Cities and Memory - remixing the world
Summary: 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 4,000 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
Portofino in the rain reimagined by John Downey. "This was a challenging field recording at first. Though the clip’s title is ‘in the rain,’ after listening carefully, waves are the water element, not rain, so I started to think about how people travel to the seaside or other locations and the burble of dense conversation can drown out the more interesting, environmental sounds. I included some low-key arpeggiation, a sub wave from an O-Coast mono synth, and inserted my own mobile phone field recording of a bell buoy recorded in the early morning hours by the Long Island Sound shoreline in Old Saybrook, CT. The buoy was almost indistinguishable until lowering the noise floor and increasing the gain to make it stand out. Listen with headphones at a low enough volume to pull your attention to the sonic textures rather than through monitors or as background noise. Notice one of the only intelligible word is around 3:37, a woman apparently ordering “cappuccino.” "
Roman church bells reimagined by Christopher Reed. "The original field recording was comprised of ringing church bells and street traffic. I love the sound of scanning through AM radio static, especially when driving in areas with a weak signal, where recognizable sounds only creep through occasionally and briefly, or where two signals blend together. I've tried to recreate that feeling with these church bells. One sample is pitched way down for a drone, and others are staggered throughout at various pitches and placements so that the bells are only briefly and occasionally recognizable. A rhythm is gradually introduced which eventually becomes very apparent, but stops abruptly. The last third of the piece most prominently features the original sample, with some additional edited patterns. All sounds come from the original recording."
Monte Grappa cowbells reimagined by Leon Lewington. "The title 'Monte Grappa cow bells' was used as a starting point for a personal journey through time and memory. Field recordings from different times and places are interwoven to create an imaginary soundscape, like a dream or distant memory."
Campo Santa Margherita (Venice) buskers reimagined by The Black Dog. "Primarily used short musical section with mandolin and guitar as well as a time-stretched section of plaza ambience. Made with Kyma, SpaceCraft ipad app, SoundHack."
Roman reenactment reimagined by Philippe Neau. "I reworked the original sound so as to be inside the procession, listening to the underground sounds and feeling the renactment."
Prosecco festival at Col San Martino reimagined by Meg Walker.
Cittadella fountain reimagined by Sherman and Field. "Recognising a presenting water theme in the Cittadella recording, we sought to create a work that sonically connected our hometown of Ipswich (Australia) to Italy through the sounds of water. We chose a location in Ipswich that has a prominent water feature along a stretch of river – the Riverheart Parklands. Here we captured two field recordings within which the Italy Cittadella track was embedded. This can be heard between 2.12 and 5.54, with all three recordings flowing together. We chose not to manipulate any of the field recordings as a means of preserving the integrity of the sounds as located and recorded in that moment. We also recognised the manipulation of the natural element of water to fit an unnatural structure. The same approach was taken to capture the guitar piece – a spontaneously performed live room recording via mobile phone as the field recordings played. Finally, the drum track was improvised to move through the untouched sounds of life provided by the field recordings and the almost eerie, effects - drenched guitar. Across the work there appears to be a seamless interaction between the natural and the human environments – voices / birdsong; traffic and the constant flow of water. The guitar and drums however, wandering sonically in and out of time, asks us to challenge that perception."
Venetian vaporetto ride reimagined by Dave Cowlard. "Riding a vaporetto means that you are acutely aware of the boat itself and the power needed to move through the water as well as the rush of the city beyond. I wanted to enhance the sense of the sounds drifting and bouncing back from the gaps and walls of the city. To do this I layered and offset sections of the original recording while isolating some of the engines deeper sounds with EQ."
Roman buskers reimagined by Christina Wong. "The first thing that popped into my head when I first heard the recording was the idea of playing records on a hot summer day/night. And dancing. I asked a few friends what the Italian equivalent of “May I have this dance?” would be and had them record themselves saying it. And I imagined this old-time feeling to the piece in general so I went on a search for old Alan Lomax field recordings and I came across one he made in Romania that featured horns and it was just the sound I was looking for. I didn’t make too many changes to the original recording; rather, I imagined myself playing a record of the piece on a hot summer day, or night, windows wide open, birds chirping, cicadas and crickets singing, and I'm humming along to the music."
Pantheon busker reimagined by Giovanna Iorio. "I was inspired by the idea that the sounds transform inside the wall of the Pantheon."
Milan metro reimagined by Edd Chango. "The mechanical and ambient sounds of a trip down an elevator transform into the soundtrack of a daydream in Milan which comes to an end with the playful voice of a child playing in the piazza. The majority of the percussion in this track is made of samples from the original field recording."
Hare Krishna dancers in Milan reimagined by Paul Collins. "I used the supplied field recording of a dancing Hare Krishna troupe as the introduction to a kind of ecstatic improvisation using a spring doorstop, a Radel electronic tabla from India and a French harmonium called Le Guide Chant Kasriel, much used in French primary schools in the 50s and 60s."
Reimagined by Bev Boyd. "My inspiration was the interactions of the people on board - their laughter, their being there in an every-day way. Organs and accordions were what came to mind when I thought of Turin and I felt that if I'd been on that tram I'd be imagining the tunes and music of those instruments with the motion of the tram as my percussion. I wanted to capture the feeling of being thrown around on a foreign adventure."
Hare Krishna dancing in the Piazza del Duomo, Milan - recorded by Toni Dimitrov.
An elevator in Wagner metro station, Milan - recorded by Toni Dimitrov.