The City Rings

Month: January, 2012

What Barcelona did with the sounds she received from Ghent


This was the second session at Santa Anna school. We listened carefully to the sounds we got from De Wijze Boom and De Toverberg students. Obviously, first we tried to guess the source of each sound, but most of the times it was too hard to say! These sounds are really good. Sometimes we had to close our eyes to hear better.


As we went on, we also tried to describe what we heard and how we felt about it. You can describe a sound in many ways. Physically (as short, long, high or low pitched…), making a subjective assessment (as nice, unpleasant, funny, untidy…), or even trying to imagine a scenario for each sound (like…this sounds like washing the dishes, this sounds like a train coming or this sounds like a puppet show). We also paid some attention to how the sound “looks”. You can guess a lot from looking at a sound wave!

Afterwards we did a short explanation about how to work with Audacity -the program we use to edit- and we compared it to some sort of table, where you put some sounds, and then you can cut them, move them around, re-order them… whatever you want. Easy!

So, we decided to work on the composition alltogether. We discussed which sounds we wanted to add, where did we want them, how loud… and when students had different opinions they talked in order to decide if to proceed one way or another.



Finally, we also did some kind of experiment. We wanted to hear all the sounds we got from Belgium at the same time. The result? noisy, but good!




part 2 : Belgian Soundscapes !


Dear readers, this week we had our second session of TCR here in Ghent.We listened closely to the sounds we got from our friends in Barcelona (which were very good) and we discussed those sounds: what do you feel when you hear these sounds? Fascinating to hear the many different energies sounds can have : some sounds make us laugh, others frighten us, some sounds make us bloody nervous, while others make us feel totally relaxed.
With all those different sounds we started working on a composition in 2 groups. We briefly explained how Sony Vegas worked (the program that we would be using to make the compositions) and we split up in 2 groups. Each group would make a composition of 1 minute, using the sounds we got from our Spanish friends.
When the compositions were ready, we carefully listened to eachother’s work. Remarkable to hear how all 4 groups seemed to like the same sounds and used them in their compositions,this preference of certain sounds,is very interesting. Have a listen below !
Next week we’re going to experiment some more with recording sounds. Until then, best of luck in Barcelona!


Ghent take off !


Hi there , things are going well in Belgium : just started a new edition of The CityRings project !
We, Aifoon, are working together with the pupils from De Toverberg and De Wijze Boom, 2 schools with 4th grade pupils.
Because there already was a session in Barcelona, we first listened to the Santa Anna school bell. The pupils immediately noticed the difference from the Santa Anna school bell and the one from their school. Seems like the children in Barcelona don’t hear so well, ‘cause the school bell goes on and on!
You can see the Belgian schoolbells over here :

For our first exercise, we asked the children to close their eyes and listen to their surroundings. We also gave some kids a recorder, which they could use to amplify the sound and listen even better! When they were very quiet, there were much sounds that could be heard : the steps of other teachers in the building, the clock that was ticking, the children that were moving, the birds that were singing, the low hum of traffic in the distance, water that was flowing, children who inhaled,…
Afterwards we discussed silence. We tried to find places where there’s no sound at all, but that turned out to be very difficult, there seems to be sound (almost) everywhere / anytime.
Then we started with the real exercise : the ‘”mySounds”. Everybody brought an object that represented themselves, or made a sound that they loved.
You can listen to some of the sounds here :

Listen to the full mySounds pack here

We discussed their sounds and some other sounds allready recorded. This showed that some sounds can have many associations ; a loud refrigerator also sounds like a lawn mower!
To end the day, we listened carefully to the sound of a movie without showing what was going on. They needed to listen and try to explain what was going on in the movie. This also gave some cool interesting reactions; most pupils thought the sounds came from a haunted house!
It’s nice to see how much imagination the kids have, so expect some more soon !


Barcelona starts it!

Dear readers: here we go again :)


Today we started the first session of the January 2012 exchange workshop at The City Rings project. We, Sons de Barcelona, are working with Santa Anna school, at Barcelona.


After presenting ourselves, and The City Rings project to the pupils of 5th and 6th grade; we did show them images and sounds (particularly school bell sounds) from the belgian schools we’ll be doing the exchange with. Pupils found the differences between bell sounds quite noteworthy and funny. This is an image of Santa Anna school’s bell:




…looking good old bell, don’t you think?


The first exercise of the workshop, as you may know already,  is the “mySounds” exercise. In which pupils are asked to bring an object that is beloved to them, or that represents them in one way or another, and then explore its sonic capabilities. In the 6th grade class we encountered a funny situation in which most pupils decide to bring their first teddy bears and other significant cuddly toys. Here, see:



…later on we all suffered this decision, while trying to extract interesting sounds from oh-so-cute and adorable, but not very sonorous little animals :/


In any case, and with the help of the whole class, we accomplished, more or less, our goals. We did a recording session in which pupils took the portable recorders in their own hands, and one by one produced their best sounds, while the rest of us kept total silence (we can’t say the same of those other pupils on their playground time :D ). I have to say that, while being their first contact with such machines, they were really fast on understanding the mechanics and procedures of recording sounds (One even mentioned he is going to ask for a recorder as a birthday gift! sound-geek proselytism at its best!)




Here you can hear a couple of our mySounds


…and, please, visit the Jan 2012 mySounds pack at Freesound to hear the rest of them!


Hope you are enjoying, come back!

All the best.