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
Obsolete Sounds interview on BBC Radio 4 World At One
278
Cities and Memory founder Stuart Fowkes talks to Sarah Montague on BBC Radio 4's World At One programme on 28 November 2022 about the launch of the Obsolete Sounds project and the emotional resonance of disappearing sounds - and we listen to typewriters, cassette recorders, Super-8 projectors and a composition from the project.  
Nov 28, 2022
Changing seas
338
"The ocean is a very special place for me. I am drawn to its tumultuous beauty and constant changing personality which I wanted to express in this work. The recording has different positions in the track sometimes in the forefront, sometimes as background just like in life as we experience nature."

Rajbag beach, India reimagined by Firephly. 
Nov 26, 2022
The sound of geothermal cooking
281
A sound not heard anywhere else in the world - this is the sound of the geothermal fumarole pools in Furnas in the Azores. These bubbling pools are naturally geothermal, and are used to cook the cozidos stew, which is submerged in pots each morning by local restaurants, cooks through the heat of the Earth and is retrieved by ropes at the end of the day. It's a dish - and a cooking method - unique to this part of the world, and as such it's also a unique and special field recording.

Recorded by Cities and Memory. 
Nov 26, 2022
The wind also rises
262
"The mellow evening ambient sounds of a garden in Goa are the perfect catalyst for a transportive journey. I added a progression to colour the journey and provide a bit of context to the fantasy world I was aiming for."

Hotel gardens in Natravali reimagined by Eulipion Corps. 
Nov 26, 2022
Lake turns
295
"I knew there was music in the ripple and found a faded memory of lakeside reels and a wide angled shot of a small boat in a body of water. 
Sampled looped and processed with Akai MPC, finished in Ableton. The amazing Audiority Grainspace for unduelling banjoes."

Lough Doon, Ireland reimagined by Simon Greenwood (Nonalogue).
Nov 26, 2022
Purl and plash
308
"I found the original recording mournful (rather than sad) and slightly comic. I have used some of the original recording and altered (using filters) fragments. To this I added sampled instrument and vocal sounds."

Fumaroles in Furnas reimagined by Richard Gadd. 
Nov 26, 2022
Lough Doon dawn paddle
111
A field recording made on a dawn kayaking adventure on Lough Doon, in County Clare Ireland. 
I made an early start and headed to the lake to paddle for a while and make a coffee, before the school run and work. 

This was recorded just as the sun began to rise and the mist that hung over the cool lake burnt off. Other that my inefficient paddling style, you can hear the logging trucks on the road along the northern shore of the lake and a particularly noisy cow.

Rcorded by Barnaby Nutt. 
Nov 26, 2022
Nocturnal wildlife in a hotel garden
229
2022-06-16 8.47PM; The Postcard Hideaway resort gardens, Natravali, at night; the sound of evening wildlife in tropical rural India. Recorded by Mark Wilden. 
Nov 26, 2022
Awaiting the monsoon rains
306
2022-06-18 5.05PM; Rajbag beach, Goa, India, almost deserted, just before the late monsoon under doomy clouds.  Recorded by Mark Wilden. 
Nov 26, 2022
Rise in love
442
"The inspiration behind this piece was the story of the Phoenix, the immortal bird associated with Greek mythology, which symbolizes rebirth and new purpose in a never-ending cycle. Its imagery of passion, love, will, creativity and life remind us that we have within us the fire and resources to heal and become new again.

"This track was created with the help of my friend Nico Meyering, an amazing sound engineer.

"A field recording that I used combines sounds of nature and bells sounds, which both can be beneficial to our health and well-being.

"As part of the culture, practice and religious ceremonies, the sound of bells holds special meanings. Looking into the ancient past, bells were sounded to bring people to congregate and participate in rituals and ceremonies. Until today such practices are still upheld.

"The sound of bells is often used in sound therapy, it’s believed to help to manage a broad range of health conditions.

"Nature sounds can be an important part of our lives. They are great for relaxation, can boost mood, decrease stress, enhance nervous system function, and improve focus and concentration. Immersing in the sounds of nature and a green environment has often been linked with well-being.

"I believe we and our cities can only be healthy if we connect and harmonize together and with nature.

"Birdsong and bell sound have been turned into pads and tuned to an A-minor scale and harmonic frequencies of 222, 444, and 888 Hz. A melodic structure of the track has been created by resampling the birdsong and another bell sound.

|Together with Nico, I added other sounds to create a piece made of two sections: a darker one and a brighter one to honour the cycles of life and nature and bring a message of hope to the world: that no matter what you are struggling with, poverty, conflict, ill health, climate change, or individual mental health struggles such as depression or loneliness, together as a collective or as individuals, every one of us can rise, be reborn, and start over.

|If you resonate with this soundtrack, you have become aware of your deepest energies vibrating from those life-crushing pressures, but then become self-renewing as life goes on. The uplifting sounds take you back to love and hope.
I hope that listening will create within you a new sense of well-being and possibility."

Ponta Delgada church bells reimagined by Micca. 
Nov 20, 2022
Bells of Padova
322
"I used the sound of the bells sampled from the field recording. Samples were adjusted using Volca Sample. I also used AE Modular synthesizer to create my own bell-like sounds and put them through various modular filters, and effects (phaser, delay, shimmer). Other synths used: Behringer Neutron, Korg Minilogue XD. The whole piece was arranged and recorded in real time using hardware synths only."

Piazza dell'Insurrezione Easter bells reimagined by Artur Kinal (Synthotherapy).

Image: Massimo Nardin, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
Nov 20, 2022
Voce pura
186
"The idea for this composition came to me quickly after listening to the field recording of a mountain stream, near Rifugio San Marco, in the Italian Dolomites for the first time. I immediately imagined a cascading stream on a sunny day, a clear blue sky and light reflecting off the surface of the water as it descended through nature, a song of hopeful potential.

"Although this particular recording originated in Italy, I was reminded of one of my favorite quotes from Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of the Japanese martial art Aikido: 

“Do not fail to learn from the pure voice of an ever-flowing mountain stream splashing over the rocks,” and so I named this track Voce Pura.

"The field recording, in varying forms, runs throughout the entire song like water winding through the Dolomite mountains. I chose keys that sounded crisp, sparkling and airy, yet flowed from one note to the next. At several points, a traditional drum kit is overlaid with two different drum machines as the music surges; and mixes with complimentary beats like water rolling over rocks one instance and suddenly levelling out, mingling in a shallow pool before flowing once again."

Mountain stream at Rifugio San Marco, Dolomites reimagined by Point/Call.
Nov 20, 2022
Autumn waves (for Christian Doppler)
452
"Over the last few months i have been obsessively listening to the music of Phillip Jeck and Janek Schaefer again, whilst becoming more comfortable building songs and textures outside of a DAW environment. Working with the original field recording of train station sounds, sirens, bells and the doppler effect present, I decided to use a pared-down recording set up for the Cities and Memory Autumn Project. 

"I fed the original recording into a Soma Labs COSMOS to achieve drift and blur (and chaos) I used a basic small sine wave generator to anchor the drift and blur and add some bass tones. These basic tracks were fed into an old sampler to layer and shape. Finally I recorded some tongue drum and prepared guitar scrapings using a telephone mic (maximum lo-fi!) over the top. 

"This was then resampled, played live in the sampler and recording to my Zoom H4N. I produced a number of different recording variations. Three were chosen at random, cut to the same length, layered on top of each other and this became the final track."

Coimbra B station warning bells reimagined by Andy Billington. 
Nov 20, 2022
Midday bells in Ponta Delgada
142
At the Igreja Matriz de Sao Sebastiao church in Ponta Delgada (Sao Miguel, the Azores), church bells ring out and play their daily melody at midday, taking their place among the sounds of daily life in the town.

Recorded by Cities and Memory. 
Nov 20, 2022
Doppler effect at a Portuguese train station
292
At Coimbra B train station, sets of bells ring to warn of approaching trains, so that pedestrians move away from the track crossing. The bells are arranged so they swap tones, creating a fascinating and distinctive Doppler effect - you can also hear announcements and a passing police siren in this rich field recording. 

Recorded by Cities and Memory. 
Nov 20, 2022
Mountain stream in the Dolomites
230
A trickling, peaceful mountain stream crosses a footpath close to Rifugio San Marco, close to San Vito di Cadore in the Italian Dolomites. 

Recorded by Cities and Memory. 
Nov 20, 2022
The eternal return
761
"A lost soul on their eternal return to the same space, their beautiful memory of their last and eternal journey."

Manchester tram journey reimagined by Jon Ogara.

Image: G-13114, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
Nov 20, 2022
A big, beautiful wall
392
"Apart from the addition of some percussion and the words of the 45th President, the entire piece is based on manipulation of the field recording. Tijuana marks the western end of the "big, beautiful wall"..."

Tijuana in the rain reimagined by Nick St. George.

Image: Cbojorquez75, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
Nov 20, 2022
Celebratory Easter bells, Padova
156
A pealing cascade of celebratory bells ring out for Easter across Piazza dell'Insurrezione in Padova, Italy. We hear from from inside a nearby bookshop and immediately run outside, recording device in hand, to capture the moment as it happens. 

Recorded by Cities and Memory, April 2022. 

Image: Massimo Nardin, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
Nov 20, 2022
Aboard a Manchester tram to Deansgate
352
A journey from Cornbrook to Deansgate on Manchester's iconic tram system - exiting the train, standing on the platform, announcements in a distinctive regional English accent and more tram arrivals as we exit. 

Recorded by Cities and Memory.  

Image: G-13114, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
Nov 20, 2022
Rainy Christmas Eve eve in Tijuana
375
Walking in the rain along calle tercera from Av Constitucion to Av Miguel F Martinez, then North on Martinez to calle segunda in Zona Centro, Tijuana, BC, Mexico. The sound of rain, traffic, street vendors, an old woman singing, a man playing the accordion with his daughter, conversations and music on a festive night before Noche Buena. 

Recorded by Brandon Anjeleno.

Image: Cbojorquez75, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
Nov 20, 2022
The city hangs suspended
297
This composition is built from a sound walk from 8th and 37th in Manhattan, New York, late at night. That night, when making the recording, it almost felt as if the city was so powerful and all-present that it could consume you entirely unless you resisted it. 

It brought to mind a poem I’d written as part of a collection called Chartless/demagnetised, released in 2021, called “City”, which is also about the overwhelming nature of what it feels like to purely experience a city in every fibre of your being. 

The field recording sits underneath a bed of ambient soundscapes, rising and falling with the rhythm of the city and of the piece so that your awareness of it changes throughout the piece. The composition features fourteen voices reading out lines from the poem, which forms the centre of the piece. 

New York soundwalk reimagined by Cities and Memory. 

Poem text: 

Tonight the city hangs suspended,
waiting vampiric to add my story
to the countless thousands
already drummed
       drummed
       drummed   
into its concrete steps
blood gorged on by its handrails,
drained hungrily by pavements like the first rain of a new season.

The street lights are perfect puncture wounds
through which, Saturno devorando above,
peeling back the skin, 
it can trace my footsteps;

trapped in illustrious alleyways 
gilded by the achievements of generations.
I need somewhere practical, like the sea
(unfussily inhaling and exhaling trade routes)
that leaves me space to write my own ending.

Poem readers:

Ella Kay
Emmy Tither
Kitty Turner
Steffi Neuhuber
Cristina Marras
Ronan McQuillan
Marcelo Caneiro de Lima
Euan McAleece
Joel Graham
Jon Ogara
Simon Woods
Andy Lyon
Robert Sookhan
Bruce Davenport

Nov 13, 2022
Manhattan soundwalk, New York
166
Field recording of a classic New York soundscape, walking through midtown Manhattan starting from 8th & 37th late at night. Recorded by Cities and Memory. 
Nov 13, 2022
Migration of whales over the Vale of Health Pond
293
"The Vale of Health pond apparently is a drained marsh area called Hatches bottom (of questionable repute) circa 1770. So I cleaned up the recording and thought about how the people hoped a name change would bring people to recreate and live. 

In the 1800s it became a hotspot for writers and such so I introduced some tone but not enough to cover the whole pond. In 1973 a committee was set up to restrict inappropriate development, so I introduced the idea of whales floating across the sky while people listening to the sounds are on the bank, fishing."

Vale of Health pond reimagined by Joel Graham. 
Nov 11, 2022
Matins in the countryside
446
"When I first heard this field recording, it immediately made me feel like I was being awaken by cockerels in a farmstead not far from a convent where nuns could be heard singing Matins. Therefore I created a choir and added some melodic sounds to suit the idyllic landscape the overall sounds lead me to imagine being in. To the original sound I simply added some forest echo and then mixed it with the musical composition having it running throughout the music and then fade out."

Azorean farm sounds reimagined by Helder Rock AKA The Night Passenger and the Panda.
Nov 11, 2022
Chicks and cocks and trips in the Azores
651
"This is such a familiar natural sound one that could be heard anywhere on the planet. I thought it would be interesting to just manipulate small sections of the original recording and build up layers. In the end it got fairly psychedelic with very little manipulation."

Roosters in the forest reimagined by Euan McAleece. 
Nov 11, 2022
Among the Azorean roosters
309
At a crossroads in the forest near the Salto do Prego waterfall on Sao Miguel in the Azores, we stop for lunch among a few proud roosters, a selection of hens and some chicks. 

The hens and chicks are feeding close to the microphone of our recorder, while the cockerels crow and jostle for supremacy around us. 

Recorded by Cities and Memory.  
Nov 11, 2022
Morning on the farm, the Azores
292
At Casa da Palha on Sao Miguel in the Azores, we listen on a clear, bright morning to the sounds of cows, donkeys and various birds feeding in the field next to us. 

Recorded by Cities and Memory. 
Nov 11, 2022
Morning at the Vale of Health pond
364
A sunny 8am Tuesday morning at the Vale of Health pond, Hampstead Heath London. You can hear a variety of different birds singing including two geese who were sat in the water near by. In the background is the buzz of the morning traffic and you hear the footsteps of a runner near the end of the recording.

Recorded by Ross Burns. 

Nov 11, 2022
The chef
231
The original field recording focuses on the conversation of one specific speaker, a budding chef who talks about learning how to cook from recipes and cooking his own meals. Behind this, the sounds of New York build and grow, with passing traffic and sirens swallowing up the conversation. 

This composition, titled The Chef, starts with our protagonist's words front and centre over a musical soundscape that represents the movement and urgency of one the western world's busiest cities. The swelling sounds of the city are painted with huge delays and tape effects, and we allow them to grow, consume and overtake the sounds of its citizens. Sooner or later, the city takes us all over. 

Reimagined by Cities and Memory. 

Nov 06, 2022
New York streetscape - Houston Street, Manhattan
411
A soundscape qalking down Houston Street, New York focusing mostly on one man's conversation, with traffic and street noises and a passing police siren.

Binaural recording - best to listen  with headphones.  

Recorded by overmedium. 
Nov 06, 2022
The integrity of the gesture was lost
430
"The title “The integrity of the gesture was lost” and the inspiration for this composition came from Antwerp, a novella by the Chilean author Roberto Bolaño. He said he wrote the book “for the ghosts, who, because they're outside of time, are the only ones with time.” This is the sentence that hooked me in: “Fleeing together long ago became living together and thus the integrity of the gesture was lost; the shine of immediate past.” 

"Somehow the sound sample I chose for the underlying backbone of the composition - Antwerp Port Epic, Entering The Lion’s Zone - reminded me of an imaginary moment, when “The integrity of the gesture was lost”. I call my music memory recordings, that expose the complex relationship between music and silence. Ghosts and time are themes prominently featured in the atmospheres and rhythms throughout this piece."


Nov 03, 2022
Art and Reality on the Grand Canal, Venice (2022)
194
"A fantasy taking place on Venice's Grand Canal. A stroller along the Canal walks into a world-famous art show, and quickly leaves again. Somehow, life on the Canal seems more real, and attractive, than life inside the walls of Art. He walks further, inland from the Canal, through a small campo (open area), and ends where the only sounds are pigeons and distant children playing. True peace!"

Venice's Grand Canal reimagined by John Tenney
Nov 03, 2022
The Grand Canal, heard from the Peggy Guggenheim
364
The sounds of Venice's legendary Grand Canal, as heard from the palazzo of the equally legendary Peggy Guggenheim art gallery - the classic sounds of Venetian boat traffic.

Recorded by Cities and Memory, August 2022. 
Nov 03, 2022
Antwerp Port Epic cyclists race on unpaved road
275
Since 2015, unpaved roads were included in the route of the then "Schaal Sels" cycling race, which meant that the race was followed both at home and abroad. This increasing international media attention led to the race continuing to be known as the "Antwerp Port Epic". A large part of the race is ridden in the Antwerp Polder, where a large number of rural dirt roads and tricky cobbled sections can still be found. 

The name refers to two places that are important to the race: on the one hand, the city of Antwerp, which has served as the start and finish location since 2018; on the other hand, the Port of Antwerp, which is also an important part of the circuit. The word Epic in turn refers to both the past and the present of the race. 

Cycling journalist Jacques-Charles Sels was, just before he died, exploring an epic three-day stage race between Milan and Antwerp in the context of the 1920 Summer Olympics (which were held in Antwerp). He wanted a race with character. Since 2018, Antwerp Port Epic has gone through life as a UCI 1.1 race that is always run at the end of May. 

This place on the calendar, together with the unpaved sections, will ensure a spectacular race in which the world cyclocross stars will battle against the top cyclists on the road. The ambition of the organisation is to eventually grow into a UCI ProSeries race.

In the Polder van Zandvliet, the riders will ride on a stretch of unpaved road at "Ruige Heide", next to the A12 motorway.

Recorded by Tony Van Dorst.
Nov 03, 2022
Wildlife at dawn, Nantou mountains
600
Sound of wildlife at dawn in the Nantou mountain forests, near Zhongliao Township in Taiwan. Recorded by James A. Holland.
Nov 02, 2022
Filtered water
245
Salto do Rosal in the Azores reimagined by Simon Woods.

"The original waterfall sounds have been filtered in many different ways. Added to this are recordings water with contact and standard microphones.

"Synths sounds of water both analogue and FM based before conventional synth sounds finally added."
Nov 02, 2022
Fadophonic memories
361
Coimbra jazz quartet reimagined by Scott Lawrence Whitman.

"I looped and processed the original short phrase heard at the beginning of the piece via granular and modular synthesis adding only percussion."
Nov 02, 2022
Before 6am
246
Nantou mountain soundscape reimagined by Ryan Chiang. 

"Everything growing dramatically fast outside the time and space we can reach and perceived."
Nov 02, 2022
Have you been licking frogs again?
1200
Canadian swamp soundscape reimagined by Andrea Callea.

"A soothing ambient piece almost completely comprised of derivative sounds from the original "Canada Prince George Frogs Croaking", transformed with heavy use of DSP.

"At first, I picked the "Canada Prince George Frogs Croaking" as one of the most uniform and with, basically, a single source. As the "cleanest source" to build a soundscape around it.

"However, the process and results thus far didn't really work. So, I scrapped everything and waited to listen to some remixes coming in. To check if an abstract piece would fit the requirements. That confirmed such pieces were welcome. Time to pivot!

"At first I played around with PaulXStretch, (as one does in this cases :P), to see if it would provide a rich enough derivative sonic palette. And It did! Besides the "Tibetan bowl" (which is not a Tibetan bowl), the children, and the thunder; every sound you hear comes from the original source. Heavily transformed, chopped, looped, reversed, effect'd, edited, and so on.

"Personally, making (this kind of) music is therapeutic and cathartic. I hope it can relax you too."
Nov 02, 2022
Jazz quartet on the streets of Coimbra
372
A saxophone-led jazz quartet set up on a staircase in an alleyway in the backstreets of Coimbra, during the Coimbra Jazz Festival, May 2022. The sound of the music reverberates around off the tall buildings around us, and mixes with the lively street sounds of passers-by in the town centre. 

Recorded by Cities and Memory. 
Nov 02, 2022
Salto do Rosal waterfall, Azores
187
A walk in the forests outside the town of Furnas on the island of Sao Miguel in the Azores, culminating in a visit to the hidden Salto do Rosal waterfall, from where this recording was made. Recorded by Cities and Memory. 
Nov 02, 2022
Frogs waking up early
181
Frogs in early spring, just as the sun is rising and sunshine hits the swamp in Prince George, Canada. Recorded by Latham Elle.
Nov 02, 2022
Chainsaw lullaby
395
This is probably the only time we've ever found the sound of a chainsaw relaxing. Listening from a couple of hundreds metres above, we're watching a man work on some large logs with two different types of chainsaw, while around us the scene is idyllic. Mountain trees rustle gently in the breeze, there is the occasional burst of birdsong, and up in the mountains the air is so pure and free from pollution of all kinds (noise pollution included) that everything has a particularly soft edge to it.

This composition is a small tribute to that unique quality of sound up in the mountains, and an attempt to dissociate the sound of the chainsaw from its more traditional associations with destruction, intrusive noise - and indeed terror. 

Chainsaws in the Dolomites reimagined by Cities and Memory.
Oct 30, 2022
Chainsawing in the mountains
204
Staying overnight at Rifugio San Marco in the Dolomites, we hear the sound of someone chainsawing logs off at a distance, somewhere below us. You can hear two different types of chainsaw being started up and used, one smaller and one larger, birdsong, and the wind gently rustling through the trees all around us. Oddly, at such a distance and being carried by the unique qualities of mountain air, the chainsaw - not a device known for inducing calm - sounds strangely relaxing to us.

Recorded by Cities and Memory. 
Oct 30, 2022
Chav Brass at the Whit Friday brass band contest, UK
254
A British-style brass band marching down the High Street in Delph, Saddleworth, playing to a crowd of several thousand, as part of the traditional Whit Friday brass band marches and contests in North West England.

Recorded by Phil Driscoll.
Oct 28, 2022
Praise be to Delph
633
"I took the chant of “Delph” and mixed it with an old recording of part of a church service. I adapted the brass band sound and mixed this in as well. The idea is that there is a religious fervour to the chant in support of Delph brass band in the brass band competition."

Brass band competition in Delph, UK reimagined by Jon Ogara.
Oct 28, 2022
A non-place to be
212
"Yokohama station attracted me because it is a non-place, one of those places where we meet other human beings without creating any relationship, places that must have no history or identity.

"Places such as hospital corridors, doctor’s waiting rooms, public offices, reception areas and also the rooms of certain hotels.

"Generally, entering these non-places requires us to show some sort of identification, sometimes we also asked to pay a ticket to enter. Once inside, we become completely anonymous, indifferent, we enter into a sort of temporal apnea.
Zygmunt Bauman defines them as "spaces devoid of the symbolic expressions of identity, relationships and history", and adds that "never before in the history of the world have non-places occupied so much space".

"They are spaces created to let time pass, where time expands. Michel Foucault defines these spaces of nothingness ‘heterotopias’, in contrast to utopias. They are spaces intended for people who, in relation to society and the human environment in which they live, are in a state of crisis.

"They are places where we will always be out of place. My creation starts from the original track of Yokohama station upon which I have added a series of ‘recommendations to the passengers’ delivered by the Speakers themselves which embody the spirit of such non-places. In this composition, I have tried to use a pace that reflects the rhythm normally used in train station announcements."

Yokohama station reimagined by Gianfranco Bitti.

Oct 23, 2022
Vicenza busker
187
Guitar busker in Vicenza reimagined by Finlay Wright.

"A lovely recording I felt compelled to leave be, and just add a simple synth line or two to."
Oct 23, 2022
Train song, Yokohama
119
"Above the station an eerie whine emanates, the labouring train gasps."

Recorded at Yokohama station by Emiko Morita.
Oct 23, 2022
On the streets of Vicenza
180
On the main shopping street of Corso Andrea Palladio in Vicenza, northern Italy, we listen to a busker with a guitar singing an Italian song in the middle of the Christmas holidays, as shoppers pass by. 

Recorded by Cities and Memory. 
Oct 23, 2022
What's happening in Seattle?
156
"A surreal exchange of words by the Aurora Bridge, near the railway. A dialogue between unlikely spies that makes a mockery of spy stories with irony and nonsense."

Hannover hydroelectric plant reimagined by Cristina Marras.
Oct 21, 2022
Bells chime for the death of Queen Elizabeth II, Belfast
600
On Friday, September 9, 2022, at 12:00 pm, various church bells across the UK sounded off in tribute to the death of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth ll, following her passing on September 8th, 2022. 

The recording took place on the front lawn of the Lanyon Building, the main building of Queen’s University Belfast, which also brought its main flag down to half-mast position. Sounds of daily life can be heard, ranging from cyclists, pedestrians, motor and emergency vehicles, birds, pedestrian crossings, and other local sounds in the area. 

The Church Bells were subtle and found gaps in the environmental soundscape to emerge and be heard. Each varied in duration, loudness, and placement in the listening experience. The bells mark a time of respect, change, and remembrance after a 70-year reign from the late Queen. 

Recorded by Georgios Varoutsos.

IMAGE: Steven Lek, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
Oct 21, 2022
Ripple
450
"In the field recording, the church bell is the sound I want to highlight and respond to. But how should I answer with the bell? How can I preserve the uniqueness of this recording? 

"Instead of replying to it musically, I chose to process the recording in my own way. I kept the content. I transformed it from reality to an abstract world."

Bells for Queen Elizabeth II in Belfast reimagined by Lauren Wong.

IMAGE: Steven Lek, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
Oct 21, 2022
Hydroelectric power plant, Hannover
91
In this recording, you can hear the power of water in a small power plant in Hanover. The driven turbine can be heard from inside.

Recorded by Jürgen Morgenstern-Feise.
Oct 21, 2022
Well-Being Cities
1308
Well-Being Cities is a unique collaboration between Cities and Memory and C40, a global network of mayors of nearly 100 world-leading cities collaborating to deliver the urgent action needed right now to confront the climate crisis.

Thirty-five artists from 14 countries all over the world were chosen from a global open call for applications. 

Each has taken inspiration from a field recording from one of 36 cities around the world, including 21 of the C40 cities themselves. 

The compositions cover a staggering array of creative styles, from spoken word and radio art to ambient music, electroacoustic compositions and full-on electronic reworkings. 

Just as varied as the musical and sonic approaches taken are the thematic addresses of the project’s central questions. Compositions reflect on the impact of the Covid-19 lockdowns, climate change, the homogenisation of the modern city, rising urban noise levels, the incorporation of sound into city planning and the collision of the modern with the traditional. 

At the heart of the project is one central, 21-minute composition entitled “Well-Being Cities”. This composition is built from a selection of reimagined compositions and original field recordings to create a coherent musical narrative that takes the listener on a journey through the themes addressed by the project.

We begin, as many great novels do, in a train station, as we commence our journey in Ho Chi Min City and Kigali with two piano pieces that ask us to take a breath and consider how noise invades and permeates our urban environment. In France, we pause to meditate and think about those spaces in a city that truly invite reflection, quiet and peace, and how these can be preserved and cherished. 

From here, the piece takes a darker turn, as a potential nuclear threat emerges, mixed with considerations of defensive architecture, smart cities and the climate crisis.

Heeding the warning of today’s young people, the piece moves on to ask us how we can work together to co-create a sustainable city that priorities health and well-being, by learning from one another – and, crucially, learning to truly listen to our cities. 

Finally, as the pace and urgency picks up, our Well-Being Cities journey ends in the unique urban environment of Venice, running through a rapid-fire wishlist of desires, from community and energy-saving to creative spaces that offer something for everyone. We end on a note of hope and commitment from the “can-do generation” to work together for the benefit of those around us – and those who will follow us. 

The “Well-Being Cities” central composition includes excerpts from 17 countries: Chile, Croatia, Cuba, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Italy, Kenya, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Peru, Poland, Rwanda, Turkey and Vietnam. 
Oct 17, 2022
Well-Being Cities - the sound installation
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*To recreate the effect of this sound installation, we strongly recommend listening through headphones.*

The Well-Being Cities sound installation is an hour-long interactive tour across 31 countries, starting with the furthest from Buenos Aires in Seoul, with each destination one step closer until we arrive at our host city with the final recording.

On one side of the installation space, you will hear an original field recording from that city, documenting a moment in its life. On the other side of the space, you will hear a reimagined composition built from that original recording, with each artist inspired by the source material and the question of what constitutes well-being in a city for them. The pieces change in sync, so the field recording and reimagined composition change to the next destination at precisely the same time. 

By physically moving around the space, the listener is able to create his or her own sound mix by proximity to either set of speakers, focusing on the field recording, the composition, and how the two blend with and interact with one another. We invite the listener to participate by immersing themselves in the sound and exploring how 31 artists have reinterpreted the sounds of 31 cities. 

The recordings and compositions you will hear are listed in the timecode below.

TIMECODE:

0.00-1.02: Seoul, South Korea – Mullaedong machine shop
(reimagined composition by Eulipion Corps)
1.02-1.50: Chengdu, China – Wenshuyuan temple
(reimagined composition by Point/Call)
1.50-2.50: Fengyuan City, Taiwan – Fengdong twilight market
(reimagined composition by Maribel Tafur)
2.50 -5.06: Ho Chi Min City, Vietnam – train station at night
(reimagined composition by Stefan Klaverdal)
5.06-6.03: Bangkok, Thailand – Wat Pho temple
(reimagined composition by Phexioenesystems)
6.03-7.30: Stockholm, Sweden – tourists at the royal palace
(reimagined composition by Janae Jean)
7.30-8.51: Istanbul, Turkey – Tahiri Sali Pazari bazaar
(reimagined composition by Akari Komura)
8.51-10.58: Warsaw, Poland – quiet streets during the Covid-19 lockdowns
(reimagined composition by Arvik Torrenssen)
10.58-13.00: Adelaide, Australia – morning birdsong during the Covid-19 lockdowns
(reimagined composition by Rob Law)
13.00-16.58: Copenhagen, Denmark – alert siren test
(reimagined composition by Bill Stevens)
16.58-18.21: Skopje, North Macedonia – busy street life
(reimagined composition by Nicolo Scolieri)
18.21-19.46: Berlin, Germany, Bellevue train station at night
(reimagined composition by Cities and Memory)
19.46-21.15: Sarajevo, Bosnia – santur player outside a café 
(reimagined composition by Thomas Ellison)
21.15-25.08: Zadar, Croatia – sea organ sound sculpture
(reimagined composition by Andy Billington)
25.08-27.16: Amsterdam, Netherlands – pedestrian crossing outside Vrije Universitat
(reimagined composition by Rob Knight)
27.16-28.03: Exeter, England – young people’s climate protest, 2021
(reimagined composition by Ella Kay)
28.03-29.53: Nairobi, Kenya – inside Jomo Kenyatta airport
(reimagined composition by Flora Zajicek and Cicely Fell)
29.53-31.50: Madrid, Spain – Plaza Cascorro during the Covid-19 lockdowns
(reimagined composition by Mark Taylor)
31.50-36.13: Coimbra, Portugal – traditional fado performance from the A Capella fado house
(reimagined composition by Moray Newlands)
36.13-38.56: Kigali, Rwanda – daily life in Gahanga market
(reimagined composition by Cities and Memory)
38.56-41.30: Wellington, New Zealand – the Zealandia nature reserve
(reimagined composition by Cristina Marras)
41.30-43.01: New York, USA – a busker plays John Coltrane on the High Line
(reimagined composition by Wayne DeFehr)
43.01-44.02: Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso – local band playing in a bar
(reimagined composition by Emmanuel Witzthum)
44.02-44.53: Mexico City, Mexico – band plays a traditional song in the street during the Covid-19 lockdowns
(reimagined composition by Abhishek Sekhri)
44.53-46.01: St. Louis, Senegal – anti-Covid handwashing song plays on the radio
(reimagined composition by Antriksh Bali)
46.01-47.54: Havana, Cuba – classic Cuban streetscape
(reimagined composition by Wahinya Mwirikia with D-Empress Evoke)
47.54-49.40: Bogotá, Colombia – manifestants’ protest denouncing corruption, 2019
(reimagined composition by Wijnand Bredewold)
49.40-50.49: Lima, Peru – city garden ambience
(reimagined composition by Steffen Kirchhoff)
50.49-52.38: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – pot-banging panelao protest against Bolsonaro
(reimagined composition by Maddie Baird)
52.38-54.47: Santiago, Chile – chinchineros traditional street drumming performance
(reimagined composition by Museleon)
54.47-56.14: Buenos Aires, Argentina – musical decontamination march
(reimagined composition by Neil Spencer Bruce)

Part of the Well-Being Cities project, a unique collaboration between Cities and Memory and C40, a global network of mayors of nearly 100 world-leading cities collaborating to deliver the urgent action needed right now to confront the climate crisis. The project was originally presented at the C40 Cities conference in Buenos Aires in 2022. Explore Well-Being Cities in full at https://citiesandmemory.com/wellbeing-cities/
Oct 17, 2022
A journey on a Piccadilly tram
249
"A journey through Manchester on a Piccadilly line tram, taking in a few musical sounds of the city.

The background sounds are made up of fragments of the tram sounds."

Piccadilly station in Manchester reimagined by Simon Woods. 
Oct 13, 2022
Tram sounds in Manchester Piccadilly
209
The sound of trams entering and leaving from the tunnel-like Piccadilly tram station space in Manchester. We hear the screech of wheels, the beeps of intercoms, passengers entering and leaving, and engine sounds reflecting the reverb sounds of the tunnel.

Recorded by Cities and Memory. 
Oct 13, 2022
In an ancient Gothic corridor
257
The haunting drone of an air conditioning unit in an ancient corridor in the impressive John Rylands library in Manchester. The unit is designed to dry out the air to protect the ancient and valuable books, and the building itself, but adds a sinister edge to such a dark, almost Gothic space. 

The library was commissioned in 1890 by his wife Enriqueta Rylands in memory of her late husband.

This world class collection includes the oldest known piece of the New Testament, the St John Fragment. Other treasures of the vast, varied collection include magnificent illuminated medieval manuscripts and a 1476 William Caxton edition of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales.

Recorded by Cities and Memory. 
Oct 12, 2022
Airconoclastik
176
"I selected different parts of the original sample and processed them through a number of digital resonators and filters to achieve the final result."

John Rylands library air conditioning reimagined by Rod Dykeman.
Oct 12, 2022
Push him back
214
"I love the various chants in the original field recording so I've used those at the centre of my reimagined piece. I isolated them and created a melody behind them. I have also used various other samples from the original recording to create background rhythms. The name of the piece comes from a comment by someone in the crowd."

Arsenal vs. Leicester City reimagined by Richard Watts. 
Oct 10, 2022
One nil to the Arsenal
191
Arsenal vs. Leicester City, 13 March 2022. Thomas Partey scores the first goal in a 2-0 win, provoking wild celebrations, cheering and chanting in the North Bank corner at the Emirates Stadium, London. 

Recorded by Cities and Memory. 
Oct 10, 2022
Welcome to Abundancia
465
""The Piece is called "Welcome to Abundancia". Abundancia is the name of
the imaginary city that has achieved a state of total balance, harmony,
abundance and integration of nature. It serves as a playground and safe
home for it citizens and provides all that is needed for its people and
animals to thrive and (Abun)dance together. The track invites you to
experience how it sounds and feels to spent a day in this magical
sanctuary from sunrise to sunset.

"I chose field recording number 21 for this project because intuitively I
felt drawn to it and also because I was looking for a recording that
contains birds and nature sounds because to me a city can only be
healthy and offer well-being if it has found a way to embrace, honor and
harmonize with nature. So I took this field recording and turned it into
a drone sound by boosting  harmonic frequencies (111 Hz, 222 Hz, 444 Hz,
888 Hz) with an EQ and processing it with effects. This drone served as
the main inspiration, I also re-sampled the sounds of the field
recording and created a more rhythmical texture. Based on that I started
to play around with different elements and step by step the journey took
shape.

"In Abundancia people have found a way to remove all stress and toxicity
and to live in harmony and flow by getting rid of all distracting and
unnecessary elements, by focusing on what brings joy and well-being and
by living in community instead of isolation. The city has its name
because the main goal is to offer and create abundance for all. It  has
huge community gardens that provide high quality organic food and
medicine plants for everyone and many sources of pure clean and fresh
water can be found in and around the city. There are also beautiful
parks where people do spiritual practices like Yoga, Meditation, Qi-Gong
etc. together. To reflect that in my music I used a lot of organic
sounds for percussions and textures and you can hear water in many
different elements, the main drum in the first part is a water drum for
example. And I included additional field recordings of the jungle
because I really wanted to emphasize the importance and healing effect
of a city being a biotope. Abundancia is known for its biodiversity and
measures success by the amount of different species that can be found in
its environment.

"The citizens of Abundancia live in joy, happiness and a sense of
fulfillment and purpose because all jobs and services are directly
connected to support and serve the community. And everyone has the
opportunity and is encouraged to follow their passion. They also
understand that they create their reality individually and collectively
based on their thoughts, beliefs and emotions and that there is no
limitation to what they can create except for what they can't imagine.
People realized that fear and lack have been created in the past by
limiting and negative beliefs but everyone in Abundancia is constantly
reminded of the power they have as creator beings and that's why fear no
longer exists because people have realized that it does not serve them
to focus on fearful and negative thoughts and instead they always ask
themselves how they can create more beauty, love and abundance.

 "The city is very colorful and a huge playground for all kinds of
creative expressions and art forms. The people in Abundancia have
understood and mastered the meta-physical principles of frequency,
energy, vibration and resonance and  therefore the architecture and
design reflects and is based on sacred geometry and cosmic harmonics
that help to create an energy field of coherence and harmony in and
around the city. I reflected this idea in this piece as well by tuning
all the elements and instruments to 444 Hz, a tuning that is based on
the powerful 111 Hz harmonic (which is also included in the track) and
that allows for a musical and harmonious integration of solfeggio
frequencies.

"111Hz is found in ancient Neolithic chambers such as New Grange in
Ireland and the Hypogeum in Malta. It has been used in Russia since the
1940s for insomnia (electrosleep treatment), and since the 1970s this
111 Hz has been used in Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulator (CES)
treatment for anxiety, depression, insomnia, enhancing memory, brain
function, anhedonia (inability to experience pleasure), and more…”
In 2013, 111Hz was found by Dr. Vladimir shCherbak and astrobiologist
Maxim Makukov in Kazakhstan to be the first number code in our DNA.
Research by Dr. Ian Cook of UCLA in 2008 showed an unmistakeable effect
on the brain by this frequency, such as causing a temporary shift to the
right brain to bring more balance; stimulating the part of the brain
that relates to empathy, cognitive behaviour, emotional processing and
moderating correct social behaviour; and a de-activation of the speech
centre to encourage a more internal focus.

"That's why I included this frequency as a drone to support the listener
to get into a meditative and peaceful state. I also included the
solfeggio frequency of 396 Hz which is resonating the energy centre
(chakra) that connects us with the earth and gives us a feeling of
grounding, stability and safety. It has also be found to be supportive
in calming down the nervous system and reducing stress and fear.

"Solfeggio Frequencies are a numerical representation of how energy flows
in a torus field and can be seen as the blueprint of creation. In
addition to the solfeggio tuning and healing frequencies I have set all
the parameters in this piece (for example, volume settings, EQ settings,
FX parameters) to represent multiples or equals of 3,6 and 9 which
according to Nikola Tesla and Marko Rodin are master numbers in regards
of manifestation and balance of creation. My intention for this is to
create a stronger attunement and harmonic resonance with the universe.
Recent experiments by acustics-physics scientist John Stuart Reid have
shown that intention has a powerful and noticeable effect and can
positively change and alter matter. That's why this piece is created
with the most loving intentions and it is my way of harnessing the power
of frequency and sound to create a positive and uplifting effect that
can result in raising the frequency within the listener and therefore
benefit everyone because all is connected.

"I am deeply grateful to be able to participate in this project and know
deep in my heart that Abundancia is not just a fantasy but a memory from
the not so distant future."
 
Lima city garden reimagined by Steffen Ki.

Part of the Well-Being Cities project, a unique collaboration between Cities and Memory and C40, a global network of mayors of nearly 100 world-leading cities collaborating to deliver the urgent action needed right now to confront the climate crisis. The project was originally presented at the C40 Cities conference in Buenos Aires in 2022. Explore Well-Being Cities in full at https://citiesandmemory.com/wellbeing-cities/
Oct 09, 2022
Against Coca-Cola
315
"Having visited Rwanda a few years ago, when exploring its urban markets, as well as what is different, one is struck by what is similar - monolithic global brands like Coca-Cola and Nike stamp their presence on even the tiniest, most characterful spaces in human lives. 

"The brand colours, logos and slogans have invaded every urban space on the planet. Wherever there is commerce, there are the mega-brands, and the more homogenised our spaces become, the worse it is for the well-being of our cities. 

"This piece is a quiet, sad lament against Coca-Cola, against Nike, and by extension against everything that makes our cities the same, and a plea to keep the idiosyncrasies that ensure the places we live are truly well-being cities."

Rwandan market reimagined by Cities and Memory. 

Part of the Well-Being Cities project, a unique collaboration between Cities and Memory and C40, a global network of mayors of nearly 100 world-leading cities collaborating to deliver the urgent action needed right now to confront the climate crisis. The project was originally presented at the C40 Cities conference in Buenos Aires in 2022. Explore Well-Being Cities in full at https://citiesandmemory.com/wellbeing-cities/
Oct 09, 2022
Everyday utopias
798
"Upon hearing the original sound recording of sirens in Copenhagen, it struck me how difficult a task it is to truly create an equitable, healthy and climate-safe approach to what well-being might look like for the cities of the world. This is especially evident in light of current world events which are not limited to the Russian invasion into Ukraine and the threat of the use of nuclear weapons coming from Vladimir Putin, the war exercises occurring in and around Taiwan by the Chinese, the continuing escalation of tensions between Israel and the Palestinians, the on again, off again nuclear talks between the United States and Iran, let alone the threat of civil war here in the United States being stoked by an insurrectionist former president.
 
"My composition, Everyday Utopias, is a cautionary tale of how simple it would be to enter into a nuclear World War if we are not alert to what that would mean for the planet. We have it within our power and abilities to avert this, as of now, imaginary future. For true sustainability and wellbeing to occur, we must be able to put our differences aside and see where we have commonalities leading to a fundamental shift in thinking that looks to revive and protect our planet looking toward a collective future, a more resilient future.

"My tale begins as though in a dream. What future path will we take? One of sustainability or one of mutual destruction? Aside from the musical sections I composed on Logic Pro, I also included the following field recordings: 

* New York City Nuclear Preparedness Public Service Announcement
* 009 DENMARK COPENHAGEN Sirens in Copenhagen May 6 12.00pm 2020 - Timothy John Hinman
* United States Nuclear Preparedness Announcement in the Event of a Nuclear Strike on the mainland United States
* Statement by Albert Einstein as read by Paul Pricer

"I do not believe that this is the path we need to follow, but in the words of Rod Serling from the Twilight Zone episode number 68 from September 29, 1961, “The Shelter” …

"No moral, no message, no prophetic track, just a simple statement of fact. For civilization to survive, the human race has to remain civilized."

Copenhagen sirens reimagined by Bill Stevens.

Part of the Well-Being Cities project, a unique collaboration between Cities and Memory and C40, a global network of mayors of nearly 100 world-leading cities collaborating to deliver the urgent action needed right now to confront the climate crisis. The project was originally presented at the C40 Cities conference in Buenos Aires in 2022. Explore Well-Being Cities in full at https://citiesandmemory.com/wellbeing-cities/
Oct 09, 2022
Dawn rises above a city of the future
485
"Fair, effective, harmonious future city design (either from scratch or via retro-fit of what already exists) needs to be a hugely detailed, balancing act that takes into account so many different considerations. For example - environmental impact and sustainability need to be balanced against simple everyday functionality; the two aspects are far from mutually exclusive, but their successful integration needs careful analysis and ongoing, regular monitoring.

The brief for this project asked:
1)        What does a city that prioritises health and well-being sound like?

2)        How can we use sound to reflect on what an equitable, healthy and climate-safe approach to wellbeing looks like for cities?

3)        What would a truly green, resilient and equitable city sound like?

"I don’t think we don’t quite know the answers in any huge detail and that’s symptomatic of the lack of attention to detail that has dominated far too many urban designs so far; but…

"As with other factors, sound design in a city possibly requires balance and flexibility more than anything else – an understanding of the multi-faceted nature of metropolitan requirements and how (both on a macro and micro level) the sonic world interacts with them all successfully.

"Integral to this auditory balance will need to be a much more comprehensive, practical understanding of the interrelationship between architecture and sound, with key words such as reverberation, resonance, sound propagation, decibel, reflection, absorption etc becoming much more readily taken onboard by city designers.

"Acoustic modelling has regularly been a minor consideration when approaching overall city design. If this changes, it will be indicative of a much more thoughtful, thorough, methodical approach towards both creating new cities and adapting those that already exist.

"My piece for this project focuses on ‘balance’ and ‘integration’ with a wide range of musical influences, techniques, and styles (hopefully) working effectively together to create a cohesive piece of music. I’ve mixed together traditional musical structures, more experimental ideas and moments of pure sound design.

"I instantly loved the original field recording with its contrasting sound content – sparrows chirping, cars passing by, pigeons cooing, occasional little clicks and clunks etc. I’ve tried as much as possible to combine these contrasting noises into new musical timbres and my piece is dominated throughout by various sounds created from the original recording.

"A few examples:
Car engines have been directly developed into sawtooth synth leads; overlayed with pigeons via granular synthesis and turned into an epic organ-like instrument; morphed into deep swells and sweeps.

"Sparrows chirping have transformed into sweeping, spiralling flocks of birds; looping, tempo-synced synth beeps and sparkling, high-pitched orchestral string sustains.

"Various little clicks, clunks and other momentary noises form the basis for the various percussion loops and industrial noises that appear throughout the track.

"Pigeon coos have been twisted, stretched and layered with other elements to create risers with a serendipitous human vocal quality to them

"In fact, with this piece, I’ve attempted something that I’ve never done before in 30+ years as a composer – every single timbre used has been created directly from a field recording…I completely abandoned my various sample libraries for this one! 😊

"Couple of my own personal favourites:

"A melodic, flute-like sound started life as an air pump.

"Interweaving pitched chime-like sounds were created from the sound of teacups, saucers and teaspoons - recorded in a café."

Madrid lockdown soundscape reimagined by Mark Taylor. 

Part of the Well-Being Cities project, a unique collaboration between Cities and Memory and C40, a global network of mayors of nearly 100 world-leading cities collaborating to deliver the urgent action needed right now to confront the climate crisis. The project was originally presented at the C40 Cities conference in Buenos Aires in 2022. Explore Well-Being Cities in full at https://citiesandmemory.com/wellbeing-cities/
Oct 09, 2022
We won the war against poverty
307
"I started from the idea that the organization of the city and its meeting spaces has a profound impact on society. So I collected the already existing examples of 'hostile architecture' taking them to the extreme, I imagined the worst possible scenario, where no type of aggregation is allowed if not linked to consumption. I took negativity to the extreme (the fight against poverty is won by physically eliminating the poor) and then, using a narrative device, a frame, I placed the 'time of terror' in the past, a time very different from the present presented as harmonious and inclusive. 

"The selected field recording is as calm, relaxing, sweet and welcoming as you can think of, a stark contrast - also in terms of sound - to the first part of the podcast that I imagine set in a large hall. Outside is harmony, nature and happiness. A beating heart represents the beating heart of the city, of society."

Zealandia reimagined by Cristina Marras.

Part of the Well-Being Cities project, a unique collaboration between Cities and Memory and C40, a global network of mayors of nearly 100 world-leading cities collaborating to deliver the urgent action needed right now to confront the climate crisis. The project was originally presented at the C40 Cities conference in Buenos Aires in 2022. Explore Well-Being Cities in full at https://citiesandmemory.com/wellbeing-cities/
Oct 09, 2022
The story of tomorrow
318
"My composition focused on imagining how I would like to feel in my future city, taking into account the keywords of the project: well-being, health, climate-safe, green, equitable, as well as my personal sensations: harmony, balance, respect, warm environment and encounters.

"I think about how to generate awareness to take action regarding these issues in search of the world we want to live in tomorrow. We are defining the future with each of our small actions. What will the story of tomorrow be like? What do you want your future city to be like? 

"Through this composition I invite you to a journey of reflection on our small decisions as well as our will to create synergies to develop ideas of sustainability and ways to fight climate change.

"The sound file I chose from the library is a field recording of a crowded food market in Taiwan. It interested me because it reflects sonically a space of encounter and tradition and because it is deeply linked to gastronomy, a world in which I have been doing musical projects for many years. I use this sound as a layer in the middle of the composition, with which I mark a moment of change and welcome a delicate and emotional piano interpretation."

Taiwan night market reimagined by Maribel Tafur.

Part of the Well-Being Cities project, a unique collaboration between Cities and Memory and C40, a global network of mayors of nearly 100 world-leading cities collaborating to deliver the urgent action needed right now to confront the climate crisis. The project was originally presented at the C40 Cities conference in Buenos Aires in 2022. Explore Well-Being Cities in full at https://citiesandmemory.com/wellbeing-cities/
Oct 09, 2022
Gahanga market, Kigali
428
A tour of a small local market in Kigali: voices, birds, women laughing and making fun of (us) tourists, sewing machines making traditional clothes, some traffic on the background, spinach blenders, phones, music.

Recorded by Maria Conterno.

Part of the Well-Being Cities project, a unique collaboration between Cities and Memory and C40, a global network of mayors of nearly 100 world-leading cities collaborating to deliver the urgent action needed right now to confront the climate crisis. The project was originally presented at the C40 Cities conference in Buenos Aires in 2022. Explore Well-Being Cities in full at https://citiesandmemory.com/wellbeing-cities/
Oct 09, 2022
City garden ambience, Lima
584
Ambience recorded in a garden in a house in Lima (Inca Repac). When considering well-being in cities, it's important not just to head to the most culturally or historically significant areas to judge its health - you can learn just as much from listening to everyday street sounds. 

Recorded by David Menke.

Part of the Well-Being Cities project, a unique collaboration between Cities and Memory and C40, a global network of mayors of nearly 100 world-leading cities collaborating to deliver the urgent action needed right now to confront the climate crisis. The project was originally presented at the C40 Cities conference in Buenos Aires in 2022. Explore Well-Being Cities in full at https://citiesandmemory.com/wellbeing-cities/
Oct 09, 2022
Test sirens, Copenhagen
572
This recording is of the yearly test of the citywide emergency siren system reserved for major emergencies, times of war etc. This year it comes in the midst of the Covid-19 lockdown - which though easing greatly at this point - renders it oddly significant this year (2020).

Recorded by Timothy John Hinman.

Part of the Well-Being Cities project, a unique collaboration between Cities and Memory and C40, a global network of mayors of nearly 100 world-leading cities collaborating to deliver the urgent action needed right now to confront the climate crisis. The project was originally presented at the C40 Cities conference in Buenos Aires in 2022. Explore Well-Being Cities in full at https://citiesandmemory.com/wellbeing-cities/
Oct 09, 2022
Fengdong twilight market
111
Fengdong twilight market, A local market which is open from 2pm to 7pm. Sounds from crowded people and vendors.

Recorded by Fuji.

Part of the Well-Being Cities project, a unique collaboration between Cities and Memory and C40, a global network of mayors of nearly 100 world-leading cities collaborating to deliver the urgent action needed right now to confront the climate crisis. The project was originally presented at the C40 Cities conference in Buenos Aires in 2022. Explore Well-Being Cities in full at https://citiesandmemory.com/wellbeing-cities/
Oct 09, 2022
From Zealandia
181
Recording from Zealandia, formerly known as the Karori Wildlife Sanctuary, is a protected natural area in Wellington, New Zealand, the first urban completely fenced ecosanctuary, where the biodiversity of 225 ha of forest is being restored. You can hear lots of cicadas and various birds including a Tūī. 

Recorded by Richard Watts.

Part of the Well-Being Cities project, a unique collaboration between Cities and Memory and C40, a global network of mayors of nearly 100 world-leading cities collaborating to deliver the urgent action needed right now to confront the climate crisis. The project was originally presented at the C40 Cities conference in Buenos Aires in 2022. Explore Well-Being Cities in full at https://citiesandmemory.com/wellbeing-cities/
Oct 09, 2022
Plaza Cascorro during lockdown
208
El Rastro de Madrid or simply el Rastro is the most popular open air flea market in Madrid. It is held every Sunday and public holiday during the year and is located along Plaza de Cascorro and Ribera de Curtidores, between Calle Embajadores and the Ronda de Toledo. Here it is silent during lockdown, transformed. Lockdown sounds features as part of the Well-Being Cities project as evidence of how the sounds of our cities were one of the positive changes that came about during the Covid-19 lockdowns, with lower noise levels and an increased ability to hear the sounds of nature and other personally and culturally nourishing soundscapes.

Recorded by Javier Acosta.

Part of the Well-Being Cities project, a unique collaboration between Cities and Memory and C40, a global network of mayors of nearly 100 world-leading cities collaborating to deliver the urgent action needed right now to confront the climate crisis. The project was originally presented at the C40 Cities conference in Buenos Aires in 2022. Explore Well-Being Cities in full at https://citiesandmemory.com/wellbeing-cities/
Oct 09, 2022
Time will come
324
"Living in the middle of Oxford I had the privilege to hear the city in such a unique way during the first lockdown and especially without the sound of traffic. I have lived in my house for 25 years and suddenly I could hear an entirely new soundscape from my garden.

"The one sound that will forever be memorable were the church/chapel bells I had never heard before. The recording from Venice, where the sound of car traffic doesn't exist, really reminded me and emphasised the need to massively reduce noise and environmental pollution from our cities.

"My composition starts with the field recording and then morphs into a reimagined version of it using the bells as the central focus. There is an urgency in the pace and mood of the piece with the sounds of human conversations and general movement making up the rhythmic parts and accompanied by acoustic, choir and synthesised sounds. The track was recorded and produced in Ableton Live."

Venice bells reimagined by Alex Hehir.

Part of the Well-Being Cities project, a unique collaboration between Cities and Memory and C40, a global network of mayors of nearly 100 world-leading cities collaborating to deliver the urgent action needed right now to confront the climate crisis. The project was originally presented at the C40 Cities conference in Buenos Aires in 2022. Explore Well-Being Cities in full at https://citiesandmemory.com/wellbeing-cities/
Oct 09, 2022
Night bells
218
"Amongst the wash of Varanasi's night bells I could hear the faintest melody from which I built my composition. I samples the bells in various ways to create most of the high-end of the track, my idea was to create a skyline of blips and chimes, an escape route from the bustle of city life below.

"As many cities struggle to balance social and economic adequacy with the needs of growing populations, the desire and necessity for escapism increases, and perhaps so too does ignorance to the problems we face. This song is an ignorant song. It jumps upwards away from its problems and dances amongst the bells, for a small moment at least."

Varanasi bells reimagined by Kid Kin.

Part of the Well-Being Cities project, a unique collaboration between Cities and Memory and C40, a global network of mayors of nearly 100 world-leading cities collaborating to deliver the urgent action needed right now to confront the climate crisis. The project was originally presented at the C40 Cities conference in Buenos Aires in 2022. Explore Well-Being Cities in full at https://citiesandmemory.com/wellbeing-cities/
Oct 09, 2022
Home
913
"What grabbed me about the original recording was a section that reminded me of a clock and although the piece is about the well-being and sustainability of cities, we can’t escape the fact that from an ecological point of view, the clock is ticking – hence the use of that part of the original field recording. 

"I wrote over 8 sketches for this, that ranged from sci-fi Metropolis style pieces to just field recordings and I found nothing fitted. So, I went back to the start and though what is a city? It’s an enclave, it is different things to different people at different times but for all that, all that it could and should be, for a lot of people it is just…. Home.

"In the final piece I used elements, sounds and music to try and represent organic elements of cites for an individual whist as part of a harmonious landscape. To be honest I don’t feel I addressed all the issues of sustainability or well-being, I think in that I failed even though I called on elements of what they should be reflected musically and in the field recordings, for all the notions of what a future city should be, without humans it is just a shell."

Amsterdam pedestrian crossing reimagined by Rob Knight.

IMAGE: Steven Lek, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Part of the Well-Being Cities project, a unique collaboration between Cities and Memory and C40, a global network of mayors of nearly 100 world-leading cities collaborating to deliver the urgent action needed right now to confront the climate crisis. The project was originally presented at the C40 Cities conference in Buenos Aires in 2022. Explore Well-Being Cities in full at https://citiesandmemory.com/wellbeing-cities/
Oct 09, 2022
Night bells in E flat, Varanasi
198
Dashashwamedh Ghat is the main ghat in Varanasi on the Ganga River. Ganga Aarti (ritual of offering prayer to the Ganges river) is held daily at dusk.

Several priests perform this ritual by carrying deepam and moving it up and down in a rhythmic tune of bhajans.

I visited the city in 2012 with 10 others on a journey to Kolkata for a friend's (huge) wedding we were due to perform at.

Varanasi is a dizzying labyrinth like city that is both deeply spiritual (open cremation is commonly practiced by the riverbank) and overwhelming: colours, smells, sounds and characters leap out at you from every corner.

Recorded by Mike Bingham.

Part of the Well-Being Cities project, a unique collaboration between Cities and Memory and C40, a global network of mayors of nearly 100 world-leading cities collaborating to deliver the urgent action needed right now to confront the climate crisis. The project was originally presented at the C40 Cities conference in Buenos Aires in 2022. Explore Well-Being Cities in full at https://citiesandmemory.com/wellbeing-cities/
Oct 09, 2022
Bells ring in the new year, Venice
154
On New Year’s Eve on Fondamenta Toletta, the bells ring out for the evening mass then fade away, leaving the passing conversations of locals and tourists to mingle. Venice is unique from a sonic perspective - the lack of car traffic gives it a completely different sound to any other city, one that is cleaner and clearer and leaves more space for other aspects of the soundscape to breathe.

Recorded by Cities and Memory.

Part of the Well-Being Cities project, a unique collaboration between Cities and Memory and C40, a global network of mayors of nearly 100 world-leading cities collaborating to deliver the urgent action needed right now to confront the climate crisis. The project was originally presented at the C40 Cities conference in Buenos Aires in 2022. Explore Well-Being Cities in full at https://citiesandmemory.com/wellbeing-cities/
Oct 09, 2022
Pedestrian crossing, Vrije Universiteit
221
Outside the Vrije Universitat in Amsterdam, we listen to the sounds of a pedestrian crossing, which stood out immediately to us as a new visitor to the city as being remarkably different from those we hear at home. This sound represents those individual sound marks that can exist in a city in the most mundane spaces, from metro stations to pedestrian crossings, and which help to make our experiences of visiting a city more interesting and unique, even without always being consciously aware of it.

Recorded by Cities and Memory.

IMAGE: Steven Lek, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Part of the Well-Being Cities project, a unique collaboration between Cities and Memory and C40, a global network of mayors of nearly 100 world-leading cities collaborating to deliver the urgent action needed right now to confront the climate crisis. The project was originally presented at the C40 Cities conference in Buenos Aires in 2022. Explore Well-Being Cities in full at https://citiesandmemory.com/wellbeing-cities/
Oct 09, 2022
Feral Cities
925
"The recording I was given captures a moment of collective celebration, a group of musicians performing in a street. For me, it really captures something timeless, something we as humans have always done, express ourselves through music and voice, we perform and we are entertained.

"In the piece I wanted to expand this idea of a collective moment, to include all life within a city, not just human life. To provoke questions about how we perceive ourselves within our familiar environment and to interrupt the hierarchy of what it means to be a resident in a city, and to be part of nature, in that same place.

"In my solo practice I have been responding to the mental health crisis; catalysed by Covid-19 and an increasingly isolated and challenged society. I have been creating work that encourages audiences to engage with their natural environments in gentle, sensory ways. My work seeks to decentralise us as humans in response to climate emergency.

"In the work I combine processed samples of the original recording with original electronic composition, processed field recording of natural sounds, and spoken word. The text included presents images of natural environments within cities with a particular focus on how we experience this with our senses. It offers suggestions of actions we might undertake in that moment, locating us in the here and now.

"The text is asking the audience to consider how we can re-awaken and attune senses we have bypassed through evolution as a way of re-wilding ourselves? The Spacious, ambient composition combined with the offers contained within the text are aimed to invoke a moment of mindful calm, suggesting that exploring our senses and connecting with the natural element of our cities can have a positive effect on our wellbeing.

"There are moments where the original recording comes to the foreground, or combines and peaks with the natural sounds and composition, this represents a vision of humans existing within cities as part of nature rather than seeking to control and limit it.

"If we became a bit more feral, would this change our relationship to the natural world and our effect on it?"

Parisian buskers reimagined by Dinah Mullen.

Part of the Well-Being Cities project, a unique collaboration between Cities and Memory and C40, a global network of mayors of nearly 100 world-leading cities collaborating to deliver the urgent action needed right now to confront the climate crisis. The project was originally presented at the C40 Cities conference in Buenos Aires in 2022. Explore Well-Being Cities in full at https://citiesandmemory.com/wellbeing-cities/
Oct 09, 2022
Ubuntu - without you I do not exist
261
"The original sound is a recording of a street in Cuba and in the background one can hear a playful child and their guardian, a local band and indistinct voices. Even though it sounds noisy as streets usually are. It is a cacophony of beauty envisaged in humanity.

"The sounds took me to the hugging Andes mountains that inspired the guitar melody, the bass acts as a rhythmic bridge and the percussions are a road that transports the vocals & poetry delivered freestyle by the amazing D-EmpressEvoke taking us into the transcendental world of insight that; Ubuntu-Without You I Do Not Exist.

"The poetry is inspired by the Evoking Belonging Social Sculpture practice created by D-EmpressEvoke AKA Dr Dianne Regisford. The vocals describe a journey in the liminal space of the UbuntuSphere... a concept designed by D-EmpressEvoke and offered as a space for courageous conversations about race, equity, diversity and inclusion. She offers the poem as a provocation and invitation to all willing to commune, connect and co-create for just, equitable and humane city-making. Thus engaging the topics of well-being and sustainability through the liberty call of Ubuntu."

Havana streetscape reimagined by Wahinya Mwirikia with D-Empress Evoke.

Part of the Well-Being Cities project, a unique collaboration between Cities and Memory and C40, a global network of mayors of nearly 100 world-leading cities collaborating to deliver the urgent action needed right now to confront the climate crisis. The project was originally presented at the C40 Cities conference in Buenos Aires in 2022. Explore Well-Being Cities in full at https://citiesandmemory.com/wellbeing-cities/
Oct 09, 2022
Train station nostalgia
336
"Travelling to me have always been something positive, the excitement and anticipation building up to the travel almost make worth the whole trip. As it is for many people I find that to travel by train is also something extra, there is perhaps something with the way of travelling close to the ground, the speed that is just right, and the possibility to move around in the train that makes it stand out. Trains embodies the dream to move, to enrich ourselves and to become better.
 
"Lately, however, all forms of travelling have brought with it something of a bad consciousness in us all since all forms of travelling comes with an environmental debt, making at least me feel slightly guilty every time I travel. The sound of a train station as in this composition is therefore kind of nostalgic to me, something that I hear and remember with fondness.
 
"On the other hand, trains are perhaps one of the least environmentally destructive ways of moving, making it the future of travelling. In a way this work is also hopeful.

"Another aspect of this particular piece is that since it keeps a meditative tone throughout, and I find it increasingly important to retain that kind of sonic quality in cities. It is, I think, dangerous to build cities without thought to how they sound. Too many cities keep the focus on, say, car traffic or make room for noisy commercials or the like. Too few cities have room for though, and room for hearing your own breathing or voice properly.

"There are several ways to either remove or, in fact, add sound to a city or human dwelling that actually feel soothing or calming. I am not shure playing meditative music everywhere is one of them, but in this context it serves as a reminder that to be whole as persons we need to make room and time for ourselves.

"The piece “Train Station Nostalgia” is a way of capturing both these trains of thought (no pun intended).

"My music here is constructed on top of a wonderful recording of a train station at Ho Chi Min in Vietnam. I have never been there, but stations tend to sound more or less the same everywhere in the world. It reminds me of backpacking in my youth, of train travels with family, of the way trains capture our dreams.

"The recording is slightly reorganized but mostly used in its original form and not really manipulated.
 
"The ambient sound of people moving make the background to a piece with a meditative moody minimalistic piano piece. The piano plays several ostinatos, on top of which a melody forms. Bass and chords are introduced and almost take over, but the melody prevails, and the piece slowly ends with the piano ostinato.
The piano is an old Steinway that is recorded in Ableton Live and carefully manipulated there, making it sound more electronics at times."

Ho Chi Min City train station reimagined by Stefan Klaverdal.

IMAGE: Clay Gilliland, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Part of the Well-Being Cities project, a unique collaboration between Cities and Memory and C40, a global network of mayors of nearly 100 world-leading cities collaborating to deliver the urgent action needed right now to confront the climate crisis. The project was originally presented at the C40 Cities conference in Buenos Aires in 2022. Explore Well-Being Cities in full at https://citiesandmemory.com/wellbeing-cities/
Oct 09, 2022
Ho Chi Min City train station by night
199
I went to the main train station and a small crowd waited in the departure hall to access the railway. Overall chatter in Vietnamese and announcement. Recorded at night time. The sounds of public transport and travel are always indicative of a thriving city, and as we struggle to meet the challenges posed by climate change, a reliance on safe, clean and efficient public transport will be one of the key tools at the disposal of a city.

Recorded by Marcel Gnauk.

IMAGE: Clay Gilliland, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Part of the Well-Being Cities project, a unique collaboration between Cities and Memory and C40, a global network of mayors of nearly 100 world-leading cities collaborating to deliver the urgent action needed right now to confront the climate crisis. The project was originally presented at the C40 Cities conference in Buenos Aires in 2022. Explore Well-Being Cities in full at https://citiesandmemory.com/wellbeing-cities/
Oct 09, 2022
Jewish band plays Shalom Aleijem, Paris
234
In the Trocadero metro station in Paris, a group of Jewish musicians play a klezmer-style arrangement of the traditional song Shalom Aleichem, which is typically sung on Friday evenings upon returning home from synagogue prayers and means “peace be upon you”. This performance represents one aspect of Jewish culture being played out across the city, and how in a healthy city there is space for multiple cultures, religions and beliefs to co-exist simultaneously.

Recorded by Cities and Memory. 

Part of the Well-Being Cities project, a unique collaboration between Cities and Memory and C40, a global network of mayors of nearly 100 world-leading cities collaborating to deliver the urgent action needed right now to confront the climate crisis. The project was originally presented at the C40 Cities conference in Buenos Aires in 2022. Explore Well-Being Cities in full at https://citiesandmemory.com/wellbeing-cities/
Oct 09, 2022
Havana streetscape, Cuba
68
A classic Havana street soundscape starts with crowds going about their daily business, before halfway through some wonderful Cuban music plays from a nearby bar as we walk past, creating a wonderfully lively atmosphere.

Recorded by Jack Hyde.

Part of the Well-Being Cities project, a unique collaboration between Cities and Memory and C40, a global network of mayors of nearly 100 world-leading cities collaborating to deliver the urgent action needed right now to confront the climate crisis. The project was originally presented at the C40 Cities conference in Buenos Aires in 2022. Explore Well-Being Cities in full at https://citiesandmemory.com/wellbeing-cities/
Oct 09, 2022
The world's busiest train station, Tokyo
192
Sounds from inside the incredibly busy Shinjuku train station in Tokyo - announcements, crowds and a wonderful spread of sounds across the stereo field.  The sounds of public transport and travel are always indicative of a thriving city, and as we struggle to meet the challenges posed by climate change, a reliance on safe, clean and efficient public transport will be one of the key tools at the disposal of a city.

Recorded by Marcel Gnauk.

Part of the Well-Being Cities project, a unique collaboration between Cities and Memory and C40, a global network of mayors of nearly 100 world-leading cities collaborating to deliver the urgent action needed right now to confront the climate crisis. The project was originally presented at the C40 Cities conference in Buenos Aires in 2022. Explore Well-Being Cities in full at https://citiesandmemory.com/wellbeing-cities/
Oct 08, 2022
In Wenshuyuan Temple, Chengdu
632
Recording of prayers, song, gongs and worshippers in Wenshuyuan Temple, Chengdu. The sounds of worship and prayer are crucial to the well-being of a city - providing spiritual spaces for different religions that allow everyone to express themselves as they would like to are essential, and these spaces can also be among the most important from the perspective of tourism too.

Recorded by Emmanuel Mieville. 

Part of the Well-Being Cities project, a unique collaboration between Cities and Memory and C40, a global network of mayors of nearly 100 world-leading cities collaborating to deliver the urgent action needed right now to confront the climate crisis. The project was originally presented at the C40 Cities conference in Buenos Aires in 2022. Explore Well-Being Cities in full at https://citiesandmemory.com/wellbeing-cities/
Oct 08, 2022
The Chinchineros, Santiago
285
The Chinchineros are traditional street performers in Chile, with a large bass drum strapped to their back and a noose around their foot to control a cymbal - they perform in small groups, conducting synchronised dances along with their drum patterns. Here we listen to a group of four chinchineros on the streets of Santiago, Chile, where they represent a cultural tradition played out on the streets of the city.

Recorded by Cities and Memory.

Part of the Well-Being Cities project, a unique collaboration between Cities and Memory and C40, a global network of mayors of nearly 100 world-leading cities collaborating to deliver the urgent action needed right now to confront the climate crisis. The project was originally presented at the C40 Cities conference in Buenos Aires in 2022. Explore Well-Being Cities in full at https://citiesandmemory.com/wellbeing-cities/
Oct 08, 2022
Golden sun bird
192
"I named this song 'Golden sun bird' after an ancient artefact unearthed in Chengdu in 2001, now the logo of China Cultural Heritage. History is important, understanding where we have been helps us navigate what’s ahead.

"The sound I was given to work with was recorded at Wenshuyuan Temple in Chengdu, China. To me, this recording is a perfect example of the past being honoured and celebrated while the city ebbs and flows in tandem. Chengdu is unique in that it is one of China’s oldest cities, and yet, also a shining international exemplar of modern economic, financial, commercial, culinary and cultural awareness. The city has been deemed the happiest city in China by it’s residents, it is easy to commute within the city thanks to cutting edge public transit and it boasts creative architecture and a flourishing arts scene. Planning is even underway for a completely self sustaining district with parks and other amenities within walking distance for all locals.

"In writing this song, I started with the sound itself, a recording of a Buddhist ritual with the sounds of urban life swirling in the background, which I step modulated into a beat that leads into the strum and plucking of a pipa, the historical “voice” of the song, a traditional Chinese stringed instrument. In sync with the pipa, I played some keys tuned to airy nostalgia, while looking to the future with a modern drum machine and later a futuristic organ rising before the the music gently leads into the bridge. A modulated spoken sutra is complimented by a ring-shifted pipa before leading back into the main theme of the song and the rising crescendo of the finish. all elements representing past, present and future existing harmoniously in celebration."

Wenshuyuan temple reimagined by Point/Call.

Part of the Well-Being Cities project, a unique collaboration between Cities and Memory and C40, a global network of mayors of nearly 100 world-leading cities collaborating to deliver the urgent action needed right now to confront the climate crisis. The project was originally presented at the C40 Cities conference in Buenos Aires in 2022. Explore Well-Being Cities in full at https://citiesandmemory.com/wellbeing-cities/
Oct 08, 2022
Parallax
209
"The original recording was dense with the buzz of a city; the deeply layered sound of many things heard at the same time - a hum so dense that it is hard to make out any one sound, any one event.

"Asking myself how we might nurture our well-being in such a disorientating acoustic environment I thought about how we are able to isolate one sound and block others out. I atomised the original recording, processing and reprocessing snippets, resampling to turn small snippets into large washes.

"I then set about rearranging these sounds. Placing them precisely I worked towards re-shaping the soundscape into something that might be more articulated. I believe that we may nurture both our own and others' well-being by using creativity to reappraise and reimagine our surroundings; to learn to hear, read and see anew, in such a way that enables us to find more enjoyment, fulfilment and meaning in environments that are at risk of becoming illegible through overwhelming our senses."

Shinjuku station reimagined by de Velden.

Part of the Well-Being Cities project, a unique collaboration between Cities and Memory and C40, a global network of mayors of nearly 100 world-leading cities collaborating to deliver the urgent action needed right now to confront the climate crisis. The project was originally presented at the C40 Cities conference in Buenos Aires in 2022. Explore Well-Being Cities in full at https://citiesandmemory.com/wellbeing-cities/
Oct 08, 2022
A daisy through the asphalt sees the sky
424
"The Chinchineros are traditional street performers in Chile, with a large bass drum strapped to their back and a noose around their foot to control a cymbal - they perform in small groups, conducting synchronised dances along with their drum patterns. Here we listen to a group of four chinchineros on the streets of Santiago, Chile, where they represent a cultural tradition played out on the streets of the city.

"When I began thinking about creating an audio work for the C40 Cities conference, I firstly referred to the question posed by Cities and Memory - 
‘What does well being in the context of a city mean for you?’

"My answer was my starting point -
Places to escape to. A sanctuary from the noise. A sea of calm amongst others. A tiny plant growing through the asphalt. A tree living on top of a derelict building. To see the sky.

"Many of my audio works have a story behind them and the sound pieces that I create are often based on memories, thoughts, reactions, images, things I see and experience and this piece is no different. On further thinking about well being cities, A Daisy Through the Asphalt developed with several influences and layers of meaning.

"Firstly, there is a walk that I often take, that starts in the city of Newcastle- upon -Tyne, in the North East of England. It follows the river and in a fairly short distance, winds along the riverbank through a tree lined path. In the spring it is filled with the sounds of spring birds, in Summer it’s the nesting Kittiwake colonies, in the autumn it bursts with the colours of rust, gold and orange. As I walk, I can physically feel like I unwind and although surrounded by the urban sprawl, it feels like I am in a more rural setting than I am. The sounds of the city fade to be overtaken by rusting leaves, flowing water and birdsong.

"Secondly, there is the analogy of the daisy. Based on a photograph I took, it never ceases to amaze me how nature finds a foothold in some of the most unlikely places. Derelict areas are soon populated with plants, ferns grow out of crevices in walls and tiny daisies burst through the cracks in the asphalt. The daisy also represents the feeling I get when I break away from the noisy city and find some solace in a green space, where I can stretch and look up at the clouds.

"Finally, I thought about the things that I dislike about cities. The noise, the sirens, the traffic, lights, concrete, crowds, pollution that affects my asthma. The fact that I haven’t seen a dark sky for over 20 years and can’t remember when I last saw Orion.

"A Daisy Through the Asphalt is an imaginary soundwalk about all of these things.
 
"It begins with the noise of the city; cars, machinery, construction sites and sirens, representing the chaos and noise. The drums of The Chinchineros were very loud and there was also a lot of movement in the field recording. I wanted to keep the integrity of the original drum recording, to represent the huge variety of human activity, the bustle and jostling of crowds and the increasing wall of noise of the city. I used three short sections, overlaid them and double tracked to create greater impact and to depict the increasing levels of noise pollution. By use of midi, I used the whole of the drum patterns of the The Chinchineros, which I overlaid sounds to create the many drones, arps and rippling sound patterns, to, in effect, add to the cacophony of sound, to make it overwhelming, mimicking sirens and car engines. Surges in sound levels also create an image of a city that is restless and at times frantic.

"As we continue our imaginary soundwalk, the noise begins to fade and transition into a sonic idea of seeing a tiny daisy growing through the pavement, thriving and turning its face skywards. Synth bird sounds, created from the midi patterns of real birdsong, match with the daisy bell like sound to combine with more ethereal keyboard improvisation. As the day begins to draw to a close, the electronic bird songs fade to become twinkling stars.  I tried to show the connection between the heavens and the earth and how small we are in the wider cosmos. Finally, there is a quieter, more contemplative cosmic atmosphere, a sense of expanse, of being able to breathe. To be able to see the stars.

"I think what I am trying to say, is that, what I feel is important to the health and well being of those living in large cities, are the places of calm we can escape to. Sanctuaries of quiet, of green and to be able to see the sky. To do this we have to tackle noise, light and air pollution.

"We are a tiny rock in a huge collection of galaxies. We have to protect it, it’s the only tiny rock we have and it’s worth nurturing, protecting and saving."

Chinchineros reimagined by Museleon.

Part of the Well-Being Cities project, a unique collaboration between Cities and Memory and C40, a global network of mayors of nearly 100 world-leading cities collaborating to deliver the urgent action needed right now to confront the climate crisis. The project was originally presented at the C40 Cities conference in Buenos Aires in 2022. Explore Well-Being Cities in full at https://citiesandmemory.com/wellbeing-cities/
Oct 08, 2022
Imaginary garden (over Wat Pho) [Hexany 1-3-7-9]
376
"A technique I frequently employ is to allow a field recording itself to provide the structure of a composition in a very direct way: the sounds play in the background and aural events within the sound directly trigger musical motifs, hence the title “…(Over Wat Pho)”.

"In this instance the composition begins with simple motifs in a highly consonant tuning system being initiated by the sounds of birdsong, speech and footsteps from the temple. As the piece progresses, more artificial, processed derivations of those tones begin to appear (a simple and obvious metaphor for the intrusion of technology in our environment). Then, the ‘pure’ generated environment disappears, leaving only the artefacts.

"It ends with the slow erasure of these products leaving only the sounds of Wat Pho, albeit now itself permanently altered; the initial optimism of the attempted return to a more natural state affected by what has come before."

Wat Pho reimagined by Phexioenesystems.

Part of the Well-Being Cities project, a unique collaboration between Cities and Memory and C40, a global network of mayors of nearly 100 world-leading cities collaborating to deliver the urgent action needed right now to confront the climate crisis. The project was originally presented at the C40 Cities conference in Buenos Aires in 2022. Explore Well-Being Cities in full at https://citiesandmemory.com/wellbeing-cities/
Oct 08, 2022
Open windows
342
"The original recording provided for this project appealed to me as it captures some of the silver linings of COVID lockdowns in Australia and around the world. Despite all of the tragedies, lockdowns slowed everyone down and so many people around the world started to reflect on the importance of social and environmental connection in their lives.

"In my own town, our bookshop sold 5 times more bird books than they had previously, people expressed joy in connecting with their neighbours who may have previously been strangers, and in forming a deeper attachment to their local environment. Many people commented to each other on their allotted hour of daily exercise how loud the birds were and wondered if they had always been that loud. Maybe they were singing new songs to fill the frequencies freed up by our enforced quietness? Were they celebrating or mourning our sonic absence? Musicians played on their porches and balconies and helped to fend off feelings of loneliness and isolation.

"In this piece I have used the atmosphere of the original recording in an apartment block in Adelaide as a starting point to consider what does a city that prioritises health, wellbeing, equity and resilience look like. As a central premise to the piece is the idea that COVID taught us how to listen more deeply to our environment and to each other. Through that deep listening we accommodate more diversity, and diversity itself is what makes us resilient and less isolated.

"Starting with the original recording the sounds of diverse birds can be heard amongst the faint sounds of neighbours going about their day. The source recording has been eq’d to remove the dominant hum of an air conditioner to emphasise how a city could sound in the future as man made technologies become quieter. This longing for social connection and desire to bring the outside world in is explored as the music builds.

"Using a stereo pair of microphones set up in one room, different musical instruments, whistling, and kitchen utensils start to sound in other rooms. People are slowly listening more closely to one another and also to the birds and frogs, increasingly falling into interlocking rhythms and melodies as an ecosystem. The sound of my own son playing in the lane outside my window hints at a world where children can be close to nature and full of wonder. As the piece progresses the sounds become more present almost as if the walls of lockdowns have fallen away and every human and non human being is moving in this celebratory swell yet always maintaining sonic space for each other.

"The final moment hears the cars return and the birds fly away. This contrast feels poorer and melancholic. It asks us to remember the years we were quieter due to COVID and what we learnt about the types of cities we want to create and inhabit into the future. The title "Open Windows" refers to both the idea of opening ourselves up to each other and our environment but also humanities last window to create a world that is more harmonious and liveable in the face of climate change and environmental destruction."

Australia in lockdown reimagined by Rob Law. 

Part of the Well-Being Cities project, a unique collaboration between Cities and Memory and C40, a global network of mayors of nearly 100 world-leading cities collaborating to deliver the urgent action needed right now to confront the climate crisis. The project was originally presented at the C40 Cities conference in Buenos Aires in 2022. Explore Well-Being Cities in full at https://citiesandmemory.com/wellbeing-cities/
Oct 08, 2022
One hundred strings
520
"The original recording contains a santur, which is a percussion-stringed instrument known as a hammered dulcimer. It was invented and developed in Iran and Mesopotamia and its origins date back to at least 669 B.C. It is believed that the harp, the Chinese yangqin, the harpsichord, the qanun, the cimbalom, and the American and European hammered dulcimers all derive from the Mesopotamian santur.

"The word santur has several possible derivations, one being from Iranian to mean “one hundred strings”. The composition takes this as its name to reflect the diversity of the piece, since it employs several sections of the original santur recording, arranged in a different order, as well as various stringed instruments, particularly pianos. All of the melodies derive from the santur clips used throughout the composition.

"With this in mind, One Hundred Strings could be a metaphor for an ideal community, or city: a single harmonious whole that contains diverse elements. The original recording took place in Ferhadija, Sarajevo, Bosnia, and captures a street artist playing the santur amid a background murmur of voices in a bustling cafe. As such, I was inspired to create a piece that suited a social occasion, gathering, or meeting of diverse people. Just as in nature, diversity in human communities is a good indicator of health.

"Another important aspect of the composition is to elicit positive emotions and qualities, such as joy, vitality, harmony, peace and dynamism. Such emotions and qualities are essential for health and well-being and are foundational for any community.

"It was especially important to capture a sense of dynamism in the composition, particularly with the use of arpeggios. The music is in a process of continual change, yet there is a thread running throughout the composition, which is the melody. This sense of dynamism reflects one quality of a sustainable city, one that is resilient, equitable, green, and climate-safe. Change is an intrinsic element of reality, and cities must adapt to changing climates and environmental challenges.

"The composition also attempts to blend contrasts: the santur originates in the East and the recording comes from Bosnia, while the composition includes a Western dance beat. Another contrast is the blend of exuberance with a sense of peace, particularly with the use of moments without a beat and birdsong.

"The composition includes two recordings of birdsong, as a truly green city would need to make space for, protect and promote its fauna and flora. Animals, plants and wildlife diversity are interconnected with human life, so I wanted the composition to reflect this.

"The composition was made primarily using a digital audio workstation and a MIDI controller keyboard. Field recordings of birdsong were made using a digital recorder. Electronic instruments, such as synthesisers and pianos were used, as well as drum samples and electronic percussion."

Sarajevo street sound reimagined by Thomas Ellison.

Part of the Well-Being Cities project, a unique collaboration between Cities and Memory and C40, a global network of mayors of nearly 100 world-leading cities collaborating to deliver the urgent action needed right now to confront the climate crisis. The project was originally presented at the C40 Cities conference in Buenos Aires in 2022. Explore Well-Being Cities in full at https://citiesandmemory.com/wellbeing-cities/
Oct 08, 2022
When the traffic disappears, Adelaide
951
This is a recording from the Adelaide suburb of Parkside. It was made on my upstairs balcony in a block of six town houses at 10am on Wednesday, 22 March 2020. It was a bright and sunny Autumn morning with a very faint breeze. In this recording you can hear the lively birdsong of lorikeets, honeyeaters, finches and native pigeons. Traffic can be heard *very* faintly to the right of the field, whilst a solitary car will travel up our street every few minutes.

A smattering of human activity can be heard in the foreground of the recording, but a steady continuum of activity comes from our next door neighbour's daughter practising on an upright piano with their front door open. You may also hear the sound of surfaces creaking/expanding from the warmth of the sun. Lockdown sounds features as part of the Well-Being Cities project as evidence of how the sounds of our cities were one of the positive changes that came about during the Covid-19 lockdowns, with lower noise levels and an increased ability to hear the sounds of nature and other personally and culturally nourishing soundscapes.

Recorded by Tristan Louth-Robins.

Part of the Well-Being Cities project, a unique collaboration between Cities and Memory and C40, a global network of mayors of nearly 100 world-leading cities collaborating to deliver the urgent action needed right now to confront the climate crisis. The project was originally presented at the C40 Cities conference in Buenos Aires in 2022. Explore Well-Being Cities in full at https://citiesandmemory.com/wellbeing-cities/
Oct 08, 2022
Exploring Wat Pho, Bangkok
262
Recorded by: Benjamin Richards Date: March 22, 2003, 10:24 a.m. Location: inner courtyard of Wat Pho, mid-morning on a Saturday.   Equipment: Sony MZ-R909 MiniDisc recorder, Sony ECM-MS907 Coordinates: 13.7465º N, 100.4933º E

Recorded by Benjamin Richards. 

Part of the Well-Being Cities project, a unique collaboration between Cities and Memory and C40, a global network of mayors of nearly 100 world-leading cities collaborating to deliver the urgent action needed right now to confront the climate crisis. The project was originally presented at the C40 Cities conference in Buenos Aires in 2022. Explore Well-Being Cities in full at https://citiesandmemory.com/wellbeing-cities/
Oct 08, 2022
Ferhadija, Sarajevo
88
People from Bosnia are very diverse and different with many influences and it is difficult to stereotype these people. But when travelling across Sarajevo, you’ll notice that there are certain features that you encounter again and again, no matter what street you’re in. Bosnians are friendly people. Bosnians generally have a pretty relaxed sense of time and that’s why they easily start conversations in cafes offering their help to confused travellers. Popular places to meet among locals are "kafanas" (traditional cafes) and "kafiches" (modern café-bars) According to them, coffee is poured three times, and each serving even has its name: "Welcome coffee", "Talk coffee", and the third portion, "Farewell coffee", politely signalling that it's time to say goodbye. This soundscape was recorded while having a cafe in one this "kafiches" (modern café-bars), capturing the essence of the city among the music of a street artist playing the santur.

Recorded by Rafael Diogo.  

Part of the Well-Being Cities project, a unique collaboration between Cities and Memory and C40, a global network of mayors of nearly 100 world-leading cities collaborating to deliver the urgent action needed right now to confront the climate crisis. The project was originally presented at the C40 Cities conference in Buenos Aires in 2022. Explore Well-Being Cities in full at https://citiesandmemory.com/wellbeing-cities/
Oct 08, 2022
A psalm for the city
171
"How to create a sense of well-being out of the harsh sounds of a metal-machine-shop? That was the challenge that pulled me in. After enveloping the core sound with voice and various instrumentation it started to sound less abrasive to me and more calming and possibly restorative, which is not a bad thing, especially in modern city life. The piece was created entirely via a Mellotron keyboard."

Seoul machine shop reimagined by Eulipion Corps. 

Part of the Well-Being Cities project, a unique collaboration between Cities and Memory and C40, a global network of mayors of nearly 100 world-leading cities collaborating to deliver the urgent action needed right now to confront the climate crisis. The project was originally presented at the C40 Cities conference in Buenos Aires in 2022. Explore Well-Being Cities in full at https://citiesandmemory.com/wellbeing-cities/
Oct 06, 2022
Tämänjälkeen (After this)
331
"Our composition Tämänjälkeen (After this) was inspired by the recording of Warsaw, Poland (a C40 city) during the first day of the nationwide coronavirus quarantine on March 16th 2020 near to the University's main campus; using the majority of the whole recording unchanged, we have overlayed a complimentary soundscape and designed a digital audio effect to “hear” the effects of air quality being degraded when a motor vehicle passes by, causing a soft piano sound to degrade and distort.

"What does a city that prioritises health and well-being sound like?

"These cities will focus on air quality, design for user comfort and understand the impacts to people and the environment of building and operating support systems such as transportation; complex and dense environmental traffic and the associated noise are each one of the biggest pollutants in modern cities; the risks of degraded air and sound quality may be often overlooked despite them being linked to an increased risk of ill health and sadly an early death, according to research conducted by scientists across the globe.
 
"It is also well known that connection to nature and natural sounds not only makes us feel better emotionally, but it also contributes to our physical wellbeing, by reducing blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension.

"With the absence of traffic noise levels in the original Warsaw, Poland recording there is an increased ability to hear nature; as on the original recording, on most days we are surrounded by a calming soundscape and a chorus of birds and tower bells, yet these are usually drowned out by the cacophony of modern life.
A city that prioritises and considers health and well-being might prioritise and plan for green and blue (water) spaces both outdoor, such as parks and green spaces, but also indoor spaces too; these spaces should protect, distance or nullify themselves from noise pollution such that local natural sounds are abundantly heard in a similar manner.

https://ec.europa.eu/research-and-innovation/en/horizon-magazine/noise-pollution-one-biggest-health-risks-city-life

"How can we use sound to reflect on what an equitable, healthy and climate-safe approach to wellbeing looks like for cities?

"We can use sound and sound design to produce useful mood enhancing immersive environments. For example, we introduce our piece by reintroducing the ambience and noise which the city may have sounded like just one day before; the reminder of the overbearingly unwelcome traffic noise of a densely populated city, then being immersed in complementary and positively mood-enhancing soundscape using nature and natural sounds and grounded instruments can create and enhance a positive mood.

"It is well known that connection to nature and natural sounds not only makes us feel better emotionally, but it also contributes to our physical wellbeing; indeed.
Going further, into the realms of dramatically reduced sound, the New Scientist magazine recently recognises that in an increasingly noisy world, neuroscientists are discovering exactly what kinds of peace and quiet actually does for our mental and physical health.

https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg25533990-700-the-power-of-quiet-the-mental-and-physical-health-benefits-of-silence/

"What would a truly green, resilient and equitable city sound like?

"Detrimental noise is not always heard, sometimes it can be felt and absorbed too, through physical vibrations at frequencies below those of common hearing ranges; as we already know, nature and natural sounds complimented with ambient soundscapes not only makes us feel better emotionally, but it also contributes to our physical wellbeing.

"Quieter less noise polluting building and transportation systems will dramatically help in this regard, indeed many cities are planning reductions and progressing this very approach.

"As a final thought, we often see and wonder on the increasingly numerous earphone or headphone wearing commuters and what they are listening to as they escape their surrounding audible onslaught on their journeys through a modern city – and how in the future some might once again come to appreciate the ambient sounds around them instead."

Warsaw lockdown sound reimagined by Arvik Torrenssen.

Part of the Well-Being Cities project, a unique collaboration between Cities and Memory and C40, a global network of mayors of nearly 100 world-leading cities collaborating to deliver the urgent action needed right now to confront the climate crisis. The project was originally presented at the C40 Cities conference in Buenos Aires in 2022. Explore Well-Being Cities in full at https://citiesandmemory.com/wellbeing-cities/
Oct 06, 2022
2222 (Twenty-Two Twenty-Two)
194
"In 2222 (Twenty-Two Twenty-Two) I wish to demonstrate through sound, a balanced relationship between humans, technology, and the natural world. Without this balance, true well-being is impossible. The original sound file features the ambient outdoor sounds recording in a tourist area in Stockholm, Sweden. This sound includes human voices, traffic, and bird calls—the sounds of a contemporary where humans, technology, and nature thrive together.

"Sonically, I began with the original sound, processing it to bring out the rhythmic repetition of the human voices and the birds. I then added other ambient sounds that I recorded myself, including footfalls on pavement and a soft rain turning into a thunderstorm, which was processed to follow the musical elements in the piece.

"Stylistically, this piece is closer to a "sound bath." A sound bath is (somewhat) extemporaneous or improvisatory sonic performance meant to promote a calm emotional and mental state in the listener and musician/sonic artist. It is a musical expression that is meant to promote well-being.

"The basic musical elements begin with pad synthesizers and bells playing a theme based on F, Ab, and Bb. The percussion elements are meant to emulate the sounds of heartbeats, footfalls, and wind and rain. The musical elements are very grounded around the pitch of F and are relatively stable, with slow transitions between tones. Other timbres include synthesized human voices, bowed strings, and processed pianos.

"There are also reversed, slowed-down, and re-pitched audio sections in the piece, which is meant to represent traveling in time. The piece is meant to evoke traveling to a stable future that promotes well-being for all."

Stockholm palace sounds reimagined by Janae Jean.

IMAGE: Abhijeet Vardhan, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Part of the Well-Being Cities project, a unique collaboration between Cities and Memory and C40, a global network of mayors of nearly 100 world-leading cities collaborating to deliver the urgent action needed right now to confront the climate crisis. The project was originally presented at the C40 Cities conference in Buenos Aires in 2022. Explore Well-Being Cities in full at https://citiesandmemory.com/wellbeing-cities/
Oct 06, 2022
Tourists at the Royal Palace, Stockholm
95
The recording takes place by the Royal Palace, a wide traffic-free area, a tourist attraction spot. On a morning during the weekday, where most Swedes are working in their offices, these locations are left for the tourist crowds to explore, whereas the Swedish routine is left unheard for its own quietness.

Recorded by Melissa Pons.

IMAGE: Abhijeet Vardhan, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Part of the Well-Being Cities project, a unique collaboration between Cities and Memory and C40, a global network of mayors of nearly 100 world-leading cities collaborating to deliver the urgent action needed right now to confront the climate crisis. The project was originally presented at the C40 Cities conference in Buenos Aires in 2022. Explore Well-Being Cities in full at https://citiesandmemory.com/wellbeing-cities/
Oct 06, 2022
Monday sounds like Sunday, Warsaw
410
Recorded on 16 March 2020, the first day of the nationwide coronavirus quarantine in Poland. The signature sound of the Warsaw University's main campus is surrounded by a chorus of birds. Monday sounds more like a Sunday and the city sound resembles a much smaller town.

Lockdown sounds features as part of the Well-Being Cities project as evidence of how the sounds of our cities were one of the positive changes that came about during the Covid-19 lockdowns, with lower noise levels and an increased ability to hear the sounds of nature and other personally and culturally nourishing soundscapes.

Recorded by Jacek Szczepanek.

Part of the Well-Being Cities project, a unique collaboration between Cities and Memory and C40, a global network of mayors of nearly 100 world-leading cities collaborating to deliver the urgent action needed right now to confront the climate crisis. The project was originally presented at the C40 Cities conference in Buenos Aires in 2022. Explore Well-Being Cities in full at https://citiesandmemory.com/wellbeing-cities/
Oct 06, 2022
Mullaedong machine shop, Seoul
172
Seoul's Mullae-dong is a gentrifying area where small industry sits cheek by jowl with bars and shops. This recording was made from the street into an open fronted metal machine workshop.

Recorded by Michael Nathaniel Meyer. 

Part of the Well-Being Cities project, a unique collaboration between Cities and Memory and C40, a global network of mayors of nearly 100 world-leading cities collaborating to deliver the urgent action needed right now to confront the climate crisis. The project was originally presented at the C40 Cities conference in Buenos Aires in 2022. Explore Well-Being Cities in full at https://citiesandmemory.com/wellbeing-cities/
Oct 06, 2022
Our intangible heritage
622
"Our wellbeing in cities is heavily influenced by noise and sound.  We may not always associate noise with melody and harmony but listen carefully and the intangible becomes a bit more tangible. The piece here samples fado, a recognised UNESCO intangible cultural heritage which is renowned for its expressive and melancholic characteristics, a trait often mirrored in the sounds of many cities across the world.

"The chord progressions from this Fado from Coimbra, Portugal are intertwined with other every day city sounds, people, animals, traffic, with the songs fading in and out of the field recordings. As noise levels continue to rise within our urban environments, the sounds of our cities begin to envelope our intangible cultural heritage, but we should not allow them to create dissonance, but ensure that they provide a harmonic counterpoint."

Coimbra fado house reimagined by Moray Newlands. 

Part of the Well-Being Cities project, a unique collaboration between Cities and Memory and C40, a global network of mayors of nearly 100 world-leading cities collaborating to deliver the urgent action needed right now to confront the climate crisis. The project was originally presented at the C40 Cities conference in Buenos Aires in 2022. Explore Well-Being Cities in full at https://citiesandmemory.com/wellbeing-cities/
Oct 06, 2022
The right place
353
"After listening to the street band playing during the Mexico lockdown, I was inspired by how life changed during that time for not just humans but the entire planet (the living ecosystem). How animals came out on the street, birds chirped throughout the day, the color of the sky turned the most beautiful blue, and so much more. Thinking back about this time, I feel there is a lot to learn from that period for cities. At least, to pause and recognize that we are not the only ones who exist.

"I used this inspiration to develop the motif of the melody played by the band in the raw recording in my own way and surround it by an ambient growing soundscape made using different synthesizers. I also used some audio clips from News during 2020/21 to give more context to the composition. The ambient soundscape grows and transforms into ocean waves and we slowly start hearing sounds of humans, nature, traffic and the street band in harmony showcasing a balance that is required for the living ecosystem to survive on earth."

Mexico lockdown band reimagined by Abhishek Sekhri.

Part of the Well-Being Cities project, a unique collaboration between Cities and Memory and C40, a global network of mayors of nearly 100 world-leading cities collaborating to deliver the urgent action needed right now to confront the climate crisis. The project was originally presented at the C40 Cities conference in Buenos Aires in 2022. Explore Well-Being Cities in full at https://citiesandmemory.com/wellbeing-cities/
Oct 06, 2022
Salaam
248
"I wanted to reflect a peaceful walk around Essaouira in the composition. The walk would take you from the busy and angry sounds of a city into more quiet and interesting squares and areas, full of the sounds of water, birds, people and music. I like the idea of creating hidden quiet spaces to help with well-being.

"I have used a very slowed down and treated version of the original recording to create the background noise of a city and added some synth pad sounds. I have also used an extract from the original which I treated to give a sense of a passing sound as you walk by. There are also some bell sounds to give a sense of contemplation."

Essaouira buskers reimagined by Richard Watts.

Part of the Well-Being Cities project, a unique collaboration between Cities and Memory and C40, a global network of mayors of nearly 100 world-leading cities collaborating to deliver the urgent action needed right now to confront the climate crisis. The project was originally presented at the C40 Cities conference in Buenos Aires in 2022. Explore Well-Being Cities in full at https://citiesandmemory.com/wellbeing-cities/
Oct 06, 2022
Serenades in the fado house
1182
Fado is one of the few sonic items of intangible heritage listed by UNESCO, and indeed even within Portugal there are some specific variants, including Coimbra fado, which is different from that found in Lisbon, and frequently deals with feelings of longing and love for the city itself. Inside a 14th century chapel converted into a fado house, we listen to some of the traditional sounds of fado, and reflect on how these unique items of sonic heritage contribute strongly to a sense of connection to place, to a defined identity for a city that brings its people together.

Recorded by Cities and Memory.  

Part of the Well-Being Cities project, a unique collaboration between Cities and Memory and C40, a global network of mayors of nearly 100 world-leading cities collaborating to deliver the urgent action needed right now to confront the climate crisis. The project was originally presented at the C40 Cities conference in Buenos Aires in 2022. Explore Well-Being Cities in full at https://citiesandmemory.com/wellbeing-cities/
Oct 06, 2022
The wonder of gnaoua
219
In Essaouira, the musical tradition of gnaoua is at its strongest (and indeed the city is home to the world’s largest festival of gnaoua). The streets of Essaouira are noticeably filled with many musical performers, giving the city a distinctly relaxed feel, and gnaoua is the prime musical form on display. Essaouira shows the strength of a strong musical and cultural identity being allowed to live and breathe on every street corner. This is a great example of a soundscape that shows something culturally-specific and therefore highly valuable and to be protected.

Recorded by Cities and Memory.

Part of the Well-Being Cities project, a unique collaboration between Cities and Memory and C40, a global network of mayors of nearly 100 world-leading cities collaborating to deliver the urgent action needed right now to confront the climate crisis. The project was originally presented at the C40 Cities conference in Buenos Aires in 2022. Explore Well-Being Cities in full at https://citiesandmemory.com/wellbeing-cities/
Oct 06, 2022
Street band in lockdown, Mexico City
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.

Lockdown sounds features as part of the Well-Being Cities project as evidence of how the sounds of our cities were one of the positive changes that came about during the Covid-19 lockdowns, with lower noise levels and an increased ability to hear the sounds of nature and other personally and culturally nourishing soundscapes.

Recorded by Luis Arenas Lopez. 

Part of the Well-Being Cities project, a unique collaboration between Cities and Memory and C40, a global network of mayors of nearly 100 world-leading cities collaborating to deliver the urgent action needed right now to confront the climate crisis. The project was originally presented at the C40 Cities conference in Buenos Aires in 2022. Explore Well-Being Cities in full at https://citiesandmemory.com/wellbeing-cities/
Oct 06, 2022
New city ways
494
"Taking the original questions posed in the brief I embellished with a set of automatically written answers in the form of a monologue that was pasted into the Google text to speech app. I wanted to address the concerns I have living in a more urban environment and seeing the impact this has on people's health and wellbeing. I thought about how the urban spaces i walk through could be improved, how we could help people improve and enhance how they experience these Victorian, post Industrial Revolution landscapes through a new lens and not only through the lens of 1960's urban planning disasters (or the hangover of cheap alcohol and fatty foods).

"Could we interact with these spaces differently? Could we bring wonder and curiosity into these spaces. Could we heal people in them and offer hope? Could we urban hike? I used the Soma Labs Lyra 8 synth to create 3 drone tracks. The device was tuned to the sound of the sea organ which acted as guide and conduit for the track construction. I thought of the process this time in a very visual way and took the tracks for a long walk around the town i live in. I then found some very old samples in a 2008 version of Apple Logic of bird call and rain. These are sounds that through the covid pandemic we heard in our towns and cities louder than ever.

"Adding all of the tracks together for the first time, i took these back into the streets and walked with the forming track on repeat. It started to rain so i sampled the rain (much welcome after a long hot UK summer). Finally i added the words, refining the timbre and metre of the monologue but keeping the glitchy rather dystopian sampled voice as is. I took the track back out onto the street where i live and again walked with the track and source material on loop.

"Finally a melody emerged and the track was complete. A glimpse possibly of what could be if we take the time to reflect on how "close we have flown the sun" in the form of the pending (but avertable) climate crisis we now face into."

Zadar sea organ reimagined by Andy Billington. 

IMAGE: Ben Snooks, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Part of the Well-Being Cities project, a unique collaboration between Cities and Memory and C40, a global network of mayors of nearly 100 world-leading cities collaborating to deliver the urgent action needed right now to confront the climate crisis. The project was originally presented at the C40 Cities conference in Buenos Aires in 2022. Explore Well-Being Cities in full at https://citiesandmemory.com/wellbeing-cities/
Oct 06, 2022
Circles of wind and light
362
"The recording I worked with from Burkina Faso captured me immediately. Its liveliness and feeling of sparking joy moved me greatly. As well as the feeling I had of music being part of life. Music is not separate from our daily lives but is another facet of our community and of what binds us together as people. Cities have that unique potential of connecting and providing space if balanced properly. And this is an essence that drove the music I create for this project. One in which the field recording from Burkina Faso and my music interconnected to create a joined whole.

"This is something I feel that can be one of the most crucial aspects of the well being of cities. That there is space for everyone, that everyone is a part of the communities that make up the city, that each have a a place for their unique voice, together with the understanding and respect for others perspective. My music in this piece attempted to address this by joining together elements in order to create not only a whole made up of the parts but also a new whole that transcends the sum of the parts that form them."

Burkina Faso street band reimagined by Emmanuel Witzthum. 

IMAGE: Wendkouni, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Part of the Well-Being Cities project, a unique collaboration between Cities and Memory and C40, a global network of mayors of nearly 100 world-leading cities collaborating to deliver the urgent action needed right now to confront the climate crisis. The project was originally presented at the C40 Cities conference in Buenos Aires in 2022. Explore Well-Being Cities in full at https://citiesandmemory.com/wellbeing-cities/
Oct 06, 2022
Coltrane At The Highline
672
"The piece inspired me in a number of ways. First, thinking about the voice of Coltrane's saxophone singing out over the chaos of a subway train station and the crowds of people milling about on their way to somewhere. The station as a point of departure, not the destination, and so the people all en route, in motion, leaving for different destinations. Secondly, John Coltrane is a legendary sax player who has played for thousands in concerts, and is responsible for landmark records in a form of jazz known as bebop. Perhaps most of the commuters that day were oblivious to who was standing at the station and creating this beautiful music in how own special way.

"My piece address the topics of well-being and sustainability in cities by foregrounding the importance of art to give beauty and meaning to the routines of crowds going about their otherwise mundane day. Coltrane's artistic expression humanizes the mindless anonymity of a crowd by communicating some spiritual that could touch people, and perhaps did, on an emotional level. The musical performance isn't taking place in a concert hall, and it's not captured and sold in some formal format, but instead is offered for those who resonate with it as they pass by, and opportunities for artistic creation that take place in these urban spaces are so important for creating a city that support the well-being of its citizens.

"The piece was made by slowing down the original sample of Coltrane's sax playing and stretching the time, in a way to suggest the slowing down of time on a busy day, pausing to consider more closely the human dynamic in an environment that most folks would likely overlook on their way to somewhere else. The piece also includes lots of extended reverb to express the aspects of the song relating to memory, looking/listening back to these moments and how they re-play and re-sound in the mind after while thinking about them again in a more focused way. As well there are samples of one of the New York subway lines included here because I think the sounds of those trains are so recognizable, but also have a very forward and dynamic energy -- the hustle and bustle of a busy subway station."

High Line busker reimagined by Wayne DeFehr. 

Part of the Well-Being Cities project, a unique collaboration between Cities and Memory and C40, a global network of mayors of nearly 100 world-leading cities collaborating to deliver the urgent action needed right now to confront the climate crisis. The project was originally presented at the C40 Cities conference in Buenos Aires in 2022. Explore Well-Being Cities in full at https://citiesandmemory.com/wellbeing-cities/
Oct 06, 2022
Coltrane on the High Line
257
The High Line in New York is one of the world’s best-known urban transformations, and has taken an abandoned section of railroad and turned it into a major global tourist attraction and a valuable green space for the citizens of Manhattan - surely of the best examples of how to think of adding to the health of a city. In this recording, a busker performs a piece by John Coltrane in one of the reverb-filled covered areas that contains local traders and coffee stalls. Outside, in the background, New York buzzes.

Recorded by Cities and Memory. 

Part of the Well-Being Cities project, a unique collaboration between Cities and Memory and C40, a global network of mayors of nearly 100 world-leading cities collaborating to deliver the urgent action needed right now to confront the climate crisis. The project was originally presented at the C40 Cities conference in Buenos Aires in 2022. Explore Well-Being Cities in full at https://citiesandmemory.com/wellbeing-cities/
Oct 06, 2022
The sea organ at Zadar
246
The sea organ (Morske orgulje) at Zadar is a prime example of how cities can use sound positively to improve the daily lives of its citizens - it is an architectural sound art instrument that plays musical sounds controlled by the movement of waves through a series of tubes located underneath a set of marble steps. The sound changes according to the season, time of day and associated weather conditions.

Recorded by Marcel Gnauk.

IMAGE: Ben Snooks, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Part of the Well-Being Cities project, a unique collaboration between Cities and Memory and C40, a global network of mayors of nearly 100 world-leading cities collaborating to deliver the urgent action needed right now to confront the climate crisis. The project was originally presented at the C40 Cities conference in Buenos Aires in 2022. Explore Well-Being Cities in full at https://citiesandmemory.com/wellbeing-cities/
Oct 06, 2022
Street musicians in a bar by night, Ouagadougou
178
Street musician performing in front of a bar during the early evening in Ouagadougou. This is a great example of a soundscape that shows something culturally-specific and therefore highly valuable and to be protected.

Recorded by Martin Weissberg.

IMAGE: Wendkouni, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Part of the Well-Being Cities project, a unique collaboration between Cities and Memory and C40, a global network of mayors of nearly 100 world-leading cities collaborating to deliver the urgent action needed right now to confront the climate crisis. The project was originally presented at the C40 Cities conference in Buenos Aires in 2022. Explore Well-Being Cities in full at https://citiesandmemory.com/wellbeing-cities/
Oct 06, 2022
Orbital <環>
628
"The earth revolves around the sun. The moon orbits the earth. Such continuous circuits of cosmic patterns are recurrent and orbital. In my exploration of answering this project prompts, I contemplated the orbital rhythms of celestial bodies. In the light of fostering a healthy city soundscape, sounds may orbit the axis of a 24-hour day with a series of sonic activities that foster reciprocal soundmaking and listening. Sounds may orbit a day with the dawn chorus, a daytime noise of machines and transportation, and nighttime silence. Establishing a recurrent and consistent sound and silence seems inherent to cultivating a resilient city. The layers of sonic orbits may co-exist in a full spectrum of habitats where the sounds and silence recur over the cycle of days, weeks, seasons, years, decades, and centuries."

Istanbul bazaar reimagined by Akari Komura.

Part of the Well-Being Cities project, a unique collaboration between Cities and Memory and C40, a global network of mayors of nearly 100 world-leading cities collaborating to deliver the urgent action needed right now to confront the climate crisis. The project was originally presented at the C40 Cities conference in Buenos Aires in 2022. Explore Well-Being Cities in full at https://citiesandmemory.com/wellbeing-cities/
Oct 06, 2022
The value of noise
536
"I originally used a recording of a climate protest in Exeter, United Kingdom, which inspired me due to the power of it - the sheer power held in a crowd of people shouting the same chant for the same goal. Health and wellbeing are not just in the places we expect; the health of cities can come from a sense of community, from the sense of fighting for the same result, from the ability to have a voice and to speak up against injustice - some cities do not have this privilege. The ability to protest against climate change issues and their contributors helps to enact real change and contribute to healthy cities across the globe as a result - what does ‘health’ mean for a city specifically in this space of community? I wanted to highlight how the actual sounds of a collective of people have come to enact change, and I aimed to diminish the negative reputation that protesting often receives in mainstream media, when its disruption provides so many positives.

"I approached the topics of well-being and sustainability in cities by enhancing the natural sounds of various different types of protesting against climate change issues - violent, peaceful, chanting, speaking up, using our voices. This formed the base theme for the piece - collective noise, protest, and the value they hold in facilitating change. Building upon this theme, the piece moves through exaggerated versions of each type of protest, travelling through imagined representations of real places where protests gather, using different recordings of protest chants and actions from various different cities across the world. Each method highlights this widespread need for community and coming together to facilitate change across the globe. No matter the difference in language or topic, the action is the same. A vital act that allows each city's inhabitants to speak up against the injustices they face."

Exeter climate protest reimagined by Ella Kay.

Part of the Well-Being Cities project, a unique collaboration between Cities and Memory and C40, a global network of mayors of nearly 100 world-leading cities collaborating to deliver the urgent action needed right now to confront the climate crisis. The project was originally presented at the C40 Cities conference in Buenos Aires in 2022. Explore Well-Being Cities in full at https://citiesandmemory.com/wellbeing-cities/
Oct 06, 2022
Dissolvin' malady
162
"What inspired me about the original recording was the presence of an underlying beat and a rhythm that stayed constant throughout the recording. There was a feeling that even though there were vocals and some chatter/noise in between. The rhythm stayed somewhat constant but loose. A lot of times, well-being in a city can mean being able to sustain a constant stream of thought for extended periods of time and I hope the piece reflects that. If there are places or periods of quietness, it can help people in a city to concentrate. That is important when a city might be coming out of a pandemic

"Everything you hear was created by sampling the original recording. The percussive elements were created using various thuds and drum sounds. The melodic elements were created out of the vocals. The corona-chant can be heard as-is sparingly throughout."

Senegalese anti-coronavirus song reimagined by Antriksh Bali. 

Part of the Well-Being Cities project, a unique collaboration between Cities and Memory and C40, a global network of mayors of nearly 100 world-leading cities collaborating to deliver the urgent action needed right now to confront the climate crisis. The project was originally presented at the C40 Cities conference in Buenos Aires in 2022. Explore Well-Being Cities in full at https://citiesandmemory.com/wellbeing-cities/
Oct 06, 2022
Busy Turkish bazaar, Istanbul
245
Tarihi Sali Pazari is one of the largest markets (bazaars) in Istanbul. Very busy. Vendors selling clothing, carpets, spices, antiques, second hand goods and food. This is a great example of a soundscape that shows something culturally-specific and therefore highly valuable and to be protected.

Recorded by Marcel Gnauk. 

Part of the Well-Being Cities project, a unique collaboration between Cities and Memory and C40, a global network of mayors of nearly 100 world-leading cities collaborating to deliver the urgent action needed right now to confront the climate crisis. The project was originally presented at the C40 Cities conference in Buenos Aires in 2022. Explore Well-Being Cities in full at https://citiesandmemory.com/wellbeing-cities/
Oct 06, 2022
Anti-coronavirus song on the radio, Senegal
70
I was on a trip with some friends in Senegal just few days before the lockdown in Europe and on my way to the Dakar Airport I recorded this song directly from the radio of our driver. The piece is in Wolof and is about Coronavirus, the singer is "praying" that the virus will not reach his community and will go away soon.

Recorded by Luca Piparo.  

Part of the Well-Being Cities project, a unique collaboration between Cities and Memory and C40, a global network of mayors of nearly 100 world-leading cities collaborating to deliver the urgent action needed right now to confront the climate crisis. The project was originally presented at the C40 Cities conference in Buenos Aires in 2022. Explore Well-Being Cities in full at https://citiesandmemory.com/wellbeing-cities/
Oct 06, 2022
Fridays for our Future
59
Recording from the "Fridays for Future" climate protests made every week by school children all over the world - this excerpt is from Exeter, England, 2021.

Recorded by Joe Baker.

Part of the Well-Being Cities project, a unique collaboration between Cities and Memory and C40, a global network of mayors of nearly 100 world-leading cities collaborating to deliver the urgent action needed right now to confront the climate crisis. The project was originally presented at the C40 Cities conference in Buenos Aires in 2022. Explore Well-Being Cities in full at https://citiesandmemory.com/wellbeing-cities/
Oct 06, 2022
Departures
475
"Starting with a field recording made in Nairobi Airport, this piece imagines a departure lounge for all the birds we have lost and stand to lose in the face of the climate crisis. A child quietly contemplates how we, as humankind, might learn from birds to create built environments that better serve the natural world, by making less noise and more space for them, not us.

"As we drift into her daydream of an airport for birds, we catch a glimpse of the possibilities whilst hearing a rich sonic world made up of archive recordings of threatened and extinct birds recorded in Kenya and elsewhere. The piece explores some of the metaphors at play in a departure lounge and navigates the sometimes jagged borders between humans and nature. Don’t get too comfortable, the gate is closing…

Additional recordings by Flora Zajicek, Cicely Fell
Archive recordings by A.R Gregory (with thanks to the British Library for their kind permission to use)"

Nairobi airport reimagined by Flora Zajicek and Cicely Fell.

Part of the Well-Being Cities project, a unique collaboration between Cities and Memory and C40, a global network of mayors of nearly 100 world-leading cities collaborating to deliver the urgent action needed right now to confront the climate crisis. The project was originally presented at the C40 Cities conference in Buenos Aires in 2022. Explore Well-Being Cities in full at https://citiesandmemory.com/wellbeing-cities/
Oct 06, 2022
Dérive
516
"The clip I was provided with was a recording of live music from the 1st Musical Decontamination March in Argentina, a protest carried out to demand controls of emission and pollutants from the Bahía Blanca Petrochemical plant. Whilst amplified music may be considered 'loud' and in some instance a nuisance which may be also through of as a pollutant by some in a city catering for well being, and sonic comfort, it is important to remember that live music is not only part of community but important in times of celebration and protest.

"My idea for this piece was the wanderings of an autonomous person on a sonic psychogeographic dérive around a city which caters for and considers the sonic requirements of all it's citizens. With this in mind, I created an imaginary soundwalk around a city centre sound world taking into consideration human and natural sound which would form a natural part of restorativeness for an urban population.

"Whilst music has been included, additional human sounds have been added as well as consideration of what electric vehicles also being present soundscape would sound like. I have also included electrical sounds which I feel would be part of a city regardless of design until we are able to remove electricity as a power source (which I don't believe we can).

"I also had the idea that with digital processing and future acoustic technology, the sounds that sustain us, but are currently a pollutant, such as HVAC and refrigeration units, could be masked to produce a more soothing ambience, and I felt that this ambient bed should be very much inline with Brian Eno's original concept for Music for Airports. A soundscape which does not interfere with communication and is present for the active listener, should they wish to listen to it.

"The piece is produced binaural as so is best listened to on headphones to get the whole immersive experience of the soundwalk.

"The ambient beds were produced from manipulating the original recording to form textural drones. Additional material was added from my own field recording catalogue."

Buenos Aires protest reimagined by Neil Spencer Bruce. 

Part of the Well-Being Cities project, a unique collaboration between Cities and Memory and C40, a global network of mayors of nearly 100 world-leading cities collaborating to deliver the urgent action needed right now to confront the climate crisis. The project was originally presented at the C40 Cities conference in Buenos Aires in 2022. Explore Well-Being Cities in full at https://citiesandmemory.com/wellbeing-cities/
Oct 06, 2022
The hills
300
"This piece is about the neighbourhoods outside city centres. The title refers by name to residential areas in Oakland and LA, but I’d be surprised if many other cities didn’t have “The Hills” too.

"In this piece I used volume envelopes to makes hills of sound, where field recordings are nestled between musical instruments and household sounds. The focus is on the mundane, and I left many of the recordings unprocessed, familiar. Along with clips from the original Skopje field recording, I’ve added hills of accordion, nylon-string guitar, sewing materials, chess pieces, recorder, and some outdoor sounds from Seattle too.

"Those field recordings are from 2020, initially gathered for a sound mapping project about streets and small parks, some of the few places people could go to get out of the house early in the lockdown. The suburb as a human habitat is complicated - I tried to develop a sense of flow, a hopeful and useful look at pacing across a city's neighborhoods."

Skopje street sounds reimagined by Nicolo Scolieri.  

Part of the Well-Being Cities project, a unique collaboration between Cities and Memory and C40, a global network of mayors of nearly 100 world-leading cities collaborating to deliver the urgent action needed right now to confront the climate crisis. The project was originally presented at the C40 Cities conference in Buenos Aires in 2022. Explore Well-Being Cities in full at https://citiesandmemory.com/wellbeing-cities/
Oct 06, 2022
Musical decontamination march, Buenos Aires
87
The audio corresponds to the 1st Musical Decontamination March (first of a series of three protests carried out to demand controls on emission of pollutants to the Bahía Blanca Petrochemical Complex).

The right to protest is another key aspect of a city that demonstrates and offers well-being to its citizens. This recording is from the C40 Summit's 2022 host city, Buenos Aires.

Recorded by H.I.J.O.S. Bahía Blanca.

Part of the Well-Being Cities project, a unique collaboration between Cities and Memory and C40, a global network of mayors of nearly 100 world-leading cities collaborating to deliver the urgent action needed right now to confront the climate crisis. The project was originally presented at the C40 Cities conference in Buenos Aires in 2022. Explore Well-Being Cities in full at https://citiesandmemory.com/wellbeing-cities/
Oct 06, 2022
Waiting in Jomo Kenyatta, Nairobi
123
Departures at Jomo Kenyatta airport, Nairobi, Kenya - you can hear among the normal sounds of bustle and shopping in the terminal the crackle of the security guards' radios and the feedback as they stand too close together.

Sometimes the sound of a city's airport can tell you as much about that place as a recording from its historic city centre.

Recorded by Giulia Biasibetti.  

Part of the Well-Being Cities project, a unique collaboration between Cities and Memory and C40, a global network of mayors of nearly 100 world-leading cities collaborating to deliver the urgent action needed right now to confront the climate crisis. The project was originally presented at the C40 Cities conference in Buenos Aires in 2022. Explore Well-Being Cities in full at https://citiesandmemory.com/wellbeing-cities/
Oct 06, 2022
Mile Pop Jordanov street, Skopje
230
A simple recording of my street, rеpresenting the contrast of the sound over several minutes. When considering well-being in cities, it's important not just to head to the most culturally or historically significant areas to judge its health - you can learn just as much from listening to everyday street sounds.

Recorded by Toni Dimitrov. 

Part of the Well-Being Cities project, a unique collaboration between Cities and Memory and C40, a global network of mayors of nearly 100 world-leading cities collaborating to deliver the urgent action needed right now to confront the climate crisis. The project was originally presented at the C40 Cities conference in Buenos Aires in 2022. Explore Well-Being Cities in full at https://citiesandmemory.com/wellbeing-cities/
Oct 06, 2022
Harmonic warmth
320
"The original recording inspired me by being sorta a current day protest song.. during Covid when people couldn't really gather banging pots and pans from our respective homes was a way for us to connect and express frustration.

"I find a lot of similarities between Brazilian and American politics and I wanted to find a way to illustrate those connections as well as articulate what a sustainable city sounds like and for me it's a conversation between these artificial sounds from the original recording and and natural sounds that all make a city whole."

Brazilian protest reimagined by Maddi Baird. 

Part of the Well-Being Cities project, a unique collaboration between Cities and Memory and C40, a global network of mayors of nearly 100 world-leading cities collaborating to deliver the urgent action needed right now to confront the climate crisis. The project was originally presented at the C40 Cities conference in Buenos Aires in 2022. Explore Well-Being Cities in full at https://citiesandmemory.com/wellbeing-cities/
Oct 06, 2022
Fora Bolsonaro!
379
This is a short recording of a pot-banging protest in the Catete neighbourhood in Rio de Janeiro. When people cannot go on the streets to protest, they bang pots to show their displeasure with the government. In this case, the protest was a general protest against the president of Brazil, Bolsonaro.

Pot-banging is a relatively easy form of protest: it makes lots of noise, does not require people to gather (and risk to be arrested or attacked by the police) and so people who would normally not protest are more inclined to participate. These protests started to propagate all over Brazil since February 2020 as the people are growing weary of the government.
 
The right to protest is another key aspect of a city that demonstrates and offers well-being to its citizens.

Recorded by Samuel van Ransbeeck. 

Part of the Well-Being Cities project, a unique collaboration between Cities and Memory and C40, a global network of mayors of nearly 100 world-leading cities collaborating to deliver the urgent action needed right now to confront the climate crisis. The project was originally presented at the C40 Cities conference in Buenos Aires in 2022. Explore Well-Being Cities in full at https://citiesandmemory.com/wellbeing-cities/
Oct 06, 2022
Noise2Noise
512
Colombian protest reimagined by Wijnand Bredewold.

"Once there was nothing, maybe just white noise, a random signal of equal intensity at different frequencies. Due to the origin of the earth, nature, animals and people, variations in this white noise arose, there was no overcrowding or disturbance, it was in harmony with each other.

"Due to the increase in the world population and the urban development of the major world cities in particular, the harmony of these cities can be disrupted. These cities are crossed by flows of people, traffic and goods. Parts of these cities are constantly being expanded, demolished and rebuilt, in a way that aspects for a healthy city are not always taken for granted. You can see the city as an autonomous machine or an organism that generates a soundscape on its own, often resulting in disharmony.

"Many cities are currently undergoing a transition, the city is being made more liveable, there is more room for pedestrians, cyclists and nature. The soundscape of the city regenerates into better harmony. 

"Noise to Noise uses a soundscape of a protest in Bogota by Colombians (2019) against economic inequality, corruption, violence, pollution and climate change. Good to mention in this, is that Bogota is also doing a lot to create more nature in the city lately.

"The audio file consists of 11 parts, it starts with part of the original recording, raw and unedited, this part is replayed and re-recorded, this process is repeated 10 times. In addition, each part is lowered by 2 semitones compared to the previous part. The 11 parts are faded crosswise and mixed into 1 file. In this way, the sound is slowly but surely transformed into white noise, which is an imaginary starting point for a renewed city that again generates a harmonious soundscape."

Part of the Well-Being Cities project, a unique collaboration between Cities and Memory and C40, a global network of mayors of nearly 100 world-leading cities collaborating to deliver the urgent action needed right now to confront the climate crisis. The project was originally presented at the C40 Cities conference in Buenos Aires in 2022. Explore Well-Being Cities in full at https://citiesandmemory.com/wellbeing-cities/
Oct 05, 2022
Manifestants' Parade, Bogotá
287
We can hear chanting protesters from Bogotá, Colombia, on November 26th 2019, less than a week after protests started. I was in Bogotá for a residency and it just happened that I arrived at a very agitated moment in the city, with people denouncing corruption and demanding better quality of life. It was beautiful to see them out in the street in solidarity, protesting in a very civil manner for a very reasonable cause. I was impressed at the musicality the protests offered me and I'd like to share with you the festive side of the events. The right to protest is another key aspect of a city that demonstrates and offers well-being to its citizens. 

Recorded by Yanik Tremblay-Simard.

Part of the Well-Being Cities project, a unique collaboration between Cities and Memory and C40, a global network of mayors of nearly 100 world-leading cities collaborating to deliver the urgent action needed right now to confront the climate crisis. The project was originally presented at the C40 Cities conference in Buenos Aires in 2022. Explore Well-Being Cities in full at https://citiesandmemory.com/wellbeing-cities/
Oct 05, 2022
Kaoss on the Elizabeth Line
160
Elizabeth Line opening day reimagined by Simon Woods.

"The 'Kaoss' of the title refers, not to any chaos that may or may not have occurred on the opening day of the Elizabeth Line, but to the use of Korg Kaoscillator and Kaoss Pad in the composition. All the percussion is made from sounds of the doors closing or other bangs and crashes on the journey. The two chords are from the tone of the train moving."
Sep 21, 2022
The first day of the Elizabeth Line, London
700
The first new full London Underground line since 1979 opened on 24 May 2022, in honour of the (recently-passed) Queen Elizabeth II. We jumped on board the line on its very first day to record the sounds of a journey from Farringdon to Paddington.

Recorded by Cities and Memory.
Sep 21, 2022
Dreaming with cicadas
188
"Following some other samples I recording around the mountain, I try to image a scene when cicadas start dreaming."

Composition by Ryan Chiang.
Sep 11, 2022
Jewel Mountain's day and night
35
"This recording is about a day living in Jewel Mountain: a small city mountain joust located in Hangzhou, China. I met a cat in the night and cicadas remain happily during the night. The next morning I just walked around the mountain and cicadas were  still happily and loudly singing, and I was just wondering how they perceived day and night compared to humans."

Recorded by Ryan Chiang.
Sep 11, 2022
Sound of Old Anarkali
37
"Old Anarkali has been a bustling market in the city of Lahore for at least 200 years. Owing to its rich history, the market still holds much of the historic architecture at its backside while the front has been modernised, catering to the commercial needs. These buildings are mostly residential and while their material condition is in decay, the intangible environment has a strong 'sense of the past'. 

"As an undergraduate architecture student, I visited Old Anarkali in 2019 in search of remnants of the past and found the sonic elements to be the most prominent in the creation of the 'sense of the past'. I recorded at 14 different spots in the neighbourhood and edited them to remove sounds that were not there in the past i.e; motor sounds, traffic noise. This approach left me with sounds of horse trotting, leather shoe steps on gravel pathways, sounds from an old church, pigeons cooing, children playing. Finally I combined the latter sounds into a 40 second audio as a palette that can always potentially create a sonic environment similar to the times gone by.

"The resultant audio sounds like a melody, where all the sounds merge together in harmony and transport you to a calmer place. This idea inspired me to create architecture that materialises that calm sense by amplifying low frequency sounds and buffering outside, traffic noise." 

Composition by Sania Ahmad.
Sep 11, 2022
Collison of old and new sounds in Anarkali
17
This recording is a sample of multiple recordings made at 14 different spots in Rasala Bazar, Old Anarkali. It is an amalgamation of a constant sound of an electric motor and a continuous chirping of a bird- symbolic of how the existing and growing neglect of historic neighbourhood in affecting the habitats of birds that seek shelters in 'jharokas' of the pre-independence buildings (1947). 

Recorded by Sania Ahmad.
Sep 11, 2022
The watchmaker's dream
35
"The watchmaker falls asleep in his studio on a cold winter's night, work hard to come by in this digital age as he wonders how he will pay his incoming bills. As he falls asleep, like a classic Brothers Grimm story, he dreams that tiny elfin helpers appear from the corners of the shop and finish his work for him, working feverishly with magical hands until daybreak. The piece winds down from its crescendo back to a slow pace, and the watchmaker awakes once again, to realise it was all a dream.

"The modular synth starts slowly in parallel with the metronomic ticking of the watch, then as the watch is wound further, the pace picks up and multiple, interweaving layers of synth line begin to flow. After a higher-energy peak, the pace slows down as the watch naturally unwinds once again. Composed primarily using a Moog Subharmonicon alongside the original field recording and layers of additional synths in some sections."

Composition by Cities and Memory. 

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 29, 2022
Winding up a pocket watch
411
Pocket watches once were in common use. Every self-repectfing man should have one. To work properly, they had to be winded up everyday. Its ticking and winding up were the sounds everyone were familiar with. Nowadays it's a rare thing to find a pocket watch with a winding mechanism and its sounds are hardly familiar to younger generations. 

Recording provided by Artur Kinal.

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds


Aug 29, 2022
Cambodiaint
226
"On hearing the recording, it immediately sounded like techno to me, so I put a kick drum and hi-hat on it. I tried to work fast and instinctively, pushed by the drive of the recording. The overall sound was also inspired by a recent mix I did for FatCat records, which in turn took me back to my days DJing in Brighton and London around the turn of the millennium, when noise, techno, academic recordings, soundsystem music and a lot of very battered charity shop records - including a lot of global recordings - were all part of the mix, with the aim always being overwhelm, discombobulation and a sense of melting rather than anything more culturally highfalutin."

Composition by Knid aka Joe Muggs. 

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 29, 2022
Trip-in guts
224
"Im not sure if it counts as a source of inspiration or narrative, or at least maybe not one that comes voluntarily but unconsciously, nevertheless I made this track while I was ill with a stomach infection.

"Technically, in this piece I began by extracting the different musical elements of the music in a frequency basis with Rip X, an A.I. software normally used by DJs to extract STEMS (the different instruments in which the song is composed), or vocals out of music tracks to make remixes. Then I listen to the extracted tracks and choose only one sample out of it, which was a plucked instrument that was difficult to hear at the beginning of the original sound because the other instruments were louder. After that I changed the pitch of the sample to make it higher, so that the melody could be more clear. Next I processed the sample with Arturia Pigments, a real-time granular effect plugin, tweaking it in different ways and then resample that into multiple takes in Ableton Live. Finally, I arranged those takes, and put some reverb, EQ, time stretch and pitch shifting on some of the tracks, and as a final touch I added the pitch shifted plucked instrument loop as a remain that worked as the source for everything else. 

"Now that I hear it, i imagine that it could be the sound of my guts moving, twisting, bumping into each other."

Composition by Omar Soriano. 

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 29, 2022
Helsinki tram ride
236
"The entire piece, representing a rattling journey on an old tram, is made up of sounds from the original field recording. These sounds have been cut, reversed, sampled, “wavetabled”, delayed, distorted, glitched and so many other horrendous tortures!"

Composition by Simon Woods. 

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 29, 2022
Shelter
183
The original recording of an air raid siren is heard augmented by chordal piano impulse responses to create harmonic layerings. A bass synth tone was added improvisationally, matching tones present in the processed siren sounds.

Composition by Matt Rogalsky. 

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 29, 2022
World domination
322
"I had a sound file based on a recording of racing cars which got recorded in the years between 1920 and 1940. My first thoughts after hearing the recording: technology, cars, men, masculinity, competition, air pollution, the importance for and the following success of the automobile for our capitalistic society. The car (as well as the racing event) as a main motive for capitalism and a show off of toxic behaviour of mankind. Based on those thoughts I decided to go on making a new composition out of the recording. 

"I did not used any other sound material for the composition other than the source sound. I used a sampler to transform and manipulate (cut, slice, transpose, stretch, filter, et cetera) the recording (or better said micro and macro parts of it) to my liking. In addition I made heavy use of delay, reverb and filter effects. After having composed a broad variety of different sounds (from percussion to drone) from the main recording I performed with those sound till I got a mix/edit together which I rendered. The rendered file was additionally edited and then mastered, the result is attached as wav file @48khz 24-bit. No other person than me (Jessin Boumaza aka sine:noise) was involved in this project."

Composition by sine:noise. 

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 29, 2022
Tachometer, my dear!
230
"This project uses just two sound sources: chiefly the one offered by Cities and Memory, a recording of a 1971 Triumph TR6 engine by lonskwad2020 @ https://freesound.org/s/435212/. To supplement this there is also a single chord hit and a drum loop taken from 'AU Profiles – Frank Jenkins – Another Case History and a Glance at Auburn University's Vocational Rehabilitation Curriculum' https://archive.org/details/aup-252-program-5, chosen as it dates from the same day that the Triumph TR6 was first released, 1969-09-19.

"The piece was intended as a study on the potential for using the recently released FluCoMa toolkit https://www.flucoma.org/ within the SuperCollider environment. As it turned out the TR6 recording did not seem particularly amenable to analysis and resynthesis in this way. However, the OnsetSlice tool in mode 9 produced excellent results in slicing the drum break at the end of the Auburn University recording.

"The final recording comprises a single unedited livecoded performance in SuperCollider, with the title taken from the script of a TR6 advert at https://youtu.be/D_b2trPkrns"

Composition by tedthetrumpet. 

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds

IMAGE: © Akela NDE / Wikimedia Commons
Aug 29, 2022
Steam train ride
191
"As the steam locomotive approached at 145 bpm, fulled by burning combustible materials to heat water to the point it becomes gaseous, the conductor and crew sounded the whistle as a long-distance warning. I processed the original “Steam Train Ride” field-recording using a pedal made in Knoxville TN called the Microcosm, delaying the whistle to closer resemble the sound of an impending death. I constructed my sounds speedily to escape being hit by the approaching train, creating the work in just under 5 hours."

Composition by Brandon Locher. 

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 29, 2022
Haunted steam
720
"Haunted Steam is an imaginary concert featuring the sounds of a Heigh hoo vintage steam train (recorded at a distance), a 1912 steam locomotive field recording, two tubas, flutes, chimes and piano. The locomotive recording provided the entire musical material for the work—melodies were drawn from the overtones in the original sample, wind instruments were selected to phase in and out of the train sounds. The flute and tuba were chosen as primary melodic instruments as they use breath (human steam?) to sound. Heavily processed recordings of a fast moving 1912 steam locomotive provided the rhythmic momentum for the piece. This work was heavily inspired by a series of works I'm currently composing: titled “imaginary concerts,” they create impossible musical performances (steam train with tuba, waterfall and string quartet, cave and clarinet)—all realized through the magic of acousmatic techniques. The immersive quality of the original recording is deepened and broadened using digital processing, and then shaped with filtering and additional techniques to mimic the effects of speed on the sound.

"Indeed, the sounds, motion and power of trains has long captured my imagination as a composer—I grew up near freight lines in the Northeast, and lived just a few blocks from the freight lines in the Southwest. Currently I reside close to the S bahn tracks in Berlin, and their sonic presence still calls to me. Their rhythmic rumbles break the silence of long evenings, and their sound still represents a call to the big, wide-world beyond. This piece in particular revels in the rich sonic world of motion, of the rhythmic rumbling and high lonesome whine of the whistle, whose sighs echo across the landscape day and night. I invite the listener to imagine they are drifting in and out of sleep as a train journey unfolds, with twists and turns, tunnels and passing trains, all enjoyed while speeding through a long night’s travel and drifting in and out of dreams. 

"May all your journeys be magical, and may you always know which tracks lead back home."

Composition by Renée T. Coulombe. 

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 29, 2022
Cash two
242
"My composition emerged out of a an old cash register. A cash register reminds me of old butchers you went to. One always put some coins underneath where you can discover it as a child and keep it. To somehow old cash registers you see today and still some of the very very old ones. It inspired me to a kind of emptiness. I did never work with a sound which is lost in time. And then especially a cash register sound. What did I buy till now in my life? What did I do with it? Most lost in memories. Which gave me a randomly and chosen recorded sounds. Switched them off. And put two new tracks in no specific order. Like something new and the cash register in sound and played on reverse. Cash two."

Composition by Hannya White. 

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 29, 2022
Khmer music
112
Khmer music. Traditional music from Cambodia, recorded in Phnom Penh in October 2008, with a Boss Micro BR.

Recording provided by Kevin Luce via Freesound.

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 29, 2022
Traditional Moroccan music
262
This recording has been made during a trip in south Morocco. A band was performing some traditional Moroccan music from Sahara, for a group of tourists.
You can hear drums (including qraqeb), a string instrument (a guembri, I guess), and men singing.

Kindly recorded in September 2015 by Laurence Luce, with a Yamaha pocketrak C24. Fade in/out applied in Audacity.

Recording provided by Kevin Luce via Freesound.

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 29, 2022
Helsinki Tram No6. Next stop: antiquity
576
The trams are a distinctive element to the commuter life in Helsinki. The city is continuously upgrading the tram network, and replacing older, noisier trams with newer 'silent' versions. The rumbles, whistles, groans and creaks of this No6 tram will soon become obsolete. This recording captures the 'soon to be extinct' tram ambience. 

I love the dynamics and sonic space inside these trams early in the morning. As the tram drives over bumps in the tracks, you can hear the sound repeat as each carriage follows. it creates an echo. The sensitivity of a microphone extracts so much detail, it's almost overwhelming. It's a way of 'looking under the hood' with sound. 

Christopher DeLaurenti writes “In the city it feels right to carry a microphone, for no ear can take it all in" - Environmental Sound Artists In Their Own Words, Bianchi and Manzo.

Recorded at 07:30 1/6/2022 using Zoom H4n. Riding the tram from stops Eiranranta (Eira Beach) to Ylioppilastalo (The Old Student House). 

Recording provided by Chris Bradbury.

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 29, 2022
Air raid siren test
80
Shortened air raid siren test in Prague. Recorded with Zoom f8 + Sennheiser MKH416.

Recording provided by nooly via Freesound.

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 29, 2022
Vintage racing cars
24
Famous Nürburgring Nordschleife, cars from 1925- 1940.

Recording provided by jungh001 via Freesound.

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 29, 2022
1971 Triumph Tr6 engine
160
This is a recording of a lovely old British automobile. It includes door opening/closing sounds and some unfortunate handling noise.

Recording provided by lonskwad2020 via Freesound.

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds

IMAGE: © Akela NDE / Wikimedia Commons
Aug 29, 2022
Steam train ride
317
We went to a trip with school to Wales. This included a ride on a steam train. Obviously I recorded. Having the microphones out of the window I captured a weird image of a train and its constant sounds.

Recorded with Sound Professionals MS-BMC3 binaural microphones with Zoom H1 Recorder.

Recording provided by jrosin via Freesound.

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 29, 2022
Steam train whistle
27
One of the remaining steam locomotives whistles in the distance. MKH20 and FR-2.

Recording provided by Heigh-hoo via Freesound.

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 29, 2022
Old cash register
18
Vintage cash register, with crank, bell and till opens.

Recording provided by Tompalompa via Freesound.

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 29, 2022
Inner workings
603
"On listening to the recording of the music box and reading about the sentimentality behind it and implied happy memories it occurred to me that the music of life is only produced by a lot of underlying effort and the mechanics to create it.  I therefore concentrated on the winding sounds and noises produced by the mechanism itself.  These were slowed down, reversed and manipulated using plugins including GRM evolution.

"Fragments of the pitched material were slowed down and allowed to breakthrough the inner workings for brief beautiful moments.  The majority of the pitched content is layered over the more mechanical sounds as a metaphor for authentic life, all the more unique and fascinating for its textures."

Composition by Alison Beattie. 

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 29, 2022
Don't mention the past
204
"I listened to the original recording as raw material. Back then, seeking new audio experiences, we could turn a physical dial to tune in and out of different stations. 
The wonder that was Amplitude Modulation, split into Long and Short wave brought us exotic possibilities -  Luxembourg, Hilversum, Budapest, AFN, many more, many sorts. Static - bleeps, whistles, voice shards and fizzing hiss an insistent companion.
Those radio sounds washing over and through us, covering us with sounds and silence. 

"I was inspired to make and combine 3 themes;

"The first theme, built using samples from the 1950 Kenneth Anger film, Rabbit Moon, represents the dream-like state  as we sought the aural unknown. What were we seeking? Why did we keep tuning and turning? 
We’ve lost that delicious randomness.

"Then a repetitive rhythm track, made up of sampled analogue radio - including the Original Recording, mirrors the constant tuning back and forth across the dial. 

"Finally interwoven sound snatches and bites, from the Original Recording, others from my own collection, are mixed in - random and unexpected

"This way for serendipitous satisfaction."

Composition by Ian Evetts. 

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 29, 2022
ჭѶЯΞ
343
"I grew up in a house without electricity, so the sound of striking matches remains very familiar to my ears; they were an essential item to ignite candles and lamps and stoves. I also began the Void Sigil project intending to eschew culturally-specific elements in music, and creating fire with matches seemed to be an appropriate cultural universal. 

"I began my composition by isolating individual match strikes and building rhythms out of them, but I eventually incorporated fewer rhythmic elements and relied more on time-stretched versions of the original sound, layered and manipulated through various effects. While it was not my original intent, I ultimately incorporated no other sound sources beyond the original recording of matches being struck."

Composition by Void Sigil. 

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 29, 2022
Type n (after Tárrega)
180
"Inspired by the narrow parameters of earlier monophonic ringtones I wanted to reimagine the recording using only itself. But the idea of a mobile is that it's mobile of course so for that, and to situate the ringtone in now-time, I put it on my phone and took it out into my locality, recorded it ringing and used sounds from that as well. The manipulated impulses of countless calls haunt digital space, bounce down to earth and back out into the ether again."

Composition by Lara Band. 

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 29, 2022
Vintage music box
296
This music box was an anniversary present to my grandmother and has been in the family for years. It looks like a miniature piano. It still works perfectly. Here I wind up the mechanism and then let it play until it stops on its own. Towards the end of the recording it gets so slow that you can hear each individual note. Key of E major.

Recording provided by f-r-a-g-i-l-e via Freesound.

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 29, 2022
Tuning an analogue radio
58
This is the sound of tuning an analog radio.

This sound is obsolete because now there are digital radios.

Recording provided by Ed Visoso.

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 29, 2022
Lighting matches
31
The sound of lighting matches.

This sound is disappearing because now everybody uses lighters.

Recording provided by Ed Visoso.

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 29, 2022
Nokia 5120 ringtone
20
Nokia 5120 ring.

This sound has disappeared because these telephones don't work anymore.

Recording provided by Ed Visoso.

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 29, 2022
I am the greatest woman in the world
1043
"The sound represents the end event in a galactic contest of wills between extraordinary combatants.  The listener is invited to imagine themselves having just lost in a crushing defeat.  What if it was your face in the dirt?  What if you were not certain of the severity of your injuries at the same time you were beginning to lose consciousness?  

"This piece is dedicated to the memory of Dr. JKR.  Finally, you can rest in peace.  And I can get back to being a young single girl."

Composition by Madame Chao. 

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 29, 2022
Every choice matters
269
"The slowed down sound of a melting glacier ice underpins this track and tries to portray the chaos in the world as the climate gets hotter."

Composition by Karhide. 

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 29, 2022
The pulse and the overtone
874
"When I first heard this recording two things struck me - first was the pulse and the second was the overtone rich timbre. I set about cutting loops which I then filtered and applied some light touches of reverb and 8 band EQ and began lining up the loops so as to produce a pulsing relationship between multiple stacked loops. Then I took apart the partials in order to produce longer tones which I applied reverb and EQ to fine tune and extend temporally. I liked the metaphorical idea of these signals from an old phone in the ether and used the spacial qualities of the longer tones as a kind of set of layers for the pulses to glide in and out of much like the phone signal. It struck me that the physical properties of sound and the pulse could provide a musical structure."

Composition by Robert Dansby. 

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 29, 2022
Little machines
457
"My grandmother used to have an old sewing machine. The ones that were like this kind of wooden furniture. When I was a child I used to play with it without having any relevant knowledge. When my grandmother was working on that machine, the sound used to fill up the old house and was massive to my ears back then. It was so interesting the fact that when you listened to the machine from the room below, you could identify a continuous drone, besides the rhythmic mechanic sound. This is the feeling I wanted to recreate with the track I did.


"I used the original recording at the opening of the track, and then I continued using it through a modular synth, combining it with synthesizer sounds that resembled the drone I was listening to back then at my grandmother's house."

Composition by Savvas Metaxas. 

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 29, 2022
Telephone
636
"I distinctly remember using an old dial phone as a child. Its solid ergonomics. The grime that would stick in the recesses of the mouth piece. Unscrewing the mic and speaker caps. Learning how to call numbers without using the dial by tapping patterns on the switch hook. The cold draughty corridors and call boxes where I'd phone friends. Number number numbers. 

"The old clicking dial phones signalled numbers by rhythmically interrupting the line. For this piece I used the recording as the only source material. All sounds in my piece are directly derived from that recording using techniques inspired by the chopping way the dial works. Both the audio process and overall compositional structure using this abrupt interrupting technique at macro and micro scales. Without the use of equalisation or artificial reverb I wanted to see what senses of space lie within the raw sound and its particles. Are there still remnants of the heady conversations of youth and those draughty cold hallways?"

Composition by Alan M. Jackson. 

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 29, 2022
Coffee with Pablo
80
"When I listened to the sound  I remembered an encounter I had with the musician and great friend Pabs C. Ursusson who I had met at a music course near Leipzig. After the course I visited him at his flat which was above a bookbinders he made coffee in an old Moka Pot on a gas hob and we drank , laughed shared food and great tunes. 

"It was a remarkable encounter and magic in many ways. One of the tunes we played together was the traditional tune Djursdalenpolskan or the Melancholy Polska - here it is played on the cymbalom with the sound of coffee hissing gently in the background."

Composition by Quentin Budworth. 

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 29, 2022
Call me back
455
"My sound art piece "Call me Back" was built solely and exclusively from the provided sound (turning on an old nokia 5120 and dialing).

"This obsolete sound inspired me to build a journey back in time to a period in history where the coverage of mobile networks operators was still relatively weak. I've used a multi-track audio editor to transform/edit the original sound in a way that I could tell the story i've imagined.

"The story behind my composition is the story of two people that meet in the queue for the ticket office where they are going to buy bus tickets. These people start talking and, in a few moments, fall in love. They exchange cell phone numbers. They promise to call to talk and arrange a next meeting. However, the desire for a dialogue faces obstacles. Cell phone network coverage is poor. The conversation progresses at a slow pace through the exchange of audio messages that invariably end with "call me back"."

Composition by Luis Guita. 

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 29, 2022
Ice world death
37
"I took the original recording and time stretched it way out. Then I mapped those notes to MIDI. Using recently-recorded Arctic ice samples, I recreated this slower version. I liked the groove in the middle so much that I repeated it a few times. Everything the listener hears is an Arctic ice sound sample, albeit heavily manipulated. In this way, the ice is able to sing its death song. Meanwhile, the listener subconsciously thinks of their poor little Mario, clutching his little hat and singing his death song. Ice Death World lives in the space between the two."

Composition by Josh Evert. 

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 29, 2022
Super Mario death
5
Mario's death sound from Super Mario Bros on the NES.

Recording provided by The Sounds Resource.

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 29, 2022
Turning on an old Nokia 5120 and dialing
48
Turning on an old nokia 5120 and dialing.

This sound has disappeared because these telephones don't work anymore.

Recording provided by Ed Visoso.

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 29, 2022
Kitchen express pot
60
Here we can hear an express pot working in a kitchen. 
These express pots are disappearing because now there are others with a new technology named Instant Pot.

Recording provided by Ed Visoso.

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 29, 2022
Old dial telephone
75
Here we can hear an old dial telephone while calling and hanging up.
This sound is now obsolete because the technology of these telephones doesn't work nowadays.

Recording provided by Ed Visoso.

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 29, 2022
Old sewing machine
115
There is an old sewing machine being used for a Ms. in her house fixing some clothes.

This sewing machine is so old and it's difficult to see the now working nowadays.

Recording provided by Ed Visoso.

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 29, 2022
Melting glacier ice
288
I wanted to share a clip from a larger project in which I document the sound of melting glacier ice.

This section from the Fjortende Julibreen (14th of July) glacier on Svalbard was close enough to shore that I could wade out, climb up, and bury some contact mics in it.

Atmospheric sounds were also captured using a Zoom xy and shotgun mic (courtesy of Good Credit Productions).

According to Dr. Joanna Ewa Szafraniec, "Spitsbergen [Svalbard] glaciers are in rapid recession. This is observed in both land-based glaciers and those terminating at sea and is regarded as a manifestation of the Arctic amplification effect ..."

The ice crackling as it disappears reminds me that even if I were able to return to such a foreign place, it would be immensely changed. The actions of my everyday self will have contributed to that change.

Recording provided by Josh Evert.

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 29, 2022
Mobile phone interference
9
Mobile phone interference sound that occurs with old mobile phone models. New models don't have this kind of interference.

Recording provided by Danilo Crnogorac.

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 29, 2022
Game over - Street Fighter 2
4
The game over sound from Street Fighter 2 on the SNES.

Recording provided by The Sounds Resource.

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 29, 2022
The grinder's whistle - tulmur soundset
996
"We were drawn to the sound of the Grinder’s Whistle – it was subtle with a distant, organic quality. It came through like it could have been a bird call. This stood out when compared to the other obsolete sounds which were primarily machines and gadgets. 

"This was the sound of a person continuing an age-old trade in their local community. Because of that, we wanted to accompany this call with a work that was equally warm and flowed as if it was also wandering the local street. We used analogue beats and effects-drenched guitar, accompanying a field recording of birds close to home. 

"We played ‘in-the-moment’ with open windows to invite a capture of immediate surrounding life. The Grinder’s Whistle appears in entirety twice in the piece – at other times there are glimpses layered throughout. We encourage intimate listening through headphones…"

Composition by Sherman and Field. 

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds

IMAGE: nborges from Portugal, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
Aug 29, 2022
A link to my past
110
"A lot of my work focuses on recontextualising sound, image and memory, and the materials I use (other than samples) often tend to be toys, learner keyboards, tiny joke drumkits, etc., so this particular recording seemed a good fit to me.

"I have a personal relationship with the recording in that I played A Link To The Past on Game Boy during a few long car journeys when I was fairly young, perhaps 5. I recall being scared by it at points - the dungeons and the bosses were impossibly difficult for me and my infant reflexes - and I have some recollection of the prayer sound from the recording.

"So I wanted to take this sound that I associate with being slightly unnerved, and way out of my depth, and attempt to recontextualise it into something joyful by splicing in this very sugary, major-key track.

"I started by cutting the sample up, and reconstituting it into two layered, phased pulses that evolve gradually. I then overlaid a track I'd made using samples from unused recordings of my own work, as well as some vocals through a small megaphone toy."

Composition by Shit Creek. 

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds

IMAGE: Dave or Atox, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
Aug 29, 2022
Pacman - memory erased
187
"The idea of obsolete sounds made me think about how these sounds would exist without a perfectly preserved digital recording – only as memories. With this as inspiration, I tried to think of an audio treatment that could represent the way our memories distort and fade as time passes.

"As we tend to reinforce and preserve memories by repetition, I decided my set up would begin with a “dub style” delay with a midi controllable, valve amplified stereo delay unit . This meant that the unit would generate a single repeat of the sound played in, which would then be fed back into its input. Between output and input I added a bitcrusher automated so that each run through the feedback loop would be resampled at progressively lower sample rate, whilst also automating the delay via MIDI so that the repeats became slower and slower. My concept was that these modifications would represent the distortions that gradually become introduced to our memories over time. 

"What you hear in the piece is a single play through of the Pacman theme - all the following sounds are the feedback loop described above fading and shifting until something almost entirely unrecognisable appears. There is a moment I love shortly before the conclusion where an unexpected melodic flourish appears seemingly from the ether, suggesting to me a new musical idea springing from the fading memory of the old one."

Composition by Simon Duck. 

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 29, 2022
T-drone
400
"The original recording resonates heat and has dryer sound present throughout. Background noise of machines and workers voices add depth and diversity. I imagined the process and machine based journey the tea went on inside the drying machine ( a tea ritual based on preparation inside a tea ritual?). 

"I chopped the track into sections colour coding voice, drone and ambient sounds. I then re positioned them in a DAW and using basic mallets and synths layered and re positioned the audio whilst playing live against it. Finally a structure presented itself and a basic melody / refrain. T- Drone was complete."

Composition by Andy Billington. 

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 29, 2022
Hemlock harp
249
"The eerie sounds of the Eastern Hemlocks in the old growth forest provided the setting for things that went bump in the night. A frog calls to its mate, the door squeaks open, and the strings of the lap harp emerge into the forest."

Composition by Stuart Wilding. 

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds

IMAGE: Fritzflohrreynolds, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
Aug 29, 2022
Music Machine 44.3
488
"This piece uses a variation of some code that I wrote previously for processing audio files. For this version the computer takes several small clips of audio from the original. These clips last for 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21 or 34 seconds. The piece lasts for 8 minutes and I wanted a process to run throughout. During the first minute the clips are sparse and quiet and will only be selected from the 1 second clips. As the piece progresses, the clips get longer, louder and closer together until by the end there are multiple, overlapping clips."

Composition by Simon Belshaw. 

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 29, 2022
Carousel
247
"I was very fortunate to be selected to reimagine the sound of a Carousel slide projector, a device which once engaged the public beyond a flash of technology. “It goes backwards, forwards. It takes us to a place where we ache to go again… It lets us travel the way a child travels.” - Don Draper

"This travel is what I wished to capture in my work. To provide a space where attention might flit between a myriad of thoughts, memories, and emotions while exploring nostalgia and imagined worlds.

"I am a Sound Designer specialized in video game audio and I absolutely love developing and diving into vibrant soundscapes. My goal is for each active slide to present, for a fleeting moment, a lush, engaging, and distinct sonic environment. Additional details about the 27 slides in this composition can be found on my audio blog, AudioGungFu: https://ambientartstyles.com/obsolete-sounds-carousel/

"All Music and Foley recordings (via H4N Pro) in this work are original productions, with the exception of 6 audio samples - most notably: the Carousel audio sample; President John F. Kennedy speaking at Rice University on Sept. 12, 1962; Franklin D. Roosevelt’s June 5, 1944 Fireside Chat; and rocket thrust from an STS-131 engine."

Composition by Ambien Artstyles (John Stolzle). 

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 29, 2022
Long-living
398
"I mainly chose the walkman recording because it reminded me of the times when I was collecting tons of cassette tapes for my Walkman, and they always felt so sturdy and indestructible - compared to the mediums like cd, or mini disc. Which could already get a scratch and break from falling down once, so straightforward handling with Walkman's and tapes. 

"The word simple inspired me to use just one instrument for this piece. The Arturia Microfreak provided all sounds. Its design with the prints somehow reminded me of my old Walkman, which was full of stickers. I mainly used the field recording of the Walkman to provide nostalgia and the tape feels to the sound, which is always subtly audible from looped pieces in the background. Using the start and stop sounds provided an excellent start and exit of the track and set the mood of a long obsolete device."

Composition by Faru. 

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 29, 2022
Link's prayer
6
Prayer sound from The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past on the SNES.

Recording provided by The Sounds Resource.

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds

IMAGE: Dave or Atox, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
Aug 29, 2022
Pac Man game start
4
Game start sound from Pac Man.

Recording provided by The Sounds Resource.

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 29, 2022
Tea making, the traditional way
325
Recording from the Cha Gorreana tea factory in the Azores, the largest tea plantation in Europe - we hear freshly-picked tea leaves from the plantation being poured into a rotating drum, a mixing machine that prepares the leaves for the next stage in a process conducted entirely by hand.

Recording provided by Cities and Memory.

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 29, 2022
Loss of the eastern hemlock from hemlock woolly adelgid infestation
616
As of 2015, 90% of the geographic range of eastern hemlock in North America has been affected by Hemlock woolly adelgid. According to Science Daily, the pest could kill most of the eastern region's hemlock trees within the next decade.

Inside a mature growth eastern hemlock grove, this soundscape recording captures the sound of the delicate, flat sprays of one of our most beautiful eastern native trees - before it is gone forever. The ambient, if not ghostly sonorities of the hemlocks are intermittently punctuated by the groanings of one dead trunk leaning against another hemlock trunk still alive. I captured this recording on a cold winter day inside an hemlock old growth forest at Whites Nature Preserve in Litchfield, CT.

Recording provided by Michael Gatonska.

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds



IMAGE: Fritzflohrreynolds, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
Aug 29, 2022
Aviary in an English pub garden
233
One hundred or more small birds in a pub garden aviary, which is, mercifully, rarely something found in such places anymore.

Recording provided by PM Browne.

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 29, 2022
Slide projector
96
An old carousel slide projector containing 13 slides, taken out from the dark cupboard containing other such obsolete technology, and recorded for posterity. 

Recording provided by PM Browne.

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 29, 2022
Sony Walkman
166
The sound of a Walkman recorded with zoom h5 and a contact microphone.
A Walkman I received as a gift from my cousins from Australia in the mid-1980s.
Still working.

Recording provided by Roberto Vodanović Čopor.

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 29, 2022
The grinder's whistle
121
"This is the sound of the knife grinder, who walks along with his bike, offering his services. In Portugal they are called "o amola-tesouras" which translates as the scissors' sharpener. In a fast consumption era, this is the sound of a disappearing profession - the man who sharpens knifes, scissors, fixes umbrellas, making himself heard by potential customers through the unique yet (almost universally?) recognizable call of his whistle, echoing through the streets. This sound was recorded from my window, back in 2014, when I was living in Rua Miguel Torga, in Costa de Caparica, writing my PhD thesis at the time."

Recording provided by Alexandra Baixinho.

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds

IMAGE: nborges from Portugal, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
Aug 29, 2022
Ever onward, ever alone, 1969
280
"Our young narrator crisscrosses the US in his car, listening nonstop to the radio, which is his only companion. I too was a young man in 1969, though my experiences were not at all the same. I did listen to the radio a lot, and my first wife was a great fan of Herb Jepko, whose all-night show Nitecaps could be heard coast to coast in the early 1970s, and is heard briefly here. Talk radio, in the days before it was debased by the likes of Howard Stern etc. etc., was a real force, a social outlet to be reckoned with."

Composition by John Tenney. 

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 27, 2022
Reverie
234
"The sound of the film projector instantly invokes a feeling of nostalgia for me. I felt that I had to use the original recording of the projector clean without any manipulation and integrate it into a story of some sort. The story evolved more into a reverie of an imaginary character, studying and remembering her past."

Composition by Eulipion Corps. 

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 27, 2022
Cletrac Crawler
304
"Degradation deconstruct a 12 second sample of a Cletrac Crawler Tractor and reassemble the results to create an episodic imagining of the guttural churn of a tractor’s working life. Composed entirely from loops and samples extracted from the original field recording — courtesy of the Whiteman Collection, Revolution Transport Museum — ‘Cletrac Crawler 144’ is a work of fragmented assembly and materialist noise, formed through heavy processing and sonic patchwork. The Cletrac’s natural tones are cleaved from the meadow; saturated, time-stretched and reversed, they are harvested and sowed back into the furrowed grounding of multiple droning effect chains. Emerging from the mulch of the enclosed field, the obsolete machine finds a phantasmatic afterlife as a revenant which returns, chugging through the deep time of a sonic afterlife. An echo of stuttering rhythms and ghostly voices celebrate the machine’s name day in an ode to this forgotten technology of the recent past.

Degradation is D O’Donoghue (who records under the moniker Vinegar Tom) and George Rayner-Law (who records under his own name, and formerly as Schwerpunkt). Their debut LP ‘Leadlined’ was released on Brachliegen Tapes in 2022."

Composition by Degradation. 

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 27, 2022
Holding pattern (intro)
76
"I love the high frequency content in the recording! I wrote this demo intro for a project I am working on with it. The idea was to really go for high frequency content to drive the short but sparkly sounds. All of the percussion and FX were made using the Tascam sample and/or resampling techniques. The track is unfinished, so mind your volume when listening to be safe!"

Composition by New Mind. 

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 27, 2022
Demagnetized
254
"The original recording of the tape machine operations was cut into pieces. The recording was also used as an input for a granular sampler whose output was heavily modified by an effect chain mostly with delay based effects. The tape machine noises give some structure with start/stop of tracks. However in the end it gets more loose and for the finish some overlapping tape machine noises even give a kind of rhythm before the abrupt stop."

Composition by Stefan Strasser. 

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 27, 2022
Systo ferrymoon (141PA)
179
"I used runway 141PA. I liked its enigmatic, quirky character... the voice, the breath effect... the drone that appears almost at the end... From there, I imagined myself in a basement, maybe - to be a hallway, moist, foggy, humid, dense with a pale light walking in search of the exit or a living soul... this automatic voice endlessly repeating something incongruous, incoherent with intelligence inaccessible now... I let the process do... the sounds went wrong, the mind wandered in the strata... so it's done!"

Composition by Philippe Neau. 

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 27, 2022
"The Paul Winter Show" Final Broadcast, 19-1970
1201
This is a recording of my great-uncle Saul Wineman who was a radio and television broadcaster under the name Paul Winter. He broadcasted his talk radio show “The Paul Winter Show” from 1965 until late 1969 or early 1970 on WTAK in Detroit, during which time he covered the race riots among other subjects, and this was his final farewell program before he moved to a different radio station in Minneapolis. You will hear him talk and banter with familiar callers who read him poems and say goodbye, and he sings two songs that are very personal to him.

From a retrospective booklet by the Detroit radio station WJR:
“[The Paul Winter Show] is a collage of Broadway and film music, reviews of plays, books, historical events, fashion, fancy, human foibles and almost anything else that come into a brilliant, concerned and creative mind. One day, he may launch a metaphorical balloon to honor the ‘Mad Montogofier Brothers,’ or he may build an entire show around the far from dignified Elizabethan theatre, or comedy features drawn from his inventive and bizarre sense of humor.”

I do not think this recording is available anywhere else, and is a record of an era of talk radio that has evolved beyond recognition. 

I found this among his collection of 1/4” tape reels which my great-aunt Marilyn kept after he died, along with his old Sony-o-Matic tape machine which I used to play the tape and record it digitally. His voice emerging from his own tape machine is a brief and stirring resurrection.

My original recording was 26 minutes long. I have edited it down to 20 minutes to fit the submission requirements, cutting an excerpt from a Nichols and May album, part of “Manjā De Carnaval”, and commercials, which can all be found elsewhere.

Recording provided by Eric Sluyter.

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 27, 2022
Island in time
69
Becoming scarce, the Eumig Super 8 Cine Film Projector is a trusted friend I can’t do without. The sound of its whirling and whining in the dark makes my heart sing. You can hear me turning the light out, switching the projector on and watching the magic appear.

Recording provided by Steph Shipley.

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 27, 2022
The Cletrac 'Model F' Crawler Tractor starting up at 100 years old
11
Cletrac 'Model F' Crawler Tractor. 1921. Iron.
2000.75 in the Whiteman Collection, Revolutions Transport Museum. 

This Cletrac 'Model F' Crawler Tractor is part of the original bequest from Manton Lewis 'Lew' Cyril Whiteman to the people of Western Australia held at the Museum. It has been restored to working order and it is believed that Lew Whiteman bought this tractor from the Narrogin area, in the Wheatbelt of the state. Who from? Where from? When? We are on the hunt to find out more.

The Model F was revolutionary and could pull up to 90% of its body weight which is equivalent to the pulling power of 6-8 horses! The centenarian tractor was built by the Cleveland Tractor Company in Ohio, USA, 1921. It was introduced to the market in 1920 by and was only manufactured up until 1922. The tracks of the Cletrac are very unique in that they employed a floating roller chain inside each track, which eliminated the need for lubrication. It is believed to be rare within Western Australia but more broadly, with National rarity, particularly in good working order. 

This short recording was extracted from a video taken on Thursday 7th October 2021 for the tractor's 100th birthday celebration. This consisted of a public demonstration from 10-12noon, with the little Cletrac starting up each time visitors disembarked the train at the Bennett Brook station and wandered across to the museum. The demo ignited the senses and as such, brought to life elements of it's intangible cultural heritage values. There were short talks on its history compiled during a recent significance assessment, as well as a drop-in drawing session, where children could write down what the Cletrac sounded like, smelt like, looked like - as well as drawing it while on the move!

Recording provided by Carly Lynch.

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 27, 2022
Tascam 32 Transport Mechanism Tape Machine
55
1980s Tascam 32 Tape machine transport mechanism. Play, stop fast forward and rewind including tape flapping where the machine carried on rewinding!

Recording provided by Simon Woods.

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 27, 2022
Sony TC377 Transport Mechanism Tape Machine
49
1970s Sony TC377 Tape Recorder transport mechanism. Play, stop, fast forward etc.

Recording provided by Simon Woods.

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 27, 2022
Retired ferry PA sounds
57
"A retired ferry in the WSF system - our favourite old boat!"

Recording provided by Robert Dansby.

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 27, 2022
Homescape
184
"I am passionate about capturing and working with sounds from past times and those that formally could be considered audio "errors" or damaged recordings, to create new sonic and musical works, giving life to new sensory experiences. The main attribute that captivated me about the sound #134 was its texture. It was not only the sensation and its sonic beauty. It also triggered memories of my childhood, a time when I was surrounded by instruments and recording equipment in my parents' home studio and when I used my father's collection of blank cassette tapes to record tunes from the radio at night.

"My intention in this creation was to subtly process and keep that texture present during 3 minutes and write the music over it, while listening to it. The result is a soundscape that explores the dialogue between past and present and reflects the main emotions linked to childhood and the beginning of the relationship with the world of analog recordings. I focused on building an immersive, timeless, dreamy and welcoming soundscape. A homescape that would take you to a safe and warm place where you can close your eyes, pay attention and listen.

"I believe that sounds will not get lost or disappear, as long as we appreciate them, think about them as substantial inputs with unlimited possibilities and invite them to our creative processes in order to give life to new sound/musical works, which could also be interconnected with other disciplines, achieving unique and memorable experiences."

Composition by Maribel Tafur. 

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 27, 2022
Obsolete – Zenit E
197
"The sound of the camera shutter and winding mechanism are used as snare and guiro in this piece of music. Later, they are joined by more modern camera sounds which have replaced the obsolete Zenit E."

Composition by Simon Woods. 

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 27, 2022
Microwave redux
169
"I imagined all of the broken microwaves of the world discarded into a giant pile. Some were totally defunct, but others just had a smashed door and the electronics are working just fine. These ones start a massive hive brain and get the  whole frustrated pile jamming... until all of the rage at being abandoned by feckless humans is abated and there is a tiny sigh of relief."

Composition by The Doll. 

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 27, 2022
Timed delay
129
"Using sounds entirely from Colin Hunter's wonderfully evocative recording I tried to achieve a sense of overwhelming disconnected cacophony contrasted with a gentle, almost soporific and intimate atmosphere. I experience some kind of timelessness and altered state when on trains especially underground trains perhaps due to sensory overload or deprivation. From time to time I experience temporary deafness in one ear if air pressure is very changeable and I wanted to use this experience to add to the dislocation sometimes experienced and the sense that sound is unpredictable."

Composition by Peter Annear. 

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 27, 2022
Departure
376
"I am an animation filmmaker. I have been creating time-lapse images during the pandemic, images about time, memory, travel, change. The sounds from the train station seemed to be a significant complement to my time lapse of poppies and staged still lives. There is that hint, the memory of a person, someone who was here before."

Composition by Deanna Morse. 

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 27, 2022
Mondrian in seas
456
"It’s strange how memories and images come to mind when you listen to a supposedly unconnected field recording.

"How did the recording of an old flush toilet in the Riviera Open Air cinema in Athens 37.985572,23.7335763 make me connect Mondrian, tempestuous seas, Terry Riley and the small red wooden boat that has sat on my mantelpiece for many years? 

"Much of my audio work has stories attached and I often think in very visual terms when working with sound. After some very basic experimentation, the flush morphed into what seemed like a raging wind and sea. I am also a visual artist and often when I look at the sea huge blocks of colour clash against each other, as if in an abstract painting. Many of these scenes I have painted in acrylics and a set called Mondrian in Seas are my present project.

"I just imagined my little red hulled boat making its way on the Mondrian Sea. Suddenly, it’s caught in a race against time to get to safe harbour with an increasingly raging storm behind it. The little boat is tossed around in a maelstrom of colour. The chase is on, as if in a race, and towards the beam of the lighthouse beckoning the little boat to safety. 

"Since my sound and artwork are so closely connected, the piece tries to convey this little tale with minimalist repetition, improvisation and all in the key of C, which is my nod to Terry Riley.

"Best listened through headphones and beware, the clash of colours is loud."

Composition by Odette Johnson (Museleon). 

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 27, 2022
Mi Fu Bu Hi Mu
420
Japanese prefixes for words of negation, removal, absence and obsolescence. English equivalent prefixes include Ob De Ab Im Dis.
Vocalisations for Japanese sounds of negation are drawn from the source sample and used in the work.
------------------
This piece is a lament for the Ainu, indigenous people of the islands surrounding the Sea of Okhotsk, now identified as part of the northern Japanese archipelago. The Ainu people settled these islands several thousand years before the arrival of the Yamato Japanese.
For centuries, seudo-scientific racial ideologies, which included the false belief of the superiority of the Yamato character, marked the indigenous Ainu as “sub-human primitives”, making illegal their language, culture, right to gather and hunt. Eugenicist theories justified “racial improvements” to the indigenous population, with forced sterilisation and rape of Ainu women by “pureblood” minzoku. Male and female Ainu populations were separated, with males exiled to southern Japan to work as debentured slaves.
As recently as 2020 the Japanese prime minister celebrated Japan as the world’s oldest monoculture, negating further what limited visibility and rights the Ainu people may have in law.*
As a consequence of systematic erasure by the Japanese, the Ainu language is one of the most critically endangered. There are only two fluent speakers left on earth.
endangeredlanguages.com/lang/1212
------------------
Technical notes
The piece was recorded in a single take as a live improvisation using only the source sample. Vocalisations for the Japanese sounds of negation are drawn from the source sample and used in the performance. 
The work was made using Leafcutter John’s Forester-2022.

leafcutterjohn.com/forester-2022/
------------------
*It is worth noting that until 1981 indigenous Australians were required to identify themselves on the national census as “Flora and Fauna” with no reference to their being human.

Composition by Simon Kennedy. 

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 27, 2022
Ghost of the machine
260
"There were so many intricate, interesting components within the sound of the Vectrex machine. The electronics warming up; the mechanical clicks of the switches; the low bitrate sound chip producing the haunting, aged melodies.

"The thing that struck me - as with a lot of my sound exploration - is that there are sounds within the sounds; little clicks, pops, creaks, and drones that have a life all of their own. You don't really hear them, more feel them. They're there and then they're gone. These are the ghosts of the machine.

"I broke the original field recording down into a number of individual parts and processed them using granular apps on the iPad and my eurorack modular rig. My go-to instrument is the Make Noise Morphagene; the tactility of using this felt entirely appropriate for exploring and manipulating a sound created by something which was itself very hands-on. The granular processing (especially the Boarderlands app) allowed me to explore the tiny aspects of the sound that might otherwise be missed when you're listening at 'full fidelity'."

Composition by Tom Jepson. 

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 27, 2022
Broken microwave
23
The last days of a badly designed microwave oven.

Recording provided by Robert Dansby.

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 27, 2022
London Underground C stock
114
A binaural recording made at Westbourne Park tube station in London in 2012. The recording features distant police and ambulance sirens as they drove past on the nearby flyover, followed by two C Stock tube trains approaching the station from different directions, then leaving.

Recording provided by Colin Hunter.

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 27, 2022
The lost sound of the split flap departure board
376
Today most of the large train stations in France have LED departure boards that update silently. But when I first arrived in Paris ten years ago all of the main terminals had the old "Split-Flap" style boards. Each time the board would update, a wonderful flipping noise would be heard. This recording captures exactly that sound, recorded at Gare du Nord in 2012. 

Sony PCM D50 + Soundman OKM II binaural mics + A3 adapter
Recorded 06.10.12

Recording provided by Colin Hunter.

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 27, 2022
Zenit-E film wind and shutter click
11
The camera was my father-in-law's ,which he used to take pictures in the 60s, 70s and 80s.

Recording provided by Simon Woods.

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 27, 2022
Philips N2214 automatic cassette recorder
49
This is a cassette player that I've had since the 1970s. It has worked all these years until just recently, when it stopped playing the old cassettes I recorded on it. Occasionally, when you press play something will come through but it's mostly hiss and static.

Recording provided by David Hiley.

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 27, 2022
Toilet flush
62
The sound of an old toilet flush system that is getting more and more rare to find. 

Recording provided by Ilias Kalisperakis.

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 27, 2022
Kouta Lesson, three repetitions of Harusame
873
This recording compiles excerpts from one of my final lessons with my Kasuga-ryu kouta teacher before the pandemic struck in 2020. None of the elements of this recording has by any means disappeared. My teacher is still alive, although I have not been able to meet her again due to lock downs and ongoing travel restrictions. The instrument, a hosozao (thin-necked) shamisen, is an expensive niche item that few play but everyone knows as a symbol of "traditional Japan". The kouta "short song" shamisen genre exemplified here has fallen far from the spotlight since its final popularity boom in mid-20th century Japan. Yet it is still possible to search out people performing, studying and recording the repertoire. 

However, in a broader sense, this sound feels to me infused with a sense of vulnerability to time. Despite kouta as a genre stubbornly clinging to life, few people have any sense of how to listen as connoisseurs -- how to make aesthetic or emotional sense of the music, the lyrics, the subtleties of singing style and technique. Furthermore, taken as a whole, this recording documents an increasingly rare and precious occasion -- a master passing on an unnotated musical lineage, face-to-face, through patient repetition. The fact that the song, "Harusame" (Spring Rain), refers to seasonal motifs that are quietly vanishing due to global climate change underlines the poignancy of this recording. Yet in a hopeful irony, these layered disappearances perfectly embody the classic Japanese aesthetic of mono no aware, the impermanence of things.

Recording provided by Gretchen Jude.

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 27, 2022
Vectrex startup and buzz
18
A GCE Vectrex console is turned on, and emits its characteristic buzzing noise as it plays the standard startup tune, followed by the theme for Sean Kelly's Vectrex Multi-cart 3.0.  The buzzing changes frequency and tonality as the CRT displays different content, prior to being turned off.

The Vectrex itself is a relatively rare and expensive American "home arcade" console with a vector display (like Asteroids).  It is estimated that fewer than a million of these consoles were made between 1982 and 1984, perhaps only several hundred thousand.  Due to the decision to place the amplifier for the built-in speaker on the power board, early models of the Vectrex made a distinctive buzzing noise due to electrical interference.  Given their age (and the relative fragility of the built-in CRT display), as well as the relative popularity of "no-buzz" modifications to remove the buzzing sound among Vectrex enthusiasts, the Vectrex buzz, rare to begin with, is only getting more rare with each passing year.

Recording provided by Julia Jacobi.

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 27, 2022
Amphibian arps
197
Frog chorus reimagined by Cities and Memory. 

The rhythmic interweaving of the frogs' midnight calls is the basis for this composition, built entirely using Blankfor.ms by Spitfire Audio. Arpeggiated synths represent the different groupings of frogs calls, with the frog call interspersed on every sixth arp repetition. Periodically, the regularity of both music and frog calls breaks down, representing those moments when the frogs, distracted perhaps by a potential threat, break sequence and the calls become irregular before forming a sequence anew. 
 
Aug 26, 2022
The imaginary lighthouse
321
Waves at Mosteiros reimagined by Cities and Memory.

For this composition we've imagined that there is a lighthouse at Mosteiros in the Azores - there is, in reality, no such thing. In our imagined soundscape, the lighthouse keeper walks up to the door of the lighthouse on a foggy morning, waves crashing either side of him. The huge door opens and closes behind him, and he turns on a buzzing electric light. 

Ascending the stairs of the lighthouse, he comes to the engine room, containing the mechanism for turning the huge lamp, as well as the controls for the foghorn. He pulls the foghorn lever twice, with the horn erupting inside the lighthouse. Descending the stairs, he steps outside to make sure that his warning to the approaching ship has been heeded.

As well as the waves recording, the following samples were used:


Aug 26, 2022
Crashing waves at Mosteiros
288
The Atlantic Ocean crashes onto rocks on the western coast of Sao Miguel in the Azores. There is unbroken ocean to the west for thousands of miles, and the waves crash with great power and drama onto the rocks, as captured in this recording.

Recorded by Cities and Memory.
Aug 26, 2022
The midnight frog chorus
810
At midnight by a rural pond on Sao Miguel in the Azores, dozens of frogs croak their nightly chorus uninterrupted, as a recording device is placed among them and left. All around the pond, voice rise rhythmically and in unison, creating a midnight chorus of frog calls. 

Recorded by Cities and Memory. 
Aug 26, 2022
Final cut
91
Composition by Steph Shipley. 

"The short soundscape Final Cut is inspired by research into films shot with Bolex film cameras.  Re-imagined themes of mortality, urban extinction and desert heat are filtered through sounds I composed on my digital piano and the obsolete Bolex recording."

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 26, 2022
Hard drive sniffing
1200
Composition by MIZI. 

"The original recording of an early 80's ST-251 Seagate hard disk initiates the powering up process of 6 different hard drives and the subsequent probing and exploration of their inner mechanisms and sounds. The original powering up sequence can be heard slightly manipulated at the very beginning of the piece,  it is the cue for a stretched canon of hard drives spinning up to 7200 RPMs. The original recording functions as an extra disk, a phantom object treated in the digital domain, that becomes part of the hard drive instrumentarium.

"Through a slow and methodical use of electromagnetic coils each hard drive is meticulously scanned, and all the different sonic elements of the object are isolated: The tones and harmonics produced by the high rotational speed, the electromagnetic micro-noises of the mechanical head, the sonic artefacts of the hard disk controller and the USB data line.  The minuscule phase differences of each disk’s rotation, provide a constant droning beating, that is prominent for most of the duration of the piece, until it is finally ousted by the noisier mechanisms and sounds of the drives."

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 26, 2022
The ghosts of ephemeral communications
213
Composition by Neil Spencer Bruce. 

"This piece is mixed binaurally and ideally should be listened to on headphones.

"Instantly the sound of the Teletype took me back to my childhood and a visit to an office with a teleprinter. There was something amazing, yet mysterious about the machine, the sound of it, the movement of the print head, never seeming to end, busy conducting its role of delivering and printing messages. In my young mind I had no idea where these messages came from or where they were going, they seems to arrive and be sent from the ether.

"I wanted to create a piece which featured a sample of the rhythmic pulse of the machine, endlessly responding to messages being sent or delivered. The messages had an ephemeral quality to them, existing only in their time, before a new message was delivered. The old messages passing on instructions which then created new messages of their own. There is something also industrial about the beat of the machine, which I wanted to exploit and explore. 

"I only used the original recording in the piece, creating textured layers of rhythms in a tape loop style similar to Steve Reich. Other layers were pitch shifted up and down to create other teleprinter voices in this imaginary message factory. I used binaural mixing to give a sense of immersion in a world of ephemeral messages, communications which came and went, disappearing forever into the vast machine of progress."

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 26, 2022
Can you make hay?
227
Composition by Jon Ogara. 

"The teletype as a form of audio transmission of a message inspired me to think about hidden messages and data corruption. Using audio heterodyning, I recoded a message and modulated this about 18KHz. This is throughout the piece, but you cannot hear it. Using a de-modulator I can bring this down to the audible range, this can be heard in the piece. The slow pulses are the messages transferred by the teletype the indented message, finally corrupted in the end."

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 26, 2022
Landscapes beyond magnetism
145
Composition by kawol samarqandi. 

"I have been involved in numerous recordings as a studio musician and composer/arranger for many years. I still record my own work on a daily basis. The hum, noise, and recorded sound fragments of Studer-like equipment are like lullabies to me. I composed this piece while listening carefully to and imagining the landscape that exists within and beyond the sounds that are at the base of the music-making process."

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 26, 2022
A minimal reflection on the Panasonic SV-3700 DAT Deck 1994
181
Composition by Euan Maco McAleece. 

"I used to use this very piece of equipment and I remember with fond memory sampling the DAT and other bit of studio equipment and making tape loops of these sounds. I found the machine rhythms enticing and just cut some small loops and played with repetitions and echo."

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 26, 2022
Porta Pak 2
452
Composition by Claire Pearson. 

"Porta Pak 2 is a dreamy mixture of soundscapes with skewed electronic drones and chilled beats.  It features the mesmerizing sounds of the Sony Porta Pak camera fan.  I was fascinated by the layered tones the fan made as it changed speed.  The original recording plays throughout the track, but I overlaid digitally manipulated sections of the source sound to create sonic crosscurrents and add extra colour to the piece."

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 26, 2022
The factory
231
Composition by Emmy Tither. 

"This original recording was quite... overwhelming to me, which is why I chose it. I leaned into that feeling of acoustic overwhelm for my composition, as well as the feeling of relief one feels once those sounds have quieted down."

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 26, 2022
Time's up!
105
Composition by Michelle Breslin Lostworldsounds. 

"I was intrigued by the rhythm which also became a drone to me, and wove a variety of parts around it, weaving in and out.  I like the industrial aspect which inspired my guitars."

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 26, 2022
Bolex film camera
16
Recording provided by Matthew Martori.

The cranking and recording sound of a Bolex film camera. It is quite cumbersome to use compared to modern digital video cameras, but its images have an undeniable charm to them. 

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 26, 2022
Seagate hard disk boot-up
33
Recording provided by Christian Zietz.

The ST-251 was a 42 MB hard disk drive, made by Seagate in the early 1980s. The recording has the drive spinning up and self-testing (as it would do when turned on) and then spinning down (being turned off).

Nowadays, most computers use (silent) SSDs and even modern hard disks don't make these sounds.

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 26, 2022
Teletype ASR-33
45
Recording provided by Hugh Pyle.

Teletype model ASR-33 teleprinter, a mechanical terminal (printer and keyboard) widely used as the way for users to interact with minicomputers in the 1970s.  The recording includes a person briefly typing an instruction to the computer, and the results being printed on the terminal.

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 26, 2022
Model 20 Teletype Machine
56
Recording provided by William B. Buzbee.

This is an old electro-mechanical Teletype machine (Model 20) printing out a news feed.  These machines were used by newspapers and radio stations to receive news stories from organisations like the Associated Press and United Press International (UPI).  They were made obsolete by computerized news delivery and were largely gone by the late 70s. 

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 26, 2022
Studer A810 Tape Recorder 1982 EM Recording
145
Recording provided by Stacey Copeland.

This is a recording using my DIY electromagnetic microphone while running a Studer A810 Tape Recorder build in 1982. I recorded this during a part-time job at Number 9 Studio in Toronto back in 2016. I got to know this reel to reel machine well while using it to digitize recordings for clients. Another beautiful machine running itself into obsolescence. There's a great overview of this tech here: https://www.capstan.at/Reel2006/Essay%2009.html

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 26, 2022
Panasonic SV-3700 DAT Deck 1994
101
Recording provided by Stacey Copeland.

This is a recording of the Panasonic SV-3700 (DAT) Digital Audio Tape Deck build in 1994. The recording was taken while digitizing a collection of DATs during my part-time production job at Number 9 Studio in Toronto, Canada in 2016. You can hear me press buttons and fastforwarding a DAT. Recorded using a Schoeps Mk4 collette.

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 26, 2022
Sony AV3400 Porta Pak 1969
140
Recording provided by Stacey Copeland.

This is a close mic recording of the fan/motor on the Sony AV3400 Porta Pak circa 1969. Recorded using Schoeps A once state of the art portable record/playback Videocorder designed to operate with the SONY AVC-3400 Video Camera. Digital recording has made such devices obsolete. It was once used by the University Nursing School but now lives in the archive.

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 26, 2022
Singer Sewing Machine No 66 : serial number F5802266
35
Recording provided by Jon Ogara.

From the attic of a friend's lost parents, obsolete as it is a hand cranked sewing machine and the memories as a child as I tried to fix various bits of clothing and how the thread was fed. 

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 26, 2022
Vintage ice cream maker
90
Recording provided by David Williams.

One stroke engine ice cream maker at a small town fair in Vermont, 2014. 

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 26, 2022
One single sheep bell
399
Composition by Gretchen Jude. 

"“One Single Sheep Bell” pairs the original recording with excerpts of an audio interview with my dear friend who was born in Slovakia in 1968. When she was very young, her family had dramatically escaped from the now-defunct nation of Czechoslovakia to the USA. Knowing this, I told her a little about the current project, hoping to hear a bit more of her story. It turned out to be a fortuitous pairing! The eponymous sheep bell comes from her interview, providing formal structure for the composition. 

"The full recording of the shepherd in Dedinky is played through once, EQ’d to sound thin and distant. Played a second time less attenuated, the original recording sounds fuller but is shortened by several cuts. My approach to the placement of the interview vocals differs in the first and second sections as well. To begin with, the voice is interspersed more solemnly with the shepherd’s song. But as the story becomes lighter and more playful, my friend’s voice overlaps more loosely with the shepherd’s. 

"In these ways, I aimed to reflect my friend’s changing relationship with Slovakia, which she reflects upon so eloquently in her story-telling. I am grateful that the process of working with this recording could explore such personal depths – in terms of both my friendship with the speaker and my understanding of what it means for something to become obsolete. How both objects and sounds can become steeped with memories that shift subtly with our changing perspectives through time. "

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 26, 2022
1981 (Astro Wars!)
93
Composition by Nick Worrall. 

"I started with the fact that there was 'intro', a 'main theme', and 'game over' music within the sample provided and decided to build something around that. I did some research into the game and it came out in 1981 so I used some key events/characters for that year and used the device of someone playing the game whilst discussing events of the day with an unknown companion (the listener) to work on. The game had 4 levels so the structure was built around that. I used the melody and approximate bpm of the 'main theme' as the musical guide for the riffs/chords etc, then just fleshed it out with harmonies, guitars, bass and drums."

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 26, 2022
Endangered sounds
215
Composition by Synthotherapy. 

"The original recording of the working camera evoked the feeling of nostalgia which I've tried to capture with my music. The piece closes with the sound of the camera intertwined with the musical fabric."

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 26, 2022
Nothing to worry about, only a test
246
Composition by de Velden. 

"I grew up with an air raid siren tested regularly on the first Monday of the month, and remember harmonising with them. I created a layered loop from the original field recording, off-setting the pitch until I was happy with the core sound and then created parts that did the same as I used to; singing along but with instruments. 

"Although sirens were intended to raise the alarm there was something re-assuring about my childhood monthly fixture and I wanted to echo some of that in the music, too. Finally, I layered the ambient sounds to articulate the 'business as usual' feel of the recording."

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 26, 2022
Parts mingling
205
Composition by Rati Baramadze. 

"While listening to the original recording, I instantly had the association of how a mechanism tries to come into action, hundreds of details coming together to make the plane move. I didn't want to use any additional musical instruments when creating the composition, just the original recording and processing it to bring out my association as much as possible. 

"Thousands of mechanical parts are trying to come together for one purpose, for the plane to take off , but in the process they fall apart again and again. To recreate my association I used several processing techniques such as extreme stretching, chopping whole recording by small pieces to get desirable sound, manipulating with tempo."

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds

IMAGE via Wikimedia Commons:

Description | English: A Messerschmitt Bf 109E that once participated at the Battle of Britain photographed at Thunder Over Michigan 2006.Deutsch: Eine Messerschmitt Bf 109 Typ Emil-3, welche an der Luftschlacht um England teilnahm – photografiert während der „Thunder Over Michigan 2006“ Luftleistungsschau.
Date | 22 September 2006
Source | https://www.flickr.com/photos/fun_flying/250148463/in/photostream/
Author | D. Miller
This image was originally posted to Flickr by Armchair Aviator at https://www.flickr.com/photos/92653143@N00/250148463
Aug 26, 2022
Shepherd singing to his sheep, Dedinky, Slovakia
216
Recording provided by John Tenney.

The shepherd, with his flock on a nearby hillside, has been drinking (maybe heavily), and sings a Slovak song, maybe a folk song... The numbers of shepherds are diminishing as the years go by.

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 26, 2022
Astro Wars
166
Recording provided by Moray Newlands.

The sound of an original Grandstand Astro Wars table top console being played. The console is from 1981-82.

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 26, 2022
Bell & Howell Filmo Sportster Cine Camera (1930s)
13
Recording provided by Simon Woods.

The Bell & Howell Filmo Sportster Cine Camera (1930s) is being wound up (clockwork mechanism) and then left to run. The start / stop switch is long since broken.

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 26, 2022
Billingham On Tees, test of chemical factory sirens
191
Recording provided by Garry Brogden.

Every Tuesday morning at 10:00, the local chemical factories (former ICI) test their warning sirens in case there is a serious leak. You never get used to the sound, but one day the plants will be gone. I went down one day and parked my car as close as possible. The recording starts with a plane going overhead, then the distant sirens and finally the nearby sirens complete with announcement. 

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 26, 2022
Messerschmidt BF-109 startup
41
Recording provided by Fight2FlyPhoto via Freesound.

A restored Messerschmitt Bf-109E-3 starts up its Daimler-Benz 601 engine.

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds

IMAGE via Wikimedia Commons:

Description | English: A Messerschmitt Bf 109E that once participated at the Battle of Britain photographed at Thunder Over Michigan 2006.Deutsch: Eine Messerschmitt Bf 109 Typ Emil-3, welche an der Luftschlacht um England teilnahm – photografiert während der „Thunder Over Michigan 2006“ Luftleistungsschau.
Date | 22 September 2006
Source | https://www.flickr.com/photos/fun_flying/250148463/in/photostream/
Author | D. Miller
This image was originally posted to Flickr by Armchair Aviator at https://www.flickr.com/photos/92653143@N00/250148463
Aug 26, 2022
Bottom floor
234
Composition by Alex Hehir. 

"I was drawn to this well recorded sound by the wonderful vibrating resonance coming from the lift’s motion.The piece was based around an imagined trip to the bottom floor. The field recording was played into a looper and captured as a live performance and the additional sounds of the choir were added and processed in Ableton Live."

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 19, 2022
La donna è mobile
464
Composition by Nick St. George. 

"The trials and tribulations of mobile communication. 
With the addition of some percussion, a voice, a 1927 Orville Reed song (The Telephone Girl - PD) and a single sound effect near the end, this comprises predominantly the original recording manipulated in a variety of ways."

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds


krystof.k (Twitter) & nmuseum, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
Aug 19, 2022
Summer '89
173
Composition by Fields of Few. 

"My track 'Summer '89', is a reflective and emotive depiction of a childhood summer. I've used the sound of the 8mm projector to help create a sense that the listener is observing events from a distant childhood summer holiday on an old and slightly degraded film. It is surrounded melancholy - a lost time which will never be recreated again."

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds

Holger.Ellgaard 14:15, 17 October 2007 (UTC), CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
Aug 19, 2022
Registered
316
Composition by Nonalogue. 

"All sounds were derived from the original recording and processed mostly through Ableton. The track was primarily a challenge for sound manipulation but I came to think of it as a requiem for physical money: mechanical tills were made obsolete by electronic tills and now cash itself is in decline, driven by online business and the ubiquity of card readers."

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 19, 2022
“I can do that for quite a while if you want”
262
Composition by The Argent Grub. 

"I chose this sound because it has a great natural meditative rhythm to it. I also have a friend who owns and uses a vintage printing press, so I thought there might be a chance to gather some of those sounds and play around. In the end that proved impractical, so I set about playing with the sound myself.

"The title comes from the words captured mid-way through the original recording, and provide a brilliant summary of what is being captured, of printing through the ages, and of the practice of sound art - “I can do that for quite a while if you want”.

"My process to create the piece is shown below. I use only free and open source software in my work.

"I started by putting the original file in Audacity, and raising the volume:
 - normalised to 0db
 - used the limiter to remove peaks and then 
 - amplify to recommended level by Audacity

"I like the idea of a 'rounds' - like London's Burning, so I
 - split the track into 4 almost equal parts of 29s
 - set up a 'round' of 4 tracks, each offset by + 29s, so that the original track plays twice in total

"All of the other tracks end when the original has gone round twice, (unlike in a conventional round), apart from one that plays an extra 29s. This section contains the voices in the recording that are mostly lost in the rest of the round.

"After sitting with that composition for a while (a few days) I decided to experiment further.

"At this stage, the sound has not really been altered much - just amplified, offset,and layered.

"I ran the original sound through Cecilia, picking random modules and settings until I found something I thought was interesting. I used the WGuideBank module, with random settings, and stretched the length of the sound to twice the original - so it would sit as a fifth track in the new mix.

"Putting all tracks into Ardour, I could add effects and mix.

"In the end I only added some automatic panning to move the sound left and right in the speakers. The rhythmic movement of the sound feels very meditative and wave like. I picked a sample from a field recording I had taken on Ardrossan Beach, Ayrshire, Scotland, in August 2021 and looped the sound of waves starting around the 1min 30s mark. (There is a small delay effect added to the waves audio)

"Where the audio ends, I start to ramp up into a new round because "I can do that for quite a while if you want".

"Often I will look to add conventional instruments to field recordings, but did not think this needed it at all.  I wasn’t sure about going beyond the stage of the 4 layered round, because I thought that was interesting enough in itself,  but I do think the addition of waves and the weirdness that the Cecilia morphed track brings, does enhance the final composition."

My process uses only free and open source software
SOFTWARE CREDITS
Ubuntu https://ubuntu.com/
Audacity https://www.audacityteam.org/
Cecilia http://ajaxsoundstudio.com/software/cecilia/
Ardour https://ardour.org/

Plugins
TAP AutoPanner (by MOD Team) (http://moddevices.com/plugins/tap/autopan)
Calf Vintage Delay (by Calf Studio Gear) (http://calf.sourceforge.net/plugins/VintageDelay)

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 19, 2022
Old elevator
71
Retro Elevator by Iwan Gabovitch under CC-BY 3.0 License.

An older elevator: getting in, closing doors, picking the longest route, using the shaky elevator, getting out, closing it again.

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 19, 2022
Old film projector
25
Recording provided by MegaPenguin via Freesound.

The sound of a Bell and Howell Model 253B 8mm projector being switched on, running, and being switched off.

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds

Holger.Ellgaard 14:15, 17 October 2007 (UTC), CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
Aug 19, 2022
Three songs from a Nokia 8210
34
Recording provided by Aurea via Freesound.

Three ringtones from my old beloved Nokia 8210 (rest in peace).
The first one is the classic Nokia tune from the Nineties.

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds


krystof.k (Twitter) & nmuseum, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
Aug 19, 2022
Old cash register
14
Recording provided by Dan AudioFile via Freesound.

Old cash-register open and close the sound of successful sale played a few times, little background sounds from the street nearby but rather clean.

Recorded using pair of cardoid condensers X/Y

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 19, 2022
Printing press machine
115
Recording provided by Disaster Services via Freesound.

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 19, 2022
Herääminen
362
Composition by Arvik Torrenssen. 

"Herääminen (meaning "awakening") reimagines this recording of the Elliott 903 Boot Sequence from the TNMOC Imitation Archive from the perspective of this early computer era data processing machine (interactive input/output was normally handled by an attached teletype machine) moving from this initial awakening sequence through evolution to modern computer age advanced artificial intelligence and the advent of awakenings of a computer based consciousness that we may see in our lifetime.

"The original recording is played in its entirety, slightly processed for clarify, first played forwards and then in reverse and placed using a background of an undulating drone soundscape."

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 18, 2022
Morse code and number stations
190
Composition by Scott Lawrence Whitman. 

"I tuned the original Morse Code for letters A through G to their respective musical notes, recorded them in sequence, combined them with several number station broadcasts and processed the results."

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 18, 2022
Modem life is rubbish!
362
Composition by Audio Obscura. 

"I'm old enough to remember modem dialups when I first got online in the late 90s so this was a pleasure to hear the sound of a dial up again! The random beeps and noises of such a song suggested something quite abrasive to me so I took the original sounds and added some effects and created a noise piece originally but I wasn't happy with it. I isolated so of these effected noises however and scaled down the noise elements. From here I built up a new track with rhythms and loops from the original recording adding various levels of effects and noise coming off the original recording to create what I hope is a nice blend of sounds."

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 18, 2022
Máquina Americana
162
Composition by Lucy Newton. 

"The original recording contained a stationary engine of a vintage car that inspired me to create a piece about classic cars in Cuba. Due to the Cuban political system, citizens have had to use their passion and resourcefulness to maintain these vehicles as they are not allowed to purchase imported American cars and parts. 

"Although these cars lack modern technology and most bear the mark of decades of use, classic cars are a standard in Cuba rather than the exception. I took the original recording further by moving the car out of its stationary position and into motion. You can also hear a radio dial being turned on and off, with various static and station interference."

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds

Cjp24, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
Aug 18, 2022
Cipher
318
Composition by Gregory Kramer. 

"As the inspiration for this soundwork of obsolete sounds I chose a recording labeled "Heath Robinson". Curious to know what the sound came from, I did an internet search and learned that W. Heath Robinson was an English cartoonist whose fanciful illustrations of elaborate contraptions preceded Rube Goldberg. However, this didn't tell me what the recording I had chosen was actually of. 

"A further search, cross referencing the listed date, 1943, revealed that Heath Robinson was also the name given to a British codebreaking machine used in World War II. This inspired me to encrypt a message into this composition. Can you solve it? Other obsolete sounds used include a 78 rpm record player, children's toys, a touch-tone telephone, a CD-ROM drive and television static."

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 18, 2022
War machines
260
Composition by XXXXX. 

""War machines" uses a single recording of the 1939 Bombe computer, recorded by Matt Parker of The Imitation Archive in 2015. The Bombe was devised by Alan Turing and associates at the UK Government Code and Cypher School and used at Bletchley Park to decipher enemy codes. 

"This recording serves as the basis for a composition comprised of wartime radio broadcasts, occupied territory city ambiances, and air raid sirens taken in the years proceeding the Bombe's invention. Using computationally-intensive processing routines, this piece embeds itself in a history of computing, and serves to illustrate that no such history can be extricated from the history of militarization."

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 18, 2022
Colossus 101
144
Recording provided by Duncan Whitledge.

"I really enjoyed the industrial rhythms I could hear in the original recording.  They were in a sort of beat but felt "off" in a way which I liked a lot.  During the initial covid lockdown in NYC is when I started getting into synths and I am still very much a novice but I really enjoy making these kinds of sounds.  I also really enjoy brevity from my time playing noise rock."

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 18, 2022
Modem dialup
41
Recording provided by Marcus Horndt via Freesound.

I recorded the dial process of the modem in my powerbook.

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 18, 2022
At the Malvern Autumn Show
62
Recording provided by Nick St. George.

Stationery engines recorded at the Malvern Autumn Show 2021, a display of vintage stationary engines at full throttle! Unfortunately I only had my phone with me, so this is a mono recording.

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds

Cjp24, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
Aug 18, 2022
Heath Robinson (Sequence)
161
Recording provided by Matt Parker / The Imitation Archive.

Boot and running sequence of the Heath Robinson. Year of manufacture: 1943.

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 18, 2022
Elliott 903 (Boot Sequence and Tape Spool)
97
Recording provided by Matt Parker / The Imitation Archive.

Boot sequence and a repeated mounting of tape reader tape spool followed by processing of paper tape data message. Year of manufacture: 1965

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 18, 2022
Colossus Start Sequence
211
Recording provided by Matt Parker / The Imitation Archive.

Boot Sequence of Colossus. DPA stereo mix located close to the tape mechanism and motor with MKH416 located near main relay board. Manually fading between the two configurations for dramatic illustration. Year of manufacture: 1944

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 18, 2022
The Morse Code alphabet
146
Recording provided by Skibka Music via Freesound.

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 18, 2022
Bombe (Full Sequence)
346
Recording provided by Matt Parker / The Imitation Archive.

Coincident Stereo Recording of inside the opened rear panel of the Bombe performing the standard calculation sequence setup by the Bombe engineers for daily park demonstrations. The back panel is open and the microphones are placed just in front of the mechanical features. Year of manufacture: 1939

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 18, 2022
VR550
378
Composition by Andy Lyon. 

"I remember when video recorders were the height of technology.  There was always excitement when we got a new one, followed by studying the manual to try and figure out how to use it. Of course they were often particularly noisy, didn't always record the programs and there was the odd tape that got jammed. I located the user manual on the internet and used text to speech to record the introduction and how to to program the recorder.  I've used a combination of the original recording with processed / glitched versions to capture some of the mystery and reality in this recording."

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 18, 2022
That dark point where everything swings
410
Composition by XXXXX. 

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 18, 2022
WM-EX35
229
Composition by claro correcto. 

"WM-EX35 captures my nostalgia for personal stereos and uses sections of the original recording to convey the mechanical action of switching between tracks, coupled with the lo-fi quality of mix tapes; intentional flaws retained to reflect chewed sections of re-spooled tape.  The overhearing of snatched conversations and the faint inkling of leaked music emanating from the ears of others.  

"The Sony WM-EX35 was just one of the many Walkmans kicking around during my teens and well into my twenties and I never went anywhere without one.  I liked observing the synchronicities in the world around me, as they played out in time to the music.  

"To me it almost felt cinematic, which is what I wanted to portray in the musical elements of the piece. These were created using photographed images of cassette tapes that have been converted to synthesised sounds.  A nod to the 80’s and early 90s, when digital synthesisers and the popularity of the Walkman were prevalent.  These sounds were manipulated, chopped and looped in order to a produce dreamy and slightly surreal soundscapes, influenced by my love both then and now, of the TV series of the 90’s, Twin Peaks.  This is enhanced further by the random samples taken from an old cassette I was given, featuring an array of subjects explaining their route of out a maze and a slowed and reverberating field recording of street performers busking in Venice, 2019.   

"Walkmans encapsulate much coveting of my brother's personal stereos that had better graphic equalisers and a bass boost.  These were features of many a Christmas longing.  The inclusion of a part sample of my late mum’s voice watching Gremlins on Christmas Day, is an homage to her dedication in making those 36 weekly payments to Freemans catalogue all those years ago and making one of my 1980’s Christmases."  


This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 18, 2022
On my deathbed I'll remember the Contra code
584
Composition by Toledo the Horse. 

"I like taking sounds out of context and seeing what I can do with them. The pieces I've made that I'm most happy with are usually the ones that sound very little like what I had in my head at the beginning. But I do usually listen for some sort of note, or scrap of a melody. I thought I heard something close to a note in the creaking sound of (I'm assuming) the mechanism of the NES that the cartridges were loaded into. It gave me something to start with, even if it is not the backbone of the completed track. For that, I used various processed tracks of the controller buttons. The other sounds are slowed down, reversed, and chopped up samples and loops run through various effects. For financial and aesthetic reasons I use GarageBand and various apps to compose and manipulate my tracks. Everything heard on the track is manipulated from the original recording and every sound from the original recording appears in the track at least once.

"The title of the piece is definitely a play on memory. Just the fact that I could listen to the original recording and knew what was making that sound is interesting to me. And I never owned an NES, but I still know the Contra code for 30 lives. I had a Sega Master System, which probably no one remembers. Perhaps that'll be a next project. I also like to think about the connection between repetition and memory. Much of the track is loops and even though it is the same sound repeated, our experience of that repetition can change."

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 18, 2022
Galloping Walkman harmony
190
Composition by Nick Yulman. 

"Listening to the recording of this a vintage Sony Walkman playing a blank tape, rewinding, and fast forwarding, I was interested in the galloping rhythms that emerged from the motor -- the music of the device itself. To enhance this and bring out different elements of the sound, I looped sections of it, adding a different pitch-shifted harmony with each iteration. It finally builds to a major triad drone across three octaves. The rewind cycle goes in reverse, stripping a harmonic layer with each iteration. And then the fast forward cycle adds them back again."

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 18, 2022
Nintendo NES game console
49
Recording provided by Conserve The Sound.

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 18, 2022
Philips VR 550 video recorder
48
Recording provided by Conserve The Sound.

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 18, 2022
Sony WM-32 personal stereo
43
Recording provided by Conserve The Sound.

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 18, 2022
Sony WM-EX 116 personal stereo
40
Recording provided by Conserve The Sound.

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 18, 2022
Recsi weighing scales
11
Recording provided by Conserve The Sound.

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 18, 2022
Tape conversions
193
Composition by Kitty (Speed for Lovers). 

"I loved all the different textures in the original recording, some short percussive sounds, and some longer wider sounds. I started by time stretching the original to create some textures that I could use as loops. 

"Then I cut the original up by its transients in a sampler, pitching them up or down, reversing some. Then further abstracted them with reverbs, delays or a combination of both. I made this entirely from the sound itself, there are no other samples or instruments involved."

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 18, 2022
Failing light
120
Composition by Caroline Grimshaw & António Sá-Dantas. 

"Our piece is an audio representation of the sense of irrelevancy and obsolescence that an individual may feel in a world that no longer recognises the value associated with that individual. The sound of a manual typewriter is our point of commencement and the concept of communicating through letters a message that can have far-reaching consequences, is the narrative of the soundscape. 

"The rhythm of the keys being struck and the repetitive carriage return are intertwined with alternative sounds of written communication, including handwriting with a quill and the sounds of a computer being used to convey a message. The spoken word is inspired by fragments of typewritten words, discovered by chance. ‘Two-minute warning’ and ‘failing light’ suggest impending doom and ultimate fragility. 

"Using a mechanical voice gives the message a sense of dispassionate finality. Beneath the vocals and the frantic missive-making, there is a backdrop of humanity, a yearning for longevity, despite the inevitable warning that the light is failing. 

"Objects and individuals are imbued with a sense of history that remains pertinent, despite the ever-changing world. Our piece suggests that, as time and technology bring transformative changes, what exists now is not worthless, just ripe for exploration and rediscovery for other purposes."

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 18, 2022
Please_wait
214
Composition by Eric Powell. 

"My goal in creating Please_wait was to embrace the theme of "obsolete sounds" on as many levels as possible. After selecting the sound of a Siemen’s ventilator–a rather rattly, yet sustained sound, I decided to use that everyday whirr to create a lush, choral, drone-y piece. I felt the best way to do that was to combine the fan sound with some kind of chime or bell. I happened to have a couple salvaged rotary telephone bells (another obsolete sound) in my studio, and I composed the piece using a now-obsolete computer and software system–a circa 2007 iMac running Logic Pro 8 with a c.2005 Zoom H4 as the recording device/audio interface. Obsolescent sounds meet obsolescent technology. 

"Please_wait uses convolution reverb to play the sounds of the ventilator 'through' the sounds of the telephone bells. In addition to this process, I used a small amount of pitch shifting and amplitude control to shape the piece. However, I didn't edit or trim any of the recordings, as I wanted the piece to explore how the handling sounds (i.e. switching the technology on or off) found in both the source recordings, and my recordings of the telephone chimes--something I think many field recordists choose to remove from their files as 'unwanted' sounds, yet are in fact a big part of how we hear our recording technology--would interact in the convolution process. The end result is a little unsettling, I know. Part of my love for this piece comes in how the harmonics of the two telephone bells grind up against each other as they vibrate through the sound of the ventilator: drifting from tonal conflict, to resolution, and back again. 

"As a last step in embracing old or disappearing sounds, I bounced/rendered the piece out in .mp3 format before upconverting it into .wav. An intentional move to capture some of the unique lossy characteristics of a disappearing format."

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 18, 2022
Hitting the fan
319
Composition by Elise Plans. 

"My obsolete sound is of a quirky little table fan, the Philips Ventilator HA2728, which has ambitions larger than its small size with its bright colours and smooth curvy design.

"The sounds from the piece have almost all come from manipulating the recording, using sampling and time-stretching. I built a patch in Pure Data with various algorithms to play with the sound, and then ‘played’ this as an instrument which I recorded and clipped-up to arrange in Logic Pro.

"At the start of the piece I have attempted to suggest that the listener is zooming-in to the sound in the same way that you can zoom in visually with a microscope, so that you become very small as the environment enlarges around you, perhaps how the fan would sound to a fly or a gnat.

"The only sound used in addition to the original sound file is a field recording of a suburban soundscape, with the sound of traffic, birds and a plane. This is to bring the listener back to the context of this human artefact, the desk fan, with obvious parallels between the rotating fan and the rotation of the blades in the jet engines. 

"A lot of the sounds have been generated from the ‘click’ of the on/off switch, the percussive element of which has been exploited, and sculpted into the off-kilter rhythmic section that can slightly disturb the listener for not conforming to a regular beat.

"The original file is played in reverse at the end to contain the piece in a mirrored structure with the original sound at the start, closing the self-contained window into the world of sounds that I hear inside the fan."

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 18, 2022
No.5
1152
Composition by Paolo Calabrese. 

""The way in which antiques refer to the past gives them an exclusively mythological character. The antique object no longer has any practical application, its role being merely to signify. It is astructural, it refuses structure, it is the extreme case of disavowal of the primary functions. Yet it is not afunctional, nor purely 'decorative' , for it has a very specific function within the system, namely the signifying of time." - Jean Baudrillard, the system of objects (1968)

"For this composition, I sampled and then cohabited a modern air conditioner and the Braun Hl70 Fan (sound n.89) making them coexist within the same piece in a complementary way.

"My action is not dissimilar to an architect or an interior designer work, who make possible the coexistence of an electric washing machine and the ancient ladle of linen [*stregator (Apulian dialect)] on an Apulian farm became bed and breakfast, maybe also having kerosene heating but keeping the peasant warmer, all framed by a hyper-modern kitchen leaving, however, to the sight of the guests, the old pan [*tijell (Apulian dialect)].

"The aim was to reflect on this 'complementarity'. 
I wanted to focus on the absence of personality, the lack of intimacy in the furniture, and the appropriation of some realities and its derived objects, only for promotional and advertising purposes, packaging, and giving the illusion of living in that context."

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 18, 2022
Las Rifas del Jefe
460
Composition by Jonatan de Jesús Carrasco Hernández. 

"I have many memories about me and the typewriters, in my house we had one of them. When I reach the middle school, I had a workshop of typing where we had to bring our own typewriter and practice the typing, all my friends had the same typewriter and mine was a little different because it was white (the other's typewriters were brown) and it has written in script. I spend two years carrying the typewriter several times a week. 
The real special moment that I remember of the typewriter was when my dad used it. He made a lot of raffles during many years, the way he made the raffles was: he bought some electronic device (a TV, a Radio, an oven, etc.) and he made a list of 10 numbers that he sold to different persons, it was a hard job because he had to walk a lot to promote the products and then when somebody bought a number almost always they paid the price in parts so my dad had another list of the persons and how much money they owed him, every day he had to walk around town to charge them until they paid the complete amount they owed. 

"My dad wrote the list with the typewriter (this typewriter was mechanical), he described all the qualities of the products, the date of the raffle and other information, so the text was a little large. That's why he used a lot the typewriter because he wrote a lot and it is a memory that I have, the relation of my father with the typewriter and the sound of his typing, also he drew with pens a framework to make it look more striking. After a while, electronic typewriters appear, and he stopped using the antique typewriter and he bought a new one. The new typewriter was electric and did not the same sound because it just printed and the sound that made was only like a motor, then he could do the job easier and faster, also the typewriter could print lines, so he had not to draw them. 

"The piece its inspired in my own experience of with the typewriter and with my dad's story, the sound that my father did when he wrote, the hard job he made by walking a lot and the change to the new equipment, everything sounds in my music (or at least I try to represent it), the sound of the typewriter and the modifications of it, the atmosphere of my feelings to now how much effort he puts in his job and in the end the sounds of the new typewriter that finish the story. The tittle “las rifas del jefe” means “The raffles of boss” because in Mexico we have a way to treat the fathers respectfully but in a familiar way with the words “boss”."

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 18, 2022
SVHS Camcorder Panasonic Movie Camera NV-S88
28
Recording provided by Conserve The Sound.

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 18, 2022
Siemens TF 251 fan
42
Recording provided by Conserve The Sound.

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 18, 2022
Philips HA2728 fan
27
Recording provided by Conserve The Sound.

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 18, 2022
Braun Type HL 70 fan
27
Recording provided by Conserve The Sound.

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 18, 2022
Urania typewriter
32
Recording provided by Conserve The Sound.

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 18, 2022
Olivetti Studio 44 typewriter
16
Recording provided by Conserve The Sound.

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 18, 2022
We interrupt this birdsong...
381
Birdsong on Monte Venda reimagined by Cities and Memory.

An idyllic setting near the top of Monte Venda, listening to birdsong in the sunshine. But just down the track, there's a radio mast sitting at the very top of the hill, preventing us from reaching the actual summit. This piece considers the limitations of human hearing, and that we only take a snapshot from the middle of the huge range of available sounds to hear. This piece reveals the hidden sound world of radio braodcasts, feedback, power lines and interference that are going on all around us unheard, even in the most ostensibly peaceful surroundings. 

Shortwave radio samples courtesy of The Shortwave Radio Archive, with thanks. 
Aug 18, 2022
Birdsong on Monte Venda
356
At the top of a 600 metre-high hill in the Colli Euganei in northern Italy, we listen to multiple species of birds singing out on a warm day, with a gentle breeze and a view out over the hills. A restful soundscape.

Recorded by Cities and Memory.  
Aug 18, 2022
My Grandmother didn’t just leave me a typewriter (featuring Mabel Hyacinth reading her poem, Web of Life)
194
Composition by Allis Hamilton. 

"My grandparents lived across the road from me growing up. It was my Grandmother Mabel Hyacinth (May) who introduced me to poetry. She wrote poetry herself and often used a typewriter. When her and my Grandfather finally moved out of their home, in the empty house on her kitchen table May had left me her typewriter. It was such a beautiful sight! Did she know I would grow up to become a writer? Perhaps, but I doubt she would have guessed I would use the typewriter as an instrument in a musical composition. I created this work in honour of her.

"In the composition I have used the typewriter May gave me, alongside the typewriter sample provided by Cities and Memory. As well as the typewriters, to help set the space of the place where I was given the typewriter, I included a recording of my family at our home having breakfast in the sun. I also created cello, harmonium, chimes and vocal recordings to sit these sound among; as well as some frogs recorded at my home in the bush because I thought the frogs sounded like typewriters. And within all of this I have placed my Grandmother May reading one of her poems, Web of Life. I recorded May reading this poem when she was 93. She lived to be 98 years young. She would be thrilled to know her poem may be heard by people from all around the world."

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 18, 2022
Requiem for Olivetti Dora
417
Composition by Daniel Chudley - Le Corre. 

"I have used the full sample as an introduction and then cut it up to create the rhythm. Taking inspiration from factory lines and repetitive melodies. 

"The track I have named - “Requiem for Olivetti Dora”

"From humble beginnings to the mass production on these beautiful machines.
The sound of type writers bringing forth new ideas on mass . Factories of typists , armies of fingers with ribbons of ink bearing their standards. This piece is a day in the life of an idea, created in one of these utopian inspired type writer factory communities the Olivetti family created.

"An echo of the past gradually lost in the desert of progress."

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 18, 2022
QWERTZ
196
Composition by Point/Call. 

"In researching the Kochs Adler Nähmaschnenwerke, ABC typewriter, I discovered it was an attempt by a German sewing machine manufacturer to diversify into a new, hopefully, lucrative new market in the mid-1950’s. This was also the time of the burgeoning Space-race and Cold war, respectively, two historical events attempting something different, a new mode and area of exploration and nations battling each other subversively in a new kind of war. Coincidentally, audio sampling technology and primitive drum machines were also being developed, allowing wildly inventive ways to alter sound.

"I kept all this in mind while composing a song that utilized the typewriter sound sample but also had a story behind it.

"I started with a drone synthesizer, creating an analog atmosphere for staccato leads to dance atop of, like the tap-tap-tapping of type-bars hitting paper. Drum machine sequencing further enhances the nature of typing mechanisms while adding an infectious bass line. Additionally, the typewriter sound sample was run through several step modulations to create syncopated whispering effects like so many Cold war secrets were passed along, as well as otherworldly space sounds phasing in and out, suggesting strange new discoveries on the horizon.

"Tumultuous events transpiring, all the while, the humble typewriter recording ideas and events, an unassuming witness to history."

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 18, 2022
Triumph Elektro
223
Composition by Eric Klein. 

"I chose to concentrate on just "8 bars" of my staccato typewriter sample (it's actually two splices of "4 bars" stuck together.) Listening to this loop in my MPC sampler, I tapped out a tempo and worked from there. Now I took this sample of mechanical rhythm, and one "bar" at a time, I reproduced the hits of the typewriter keys as hits of Control Voltage (electrical signal that can be interpreted as musical information by a type of synthesizer or drum machine). Now I played around for a couple of days with inputing that CV into some of my synths.

"I made a handful of long recordings of this playtime,  jamming with different ideas, enjoying the discovery of a slow turn of a knob, or patching different electronic signals into unlikely inputs and listening listening listening to the results in real time. I am experimenting. I am in dialogue with my gear. Later in the day I will listen back to these long recordings while taking a walk or reading a book and see if I can't decide which ideas were worth repeating.

"I settled on an instrumentation. I recorded about 17 minutes worth of this final configuration and then slept on it. The next day I cut together a version under 4 minutes using primarily two of the final takes (with a 4 bar "bridge" from an earlier 37 minute take with an alternate melody and instrumentation)."

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 18, 2022
Click tick tin
368
Composition by Pie Are Squared. 

"The concept behind this track was to represent the typewriter as the birthplace of millions of ideas of all sorts, from the banal to the transcendent, and the vehicle that allowed these ideas to grow and materialise.  The track’s four sections attempt to represent those disparate ideas through epic horn sections, click and cut microedits and glitches, and outright chaos. 

"The sound of the typewriter sample is there throughout but the environments and moods surrounding it shift and change. From a sound sign point of view, the vast majority of the sounds and textures on the track we made by sampling, resampling, stretching, shifting and chopping the typewriter’s clickety-clack typing sound. The ring sound made when the end of the a page is reached was looped in a sampler to create some of the key and organ sounds heard on the track."

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 18, 2022
Olivetti Dora typewriter
33
Recording provided by Conserve The Sound.

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 18, 2022
Monpti typewriter
30
Recording provided by Conserve The Sound.

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 18, 2022
Kochs Adler Nähmaschinenwerke ABC typewriter
40
Recording provided by Conserve The Sound.

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 18, 2022
Elektro Triumph-Adler Gabriele 100 Typ EL typewriter
47
Recording provided by Conserve The Sound.

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 18, 2022
Adler Gabriele 2000 typewriter
34
Recording provided by Conserve The Sound.

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 18, 2022
Projections
309
Composition by Tom Thompson. 

"I used the projector sounds to signify some of the subtle shifts in the composition.  Thinking of the theme of this project made me feel a bit melancholy while composing and also nostalgic for many of the analog sounds that have passed into obscurity."

This is part of the Obsolete Sounds project, the world’s biggest collection of disappearing sounds and sounds that have become extinct – remixed and reimagined to create a brand new form of listening. Explore the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
Aug 17, 2022
Forgotten landscapes 1
528