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
The city of Portofino in the rain, recorded by Mark Williamson.
A singer performs "Nessun Dorma" for the assembled tourists outside the Pantheon, Rome. Recorded by Cities and Memory.
A Roman historical reenactment parade marches past, close to the Colosseum in Rome. Recorded by Cities and Memory.
Bells ring out across Rome as we walk down Via dei Leutari. Recorded by Cities and Memory.
Busking band in Piazza Navona in Rome, as we walk towards the buskers from the famous Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi. Recorded by Cities and Memory.
Fountain in the piazza at Caffe ai Portici, Cittadella, Italy - recorded by Cities and Memory.
String-playing buskers perform part of the "Four Seasons" by Vivaldi to entertain passers-by, Venice. Recorded by Cities and Memory.
Recording of a vaporetto journey in Venice from 2010 - recorded by Cities and Memory.
Cows feed on the slopes of Monte Grappa - a chorus of cow bells. Recorded by Cities and Memory.
Festa della Repubblica songs reimagined by Simon Woods. "The music section of this piece consists of the notes, chords and bass of the traditional rebel song ‘Bella Ciao’ slowed down and echoed to a point where it becomes unrecognisable as the original. "
Military bands and traditional military songs at the 2 June Festa della Repubblica celebration in Rome, Italy. Recorded by Cities and Memory.
Helsinki accordion busker reimagined by Ollie Campbell. "The geographical location of the original recording and the seagulls that you can hear faintly inspired me to invent a story about the accordian player. That he was swept out to sea on a little boat, getting caught in a fierce storm, before drifting back to shore. I used the original recording in its complete form, applying effects to it, and adding different recordings."
Accordion busker outside the Old Market Hall in Helsinki, Finland - recorded by Cities and Memory.
Castel Sant'Angelo busker, Rome, reimagined by Mark Taylor. "All the music in my reimagined version was created directly from fragments of the original field recording; nothing new has been added. Various snippets of bowed and pizzicato violin were used alongside tiny grains of crowd noise that formed the percussive groove in the central section. To my ears, the original field recording gave the impression of everyone walking past and ignoring this highly talented busker. What if the musician decided to exact revenge in a warped, hypnotic, death-dealing twist to the performance? First of all, my distorted version creates an appropriately dark, disturbing ambience before sliding into a ‘Dance of Death’ section. I used a new editing environment for this one – the synthesis capabilities of Omnisphere 2\. I’ve owned and used it for a few years now, but this project gave me the chance to delve more deeply into its sound design side. The violin, of course has often been associated with Death / the Devil in music - Danse Macabre, and many more compositions. In folk tales, the Devil enjoys wagers - betting his own gold fiddle against the souls of his opponents. He may also bestow musical talent in exchange for a soul - a prominent part of the myth surrounding Tartini’s “Devil’s Trill” Sonata. The great Italian virtuoso Niccolò Paganini was the subject of vicarious rumours that he had sold his soul, and worse: Theosophy founder Madame Helena Blavatsky included Paganini in her story The Ensouled Violin suggesting that the strings of Paganini’s violin were made from human intestine, and that his uncanny ability to mimic the human voice with his playing actually came from a spirit trapped within the instrument. "
A violin busker on the bridge to Castel Sant'Angelo, Rome, recorded by Cities and Memory.