02, 2022
Radio Tawantinsuyo (Peru): 1970s
266
"Rising early in the morning was a regular activity of DXers who wanted to hear the more difficult stations from Latin America that used to fill the shortwave bands.  One of those was Radio Tawantinsuyo, located in Cuzco, Peru.   The station was on 6,175khz in the 49 meter band but was more often heard on variable frequencies as low as 6,173 khz.   This recording of the station sign on brings back so many memories for DXers who focused on South America."

Recorded by Dan Robinson, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Jan 02, 2022
The death of Mao Zedong
1697
"Radio Peking- Death of Mao Zedong (9 September 1976)

The death of Chairman Mao at 82 in 1976 brought to an end the Cultural Revolution which cost millions of lives.

Monitored from Radio Peking shortwave service. Commentary in English and funeral music."

Recorded by Ian Holder, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Jan 02, 2022
If on a winter's night in Venice...
294
Venice Santa Lucia station on New Year's Eve reimagined by Cities and Memory.

In this piece, the clouds of arpeggiated synth notes represent the busy travellers coming in and out of the station, while the steadier bass pulses represent the surety and predictability of a rail timetable and the practical reliability of the trains taking people home.

The scene in the station on a foggy, freezing New Year's Even put us in mind of the opening of Calvino's novel If On A Winter's Night A Traveler, so we included a (disembodied) voice reading aloud from the book to bring these worlds together.

The text is as follows: 

The novel begins in a railway station, a locomotive huffs, steam from a piston covers the opening of the chapter, a cloud of smoke hides part of the first paragraph. In the odor of the station there is a passing whiff of station café odor. There is someone looking through the befogged class, he opens the glass door of the bar, everything is misty, inside, too, as if seen by nearsighted eyes, or eyes irritated by coal dust. The pages of the book are clouded like the windows of an old train, the cloud of smoke rests on the sentences. It is a rainy evening; the man enters the bar; he unbuttons his damp overcoat; a cloud of steam enfolds him; a whistle dies away along tracks that are glistening with rain, as far as the eye can see.
Jan 01, 2022
New Year's Eve at Venice's station
187
New Year's Eve 2021, outside Santa Lucia train station in Venice. The bells nearest the train station are ringing for early evening mass while people hurry in and out of the station to carry on with their new year plans. We listen to the bells then head into the station, listening out for platform announcements, conversations and all the ambience you'd expect from a train station buzzing with life at the end of the year. Recorded by Cities and Memory.
Jan 01, 2022
Czech crisis radio (Xqui remix)
237
"The source recording had an almost anti-ambient feel to which I added neo-ambient loops. It's intended to be soothing yet slightly disturbing."

Composition by Xqui.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Dec 28, 2021
Radio Moscow drone
236
"Drone piece using the original audio as a backdrop. Drone was created in Ableton Live using Wavetable synth run through some vintage effects."

Composition by Andy Truscott.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Dec 28, 2021
Berlin sequence
186
"The piece is made from as many sequences as I could fit in – a representation of the Berlin sound."

Composition by Simon Woods.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Dec 28, 2021
Communiqué
668
"This piece works with a complicated moment in the history of space music, electronic music, and political music. 

"Part of the design of China’s first satellite, Dongfanghong 1, was to make music using the satellite’s telemetric system. Specifically, it was designed to play the world the Maoist anthem “The East is Red," from which it took its name. An oral history of the project relates that during ground tests the song was out of tune. Care needed to be taken musically - the advice was to “add harmonic waves” - and technically, with insulation that would prevent pitch modulation in orbit due to changes in temperature or electromagnetic interference.

"During the broadcast, the satellite sounds transition suddenly from cadenced song to chaotic telemetry. The radio announcers explain repeatedly that the first forty seconds are the music, and the next 20 seconds are telemetric data. But the result is a mixed broadcast that splices together different orders of communication, encoded verbally, musically, and as data signal. That moment of transition also breaks the revolutionary song down and creates an unexpected gesture toward a different type of music—suggestive of something like what Theodore Adorno called a dialectical music, or the image of emancipation he found in atonal music.

"The first part of the piece samples the musical portion of the satellite transmission. The second part is a remix of the ground rebroadcast, with its framing and explanations of the data/music/text. The third part slows down and follows the data signal, with its mostly atonal sequence of notes."

Composition by John Savarese.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Dec 28, 2021
The first flying person in Asia
178
 "This piece is made in honour of Ke Shouliang, who leaped over the Yellow River by car. This feat was done as a celebration for the returning of Hong Kong to China in 1997 and was widely covered in the chinese media. The CRI recording, used was actually the last one available on this Cities and Memory project, and I was really amazed how no-one had taken such a gem. In fact I liked the phrase "The first flying person in Asia" so much, that I decided to use it as my new artistic pseudonym."

Composition by Georgi Bozhinov. 

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave
Dec 28, 2021
The Czech crisis
1088
"Friday 23 August,1968. Radio Moscow transmission to Australia
31 metres 13-30 hrs GMT. Announcer, Boris Novikov (1925- 1997)

Twenty nine years after the Nazis invaded Czechoslovakia in 1938,
followed by WW2, the Warsaw Pact countries led by Russia invaded the country.
This shortwave broadcast was recorded off-air in Australia by Ian Holder and gives the Russian view of the event. Less than two years after the fall of Communist Russia in 1991, the Republic of Czechoslovakia ceased to exit."

Recorded by Ian Holder, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Dec 28, 2021
Hong Kong handover
534
"Daily coverage of the Hong Kong Handover between Britain and China in 1997. The broadcasts are mainly from China Radio International (CRI) which was previously Radio Peking/Beijing. Other broadcasts are from the BBC World Service and Radio Singapore International. Intros and off-air recording by Ian Holder, Australia. Information on the Hong Kong Handover - http://www.nytimes.com/learning/general/onthisday/big/0630.html"

Recorded by Ian Holder, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Dec 28, 2021
China's first satellite
1340
"Radio Peking- Sunday April 26, 1970 09-30 GMT. 19 metres. Recorded off-air by Ian Holder, Brisbane, Australia. China's first satellite information - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dong_Fang_Hong_I

Recorded by Ian Holder, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Dec 28, 2021
Elections in East Germany
590
"Radio Berlin International (1400 GMT- 21465khz). Recorded off-air by Ian Holder, Brisbane, Australia. Other broadcasts on this topic -https://archive.org/details/EastGermanElectionsNews19Mar90

Recorded by Ian Holder, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Dec 28, 2021
The Polish crisis, 1981
627
"14 Dec. 1981 Radio Moscow 12.00 GMT 17860khz. Recorded off-air by Ian Holder, Brisbane, Australia. Other broadcasts on this topic - https://archive.org/details/PolishCrisis1981"

Recorded by Ian Holder, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Dec 28, 2021
Electro rickshaw
166
Bangladesh rickshaw ride reimagined by Cities and Memory.

A chaotic field recording, with lots of small spikes of interest rapidly passing by, from car horns to truck engines, to passers-by calling out. Eight elements of interest were clipped and used as drum parts to construct a rhythm that reflected the chaotic nature of the original recording, with instrumentation added on top of the rickshaw rhythms to build the track.
Dec 27, 2021
Rickshaw ride, Bangladesh
81
A rickshaw ride passing along Ganginar Par Road, central Mymensingh, Bangladesh - traffic noise, horns, street chaos. Recorded by Luke Henrion.
Dec 27, 2021
Interference pattern
146
"The point where all compete at once for the heart, imagining the non linear universe and the myriads of patterns creating worlds for each individual. I worked on this piece as I was losing one of the most important people in the world."

Composition by Michelle Breslin - Lostworldsounds.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Dec 26, 2021
Invalid-valid
139
"I was inspired by the sonic textures from the original piece and decided to limit my creative process by using the PO-33 K.O. to create the main structure of the composition. After sampling and creating beats, I layered the voices and music pieces from the original recording to make if fun and dynamic. Invalid-valid plays with the idea that there will always be approval and/or disapproval towards public leaders and that these opinions may shift over time. The track starts playing vocal repeating the word "invalid" but towards the end those words transform into "valid"."

Composition by Millie Wissar.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Dec 26, 2021
Radio 0451 #2
290
"Taking into account the news of the original piece - an armed conflict - but also its outcome, with peaceful consequences, I tried to build a sound piece that took into account this vision of the end of war and the conquest of peace, combining sounds that, somehow, enter into dialogue..."
Recorded by Luís Antero, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Dec 26, 2021
The coup fails
111
"Coup fails, BBC World Service (21 August 1991. 13 hrs GMT 9740 khz)"

Recorded by Ian Holder, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Dec 26, 2021
Gorbachev overthrown
281
"Gorbachev overthrown (Monday 19 August 1991), shortwave broadcasts - Radio Moscow (13 hrs GMT. 15560 khz)"

Recorded by Ian Holder, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Dec 26, 2021
Japan-China Treaty, 1972
711
The signing of the Japan-China treaty, Fri. Sept. 29, 1972.
 Radio Japan 0930 GMT.

Recorded by Ian Holder, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Dec 26, 2021
Ghosts of shortwave interference
233
"The starting point for this track was a recording of a British forces propaganda broadcast (in Latin American) being jammed by Argentinian forces during the Falklands conflict - abstract airwaves interfering with each other somewhere out at sea, over cold grey water, beneath cold grey skies.

"I isolated the frequencies where the interference was centred and tried from there, from that area where the two sources were in conflict, to feel for something that might emerge. Within that I wanted to return to the fact that, although the recording sounds like a cheerful radio program, it was sound being weaponised. While ultimately I couldn't help but bring something musical I wanted to keep that sense of conflict, tension and the cold grey intact."

Composition by de Velden.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Dec 26, 2021
Lliw (colour)
224
"Pyongyang military march musical accompaniment. The hope and human sadness of a socialist state."

Composition by Mark Baker.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Dec 26, 2021
Indo-Pakistani War of 1971
184
"Inspired by the content of the original recording, I manipulated contemporary music and found sounds to invoke a landscape where war visited suddenly, and just as quickly dissipated."

Composition by Jeff Economy.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Dec 26, 2021
Indo-Pakistan War
173
Shortwave transmissions from All India Radio during the Indo-Pakistan War (1971).

Recorded by Ian Holder, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Dec 26, 2021
KCBS Pyongyang: December 3, 2016
138
"This recording was taken at 15kHz filtering, and is for historical purposes. It was taken via using the globaltuners.com node in Daegu, South Korea tuned to 2850kHz which is the domestic SW frequency of the DPRK. 2850kHz simulcasts the same broadcast on their MW frequency of 819kHz. 819kHz is listenable via this node, but it is usually met with noise jamming from the ROK and the 2850kHz frequency was booming in and much nicer to listen to."

Recorded by Anthony Messina, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Dec 26, 2021
Radio Atlantico del Sur (Falklands War British MOD Station)
1702
"Radio Atlantico del Sur was a Spanish language radio station operated by the British Ministry of Defense during the Falklands War as part of its psychological operations aimed at Argentine troops. The station broadcast from a BBC transmitter on Ascension Island from May 19 until June 15, 1982. You can hear in the background a jamming transmitter from Argentina throughout the recording."

Recorded by Tom Gavaras, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Dec 26, 2021
On-repeat/Un-repeat
187
"A shortwave transmission renders distant numbers folded in mystery. We hear them over and over again, unable to decipher them. Repetitive as they may be, the sound of these numbers is never the same, changing according to the spaces and perceptual practices through which they are heard. Thinking of number stations and the notion of repetition as an impossibility, this piece places a shortwave numbers station transmission in conversation with other “repetitive” sounds. Crafted, traveling sounds, and the aural qualities of shortwave transmissions are intersected by these puzzling numbers. The “repetition” is also subject to interruption, being invaded by imagined spaces and distant shortwave sounds that speak of other cyclical enigmas, other revolutions and other forms of listening. In returning to sounds that can only evoke similarity, each moment of listening is acknowledged as distinct and unrepeatable. 

Additional shortwave sounds courtesy of:
ArchivoSonoro.org
FreeSound.org (https://freesound.org/people/therabidfrog)"

Composition by Berenice Cancino.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Dec 26, 2021
Numbers game
338
"I started by mangling the source material and extracting small snippets of sound to create much of the rhythm of the composition.The spy station numbers run throughout the piece to create a complex random ever evolving pulse to the piece.The big dubbed out bass line and supporting melody came from a modular system."

Composition by Alex Hehir.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Dec 26, 2021
The English Man
590
"I caught and recorded the numbers station often referred to as the English Man. He was found in the pirate radio watering hole (of 6,925-6,990 kHz) on 6,949 kHz. After sifting through more spectrum recordings taken the following evening by the Microtelecom Perseus, I realized that I caught him once again at the exact same time and frequency."

Recorded by Thomas Witherspoon, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Dec 26, 2021
UNID Spy Numbers Station
806
"This is a spy numbers station I recorded in the summer of 1993 but I forget the frequency. I used my Kenwood TS-690S transceiver and I believe the time was around 05:00 UTC."

Recorded by Bruce Atchison, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Dec 26, 2021
In the skies above Xiuwu County
387
Xiuwu County, China village fireworks reimagined by Cities and Memory. 

"Distant fireworks are always kind of hazy, kind of dreamy. Cascades of synth notes in clustered arpeggios circle in the sky above the village, and as we get closer to the fireworks, more layers of piano notes and other synths join in, matching the booms and bangs of the fireworks display. A mournful, stately celebration." 


Dec 24, 2021
Fireworks in the village
1200
The sound of fireworks, the sound of birds, and talking in the village - 河南省焦作市修武县(Xiuwu County, Jiaozuo, Henan, China). Recorded by Dicaprixin.
Dec 24, 2021
Bar hopping in Venice
188
Young people drink wine, eat cichetti and chat excitedly outside Cantina Do Mori in Venice in the late afternoon. 
Dec 24, 2021
Stealing souls in Venice
196
Outside Cantina Do Mori, Venice reimagined by Cristina Marras.

"Field recording feels sometimes like stealing from people's most intimate moments."
Dec 24, 2021
Anglfind
417
Suffolk beach waves reimagined by Karhide. 

"The idea at the start of the track was to create a dark slow call and response with the guitar line and sound of the waves. It was built around an initial clean guitar line and then I add lead and rhythm guitar along with bass and drums."
Dec 17, 2021
Fall line
365
Thailand night market reimagined by Karhide.

"This is based around the nighttime recording of Koh Phangan Market in Thailand and filtered using fab filter volcano and then used the eventide crystals to create octaves from the filtered sound. Then added a Lounge Lizard riff as the main theme through the track along with guitars, bass, and drums."


Dec 17, 2021
Interpreter
360
Punta Arenas supermarket reimagined by Karhide.

"This is the first track I worked on for the At Night EP and I created a drone from guitar playing distorted chords and an arpeggio line over the affected field recording from the Unimarc supermarket in Punta Arenas, Chile turning it into a pad. I then added a minimal electronic beat that changes all the way through the track."
Dec 17, 2021
Autopilot
360
Mongolian nightscape reimagined by Karhide.

"Created a texture with the nighttime soundscape field recording from Khovd, Mongolia by stretching the audio and then adding the multiple delays along with the eventide Quadravox for some pitch-shifting fun.  Once I had the sound I came up with the guitar chords, lead line, and then added the drums and bass."
Dec 17, 2021
Downlink
152
King Khalid airport reimagined by Karhide.

"This had a different start to the others where I had a drum groove idea and then chopped the field recording from Saudi Arabia King Khalid airport terminal 1 around the beat and then came up with the guitar chord progressions and then the guitar lead line."
Dec 17, 2021
On Aldeburgh Beach
730
"This seascape is iconic, not least because of the link with Benjamin Britten, but also because of the nature of the pebble and shape of the beach. I’ve made several attempts at recording this location in the past, but the lockdown enabled me to record without noise pollution. An unexpected bonus that night were three planets rising across the horizon and a comet!"

Aldeburgh Beach, Suffolk, England, recorded 21st July 2020 02.00hrs by Rob Godman.
Dec 16, 2021
Khovd in the dead of night
175
Night soundscape from Khovd, Mongolia recorded by Alfredo Ardia.

"At night I could hear from the window a quiet soundscapes made of dog barks, human voices and few cars passing by which would melt all together following the reverberant acoustic of the town. It sounded so unreal, almost like in a dream. I kept listening to it for a while before realizing I was actually awake."
Dec 16, 2021
King Khalid airport, Terminal 1
119
A recording from inside Terminal 1 (international departures) at Riyadh's main airport, King Khalid - the sounds of passengers queuing for checkin, automatic doors and the bustle of a Saudi Arabian airport terminal. Recorded by Cities and Memory.
Dec 16, 2021
Koh Phangan night market
67
A night market in Koh Phangan, an island off the coast of Thailand - a soundwalk through the busy market, with all the bustle and noise of stallholders and customers. Recorded by Paul Virostek.
Dec 16, 2021
Traditional music in a Chilean supermarket
103
In a supermarket in Punta Arenas in the far south of Chile, traditional Chilean music is piped through the speakers as we explore the supermarket for groceries. Recorded by Cities and Memory.
Dec 16, 2021
Burocracia Camaleónica
393
Mexico City street band during lockdown reimagined by deadkousin.

"“I found the original recording to be quite abstract - devoid of context and meaning for me, beyond the musical phrasing and my limited knowledge of Mexico and its culture. 
I wanted to explore the mood that the recording evoked in me, whilst narrating an imaginary tour of the environs where it was made and beyond…”

"Being an iOS artist, deadkousin used the Endlesss app to jam with loops of the recording and improvise additional material. The entire track was made, mixed and mastered on an iPad."
Dec 14, 2021
Duet for Subharmonicon and Hong Kong tram
243
Hong Kong tram journey reimagined by Cities and Memory. A Moog Subharmonicon live improvisation, responding to the field recording as it develops, introducing new elements and a busier soundscape during the tram's key movements, and relaxing back into the mindset of a passenger with a long day ahead and nowhere in particular to go during the quieter sections. 
Nov 22, 2021
Lift me, lift me
240
A reimagined piece built from the sounds of the Monte Capanne cable car chairlift, which creaks and groans throughout as a Moog Mother-32 melody envelops it, representing the sun, the azure blue of the sea and the warmth of the restorative view from the summit, from which the entire island can be seen in every direction. Reimagined by Cities and Memory.
Nov 22, 2021
Cable car on Monte Capanne
200
At the top of Monte Capanne on the island of Elba off Tuscany, there's an old-style cable car lifting tourists to the top of the mountain. After climbing up the old-fashioned way, we paused to record the cable car mechanism on a clear day near the summit. Recorded by Cities and Memory.
Nov 22, 2021
On the Hong Kong tramway
117
A tram departs Central station in Hong Kong - from the interior you can hear people chatting, the rumble of the tracks, beeping, dinging and exterior ambience. Recorded by Marcel Gnauk.
Nov 22, 2021
The wolves
303
Waves on Flat Holm Island reimagined by Listing Ships.

The waves sloshing under the jetty where boats arrive onto Flat Holm Island in Cardiff Bay is the central sound underpinning "The Wolves" by the band Listing Ships (featuring Cities and Memory creator Stuart Fowkes). This piece was built around the field recording of waves, and was originally released as part of the album The Flat Holm Island Sessions - it now takes its place in the Cities and Memory project as a testament to this recording session on the island.

Musicians: Mike Bingham, James Pamphlion and Stuart Fowkes.  
Nov 10, 2021
Black waves choking
217
"I laid down the radio sample and broke it into two parts, having it bookend the piece. Then I started a drone produced through synthesizers on a 4 track cassette recording device. Over this main bed I added heavy low end synthesizers and a couple of layers of sparse noises with plenty of reverb. I meant to get a dark and intimidating sound to it. I wrapped the piece by mastering it through an analog mid-side compressor."

Composition by Valmor Pedretti Jr. 

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Nov 10, 2021
Rawhide
154
"The original shortwave radio transmissions contain a number of reports on the attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan, by various US reporters. I used a selection of samples and put them in chronological order, to retell the event. Musically, my piece complements the drama of the event as told by the reporters, using synths and sampled drums with sporadic, soft guitar and piano parts. "Rawhide", is the codename for Reagan used by the US secret service."

Composition by Things Being Various. 

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Nov 10, 2021
Squatters and unwanted insects of the Malayan Revolution
468
"Working with this recording inspired me to learn some of the history of the Malayan Revolution. I like to work with audio collage and cut-ups, so I chose a technique where I could incorporate audio samples from old British movie reals about their efforts in Malaya, along with bits from a documentary. I also used contemporary field recordings made of rainstorms in Singapore. 

I thought the music used by the Voice of Malaya would work well with some military drums so I layered those in at the beginning along with static and other sounds recorded off of shortwave radio. 

Mixed into that was explosions and artillery and sounds of war. It starts off chaotic and goes into a disorienting cut-up piece, where fragmentary voices talk about the time period juxtaposed against the movie reel pieces. Bamboo flute textures were also used to convey a jungle feeling. For a short piece I can't convey the complexity of the situation, but could convey the chaos of it, with the aim of sounding as if a person were briefly tuning into this period of time."

Composition by Justin Patrick Moore.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Nov 10, 2021
Radio Moscow - Soyuz 26
106
As a space flight nut, I have many recordings from the 1970s from Radio Moscow. They used to broadcast on the medium wave, and I used to record the news bulletins during some of the space flights.
In particular, there was a period between December 1977 and March 1978 when Soviet cosmonauts first lived aboard the Salyut 6 space station. I recorded each days' news reports on the flights, and also some additional items about them. 

Recorded by Colin Anderton, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Nov 10, 2021
President Reagan assassination attempt
468
VOA (Tuesday March 31,1981)
Voice of America (shortwave) 9670khz. 0600 GMT.

Recorded by Ian Holder, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Nov 10, 2021
Voice of the Malayan Revolution
217
Broadcaster: Voice of the Malayan Revolution

Date of recording: 1979
Starting time: 0930
Frequency: 15.790
RX location: Singapore
Receiver and antenna: Sony ICF-5900W, random wire.

Recorded by Nigel Thornbury, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Nov 10, 2021
The fall of Saigon
412
"The incident in Vietnam on 30 April 1975 is known as the Fall of Saigon or the Liberation of Saigon. It depends on which side you support. This historical event unquestionably clarified the end of old-style colonialism. I prefer the former for the title because we still live in the cycle of fall and rise."

Composition by Keisuke Oki.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Nov 10, 2021
Fierce fighting in substantial numbers: ships damaged
182
"In this story from the BBC World Service, news of the British invasion of the Falkland Islands begins with, as is customary, an announcement of the fighting and loss of ships and other large equipment.  Only after this cataloging does the story move to the loss of human lives, both potential and actual.  

While this does place the loss of ships and helicopters--literally--before the human cost of the invasion, I reread this news story as working in the way that a sonnet can, even if that wasn't the BBC's original intent.  One form of the sonnet builds an argument in its first eight lines, then a shift occurs in the argument in the remaining six.  The initial argument can be reversed in the volta or the turn in the latter section of the poem.

Thus, I distilled the language of the news story into a sonnet.   The loss of equipment sets up the tragedy of the lost lives, the heavier cost of war.  I wanted to turn the idea of privileging metal over men as the news story seems to do into one that concludes something quite different. 

For the recording of my text, I left in artefacts of breath and pauses to mirror those of the news reader in the broadcast.  I also distorted my voice and laid the static and pops of the received transmission over the poem, as I wanted my voice to be both of the language of the news story and of its reception over shortwave radio."

Composition by T.D. Walker.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Nov 10, 2021
Fall of Saigon
1012
Shortwave coverage of the fall of Saigon as heard on Radio South Africa (RSA), Radio Nederland, Radio Japan and Radio Moscow on April 30, 1975. 

Recorded by Tom Gavaras, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Nov 10, 2021
British troops land in the Falkland Islands
400
BBC shortwave newscast during the Falklands War reporting that British troops have landed on the Falklands Island.

RX location: Plymouth, Minnesota

Receiver and antenna: Hammarlund HQ-180, longwire.

Recorded by Tom Gavaras, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Nov 10, 2021
Revolution and DFF Suite (Transmission 16 Mix)
343
"I started the process by going through the audio to pick out any interesting snippets, including re-editing phrases to change the context. This also led to me to use the tone from the BBC ident in the intro section. After working on the rough arrangement I decided to add the tempo change then layer up the music in my usual fashion. The title of the piece references the talk of death (DFF) and revolution from the original audio. The final mix you hear is a live mixdown, hence the full title."

Composition by DFF Sound System. 

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Nov 10, 2021
Radio Havana Cuba: spectral formation
246
"When we hear our own voice, we are already separated from that moment in which we spoke. As we pay attention to listening, we thicken the "now" with recollection, anticipation, and imagination. When we speak on the radio, our voice is further extended out through medial spacetime to receivers that we cannot even know are there. Radio is an act of trust, a gift... as is all language. But in radio the spectral presence of speech is enacted explicitly. Shortwave voices are heard as revenants of the radio frequencies, returning and returning again to haunt places they have never been, connecting moment to moment in an already-present remembrance, an already-remembered present.

The source material is a transmission on Radio Havana Cuba, 2 August 2017, recorded by Anthony Messina."

Composition by Robin Parmar. 

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Nov 10, 2021
Falcons of Iran
313
"This is a piece made entirely from the original shortwave radio recording. I was entranced by the documentary section of the broadast on hunting with falcons, and I wanted to use as much of that as possible. Other sections were processed, looped and delayed to make a suitably atmospheric backing for the voices (only when it was finished did I realise that I stopped the rhythm each time the interviewer asked a question...)."

Composition by Basic Design. 

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Nov 10, 2021
Thank you, miss you, hope to speak soon
412
"This was a difficult recording to reimagine - the weight of the messages contained in the recording was immense and it felt almost incorrect to change them too much. I didn't for that reason. I added nature sounds which I felt underscored the distance, though... and the isolation and longing for a familiar voice. Everything felt so far away, yet so full of emotion."

Composition by Emmy Tither.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Nov 10, 2021
Chapel of the snow
197
"Shortwave transmissions definitely have a ghostly quality, so I approached this with somewhat of a narrative; thinking of a long-ago abandoned outpost in the Antarctic, their final shortwave "radio show" transmission on loop."

Composition by Eulipion Corps. 

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Nov 10, 2021
Radio Havana Cuba (aircheck): 2017
424
This is an aircheck of Radio Habana Cuba on 6145 from 8/2/17 via a KiwiSDR in Alexandria, VA at 1:15am EDT roughly. 

Recorded by Anthony Messina, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Nov 10, 2021
The death of Fidel Castro
1079
BBC World Service Reporting on the death of Fidel Castro. Believe these broadcasts were targeted to Africa, but reception was good into Europe that morning. I was listening to these using my home receiver in East Anglia, England, but due to local interference, started recording them using the Twente SDR.

Broadcaster: BBC
Date of recording: 11/26/2016
Starting time: 0700 UTC
Frequency: 11.770 & 12.095

Recorded by Scott G, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Nov 10, 2021
Voice of Iran: December 5, 1976
1685
This recording might be of historical interest. It is the Voice of Iran from December 1976, three years before the revolution in Iran that overthrew the Shah and established the current Islamic Republic. The recording is of the full half-hour broadcast and includes the news, some Iranian music, and a segment on falconry as a sport. There is some occasional interference from single-sideband station.

Recorded by Greg Shroom, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Nov 10, 2021
BBC World Service's broadcast to the 2013 British Antarctic Survey
1825
Every year, the BBC broadcasts a special program to the forty one scientists and support staff in the British Antarctic Survey Team; the show contains music requests and, most notably, personal messages from back home to the team of forty one. 

The British Antarctic Survey celebrates today (their longest, darkest winter day) with the same enthusiasm as Christmas. The BBC noted:

The base commanders rise early to cook breakfast for their staff, presents are exchanged, there are sports and even, weather permitting, a mad streak in the snow! Feasting continues before they gather round a shortwave set to listen to the traditional broadcast packed with greetings from their family and friends back home together with music requests and messages from the British Antarctic Survey and a few celebrities. Finally the Antarctic horror movie The Thing is screened. For those who know the plot, perhaps it is just as well there are no longer sledge dogs in Antarctica...

Here is the recording of the BBC World Service's thirty minute broadcast to the British Antarctic Survey. I was able to receive a relatively strong signal at 21:30 UTC on 9,890 kHz from the World Service's Wooferton transmission site.

Recorded by Thomas Witherspoon, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Nov 10, 2021
American Forces Antarctic Network (AFAN): circa 1980s
120
The American Forces Antarctic Network (AFAN) at McMurdo Station recorded in the 1980s on 6012 kHz SSB in New Zealand.

Recorded by Tony King, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

Nov 10, 2021
Voice of Peace (Hexany 1-3-9-11)
199
"This piece uses - in various ways - a recording from the offshore radio station that broadcast from the former Dutch cargo vessel MV Peace almost continuously between 1973 and 1993. In addition to the more 'obvious' use of the recording (a static layer; short staccato bursts) an additional layer is played through a system of modules which - reacting to the sound itself - generates a heterodyne-like (near-)melody; a fake shortwave warble. The station did broadcast over AM, after all..."

Composition by Phexioenesystems.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave


Nov 10, 2021