The City Rings

Month: January, 2013

Can Cladellas Soundscape

And so we received the mysounds from Essen, and went to listen and talk about them. We talked about their physical characteristics, as loudness or lenght; about some of their other, more complex traits, as if they were pleasant, annoying or subtle; and we also closed our eyes and tried to imagine what kind of scenes or sensations these sounds produced on us. You will find the participants answers at the comments section, Essen ;)


And after this, we moved onto an introduction to Audacity and its tools -they always love the envelope tool. Our plan was to do a selection of sounds and attempt to do a small composition -the soundscape- all while looking at possible compositional strategies. The strategies we saw were, repetition, crescendo and decrescendo (fadein, fadeout), multilayering, and paying attention at the intensity curves of the composition as if it was a movie.



We cut some sounds and alternated the pieces to create an effect, that later became rhytmic; we used what we believed to be some sort of marble as a transition, and finished it with a a sonic burst that the class really enjoyed, and got us applauding :D Needless to say, our time went quick, but we think we came up with a well-thought, tiny composition. Listen and enjoy!



Sonic S(ch)na(p)ps at minus 6 degrees in Ghent

Bonjour and hello!


The 3rd and last session of this week already!


The first thing we did today was reading and translating the text our Parisian friends wrote. They recognized the saucepan lids and the metal tray! How wonderful! And indeed, we had one, even two sounds that sounded like an egg timer. We listened to some of our sounds again, closed our eyes and tried to think of them as sounds made by kitchen utensils. And it worked!


The soundscapes the pupils from the IDES school made were beautifully crafted miniatures. All of the sudden we heard machines come to life, we saw a man chopping wood in the forest (ironically, that was a sound made with a book), bees buzzing and lots more. Thanks to all of you guys and girls for this beautiful compositions! We had no idea that our simple sounds could be turned into an actual story. Could we use our objects to make a soundtrack to a real movie?


We had less than an hour left to learn how to work with the recorders. Next to the technical stuff, we also learned about the difference between a coffeemaker recorded really close in a quiet room and a coffeemaker recorded from far away in a busy cafe. We were maybe a little bit too excited about hunting for our own sounds that we didn’t really got the basics right. So it took a quite a bit of trail and error before we got something decent. We did some tests in the classroom and then went outside for a while to hunt on the playground. You can have a listen to a selection of errorfree sonic snaps underneath the pictures.






Hear you next week!


Soundscapes – BMS mixes Rennes sounds


For this session we discussed using garage band. The students were already savy with the software from their personal experience and music class, as the students are doing a Unit Of Inquire into ‘sound and light’ though all subjects they have also been working with and thinking about the recording and editing of field recordings.

Since they needed no further instruction we had a look at some graphic scores, we look at the graphic scores of John Cage and Mortan Feldman.  Students then draw these while listening to the sounds.

This is one of the soundscape that the students created from the sound for Rennes, France


Our first little soundscape

today we made our first soundscape with three of the object sounds of our spanish partner, but first we did a little listening exercises and characterized sounds by colour, emotions, the ways of producing and material. We found it easier to talk about the colours of the sounds than emotions.

And we guessed what the sources of the spanish sounds were. We thought about motor blocks and motorbikes (but then again we thought that it would have been very difficult to get a motor block into the school ;-). We found kitchen mixer, ducks, sandpaper, horses, saws but then again we thought about saws made of plastic and metal?

And when we saw the picture of the fork and the pencil holder, we recognized the neon yellow sound we heard in object 3.

Then we learnt how to use audacity, how to import, edit and level the sound. We even reversed a sound. And then we played all three sounds together and found that we would have to decrease the level on two tracks to hear the third.

That was our result as a first soundscape:

We would have worked longer on this, but time was already up.
We added today some photos from monday on the mysounds post, see us hard working on the recordings.


Breton soundscapes from Berliner sounds !

“Demat” European friends !
(“Demat” is the Breton language to say “bonjour” in french, whether “hello” in english)


Indeed, we are located in Rennes, a part of France named Brittany (or Little Britain). Rennes is also a capital, but of Brittany !


Tuesday 15th January 2013 :
13:30 to 15:30, we were in the computer room for Session 2 as you can see in these pictures.




Today, we started the second session with reading the website (unfortunately, with a pronounced French accent !) and listening german Mysounds (Berlin). We tried to guess what object was used to produce each sound, and we associate a gesture to each sound (scrub, sharp, shuffling papers…).
We found that we used some of the same objects (eg the pencil sharpener), but the sounds were different!
Then, we learned to browse the website so we can use it alone at home and listen to the sounds of the others classes.


Next, we reviewed the basics of using Audacity (import an audio file, separate audio track, sliding tracks, generate silence, stereo, etc.). Finally we have worked with pairs on computers to create soundscapes related to our keywords and from the sounds made by the German students.



Have you guessed the key word ?
The key word for this soundscape is “work”, created by Philippine et Anouk.

Elsa et Alicia have chosen to work on the theme of the stapler and pencil sharpener !


Erwan et Nino tell a story where the main character is a firefighter !

Did you guess which object Malo and Mathieu refer?
This is a person who is trying to mix a deck of cards !

Mathurin, Mathéo and Deodat are on the road again !

Bleuenn and Sarah are playing the drums !
You will discover the others audio editing made ​​by the rest of the class soon on Freesound !
“kenavo” ! (Breton language for “Bye” or “au revoir” in french)


Soundscapes from the snowscape called Ghent!

Hi there!


Today we started our 2nd session with watching some short videos about Foley (Foley is the reproduction of everyday sound effects which are added in post production to enhance the quality of audio for films, television, etc…). We were all amazed to see that so much things we “hear” coming from the screen are actually finely tailored, handmade sounds. And most of the times it’s all made with very normal objects!


Then we listened to the mySounds from different schools. We thought we recognized a book, a marble rolling over a table, a plastic bottle, and much more. We were surprised to hear that the “cricket object” from our partner school IDES was very similar to a sound we made the day before. Nice!



We ended with the creations of 2 soundscapes with the mySounds from our Parisian friends. We had a lot of fun. The sounds coming from the dog toys were quite popular. When we heard it for the first time the whole class started laughing.



Hear you all on Thursday! We look forward to listening to the soundscapes in the classroom!








A Parisian take on Ghent sounds

Hello all !

Well we had a very busy and productive afternoon. We first of all listened to the sounds from our partner school in Ghent, and had some difficulty in guessing all of them. In the end we voted on what we thought was the most likely sound source. If we heard correctly there were quite a lot kitchen utensils ? We imagined an egg timer ticking the seconds away, copper saucepans lids crashing together like cymbals, a metal tray banged with a soft object that sounded like a wonderful gong, and jam jar lids being pushed in and out. I won’t list what we made of all of the recordings, but we thoroughly enjoyed listening, so thank you.

For everyone in the class it was the first time using Audacity, so we went through the basics ( importing sounds, sequencing, editing) and just about managed to create three short soundscapes in the time we had left.

Each group heard something different in the sounds.

This first group imagined their composition as a fairytale set in a cave – kitchen.  A new take on Cinderella ?



The second group heard environmental, pastoral  sounds in the recordings. Inspired by this they created a walk in a forest where they stumble upon a woodcutter doing some carpentry.



The third group thought there was a lot of activity and movement in the recordings. They imagined cogs turning, springs bouncing and machines spinning into action all by themselves. Hear for yourselves :



We will not have a session tomorrow, it being Wednesday, and that means no school in France, so we will listen to our partner schools creations on Thursday. Happy recording.


Mysounds from Paris

Hello from Paris where Winter has arrived.

We started our session by listening to all the bells and thinking about the descriptions of the schools. The general thought was that our bell ( Henriette )seemed the loudest and oldest.. whilst many of the others sounded more ‘electronic’ and impersonal.  This was not intended to be a competition !

Unfortunately the person who was taking photos of our session has technical problems with her camera, so sorry, no photos today.

Each pupil revealed their object to the rest of the class. It was also a  chance for the pupils to listen through their ears and through the headphones, what difference does this make ? We re-familiarised ourselves with recording techniques and tried to make several different sounds with the same object, and not only tap with our hands. For instance one pupil breathed deeply in and out of a plastic bottle, another shook her whole body which ‘rung’ her many gold bracelets, someone else dropped a small tin on the floor.   Some objects were more personal than others.

Here are some examples :


The ‘cricket’ is an interesting object. It is a signalling device used by French soldiers in the Second World War. What could be a modern day sonic signalling device?

And lastly our class composition, entitled ‘Symphonie de Bruits Quotidiens’ ( Symphonie of Everyday Sounds) – we are French you know !


Looking forward to hearing your work. A demain.


their sounds ; Palau Solità i Plegamans (Barcelona)

And so we started January’s 2013 edition of TCR :)


First of all I want to say this school, Can Cladellas, is at our hometown! both Laura and I, Jaume grew up in this town called Palau Solità i Plegamans. This makes the whole situation a bit more special for us.


And we started by presenting the project to the participants, in particular the pictures and bell-sounds of the other schools. The bell sound is always a very interesting way to perceive differences and similarities between schools, their locations, history and way of doing.


Since we did not have a lot of time we went straight into checking our objects -beloved objects that the participants were asked to bring from home- and here you can see an example of the variety, a horse named “xocolata” (catalan for chocolate) and a fork that was engraved with the name of its owner, right when she was born.



We started the sonic exploration of our objects collectively as an attempt to help each other go further the hit/scratch basic sounds that we usually come up when we confront the sonic exploration of an object for the first time.




Then we moved to individual exploration of the object, where each participant was asked to come up with at least 5 or 6 sounds (our strategy to, again, attempt for them to avoice hit/scratch sounds… this works sometimes ). And then we went onto recording the sounds one by one.


Listen to some of them below and to the rest visiting our January 2013 Mysounds pack at Freesound, also below. Thanks for stopping by!




Fresh mySounds from Ghent, Belgium

Hello everyone!


We had such a great time today! After checking out the ‘thecityrings’ website we did a listening exercise. Half of the class would listen to the sonic environment with their “normal” ears and the other half listened with the headphones on (and the headphones connected to the recorders, of course). Some of us thought they heard a horse walking by, while others heard the breathing of their neighbour and the sound of clothes moving . At one point we opened the door to get some more sound into the room, but except for a lot of ice-cold air we didn’t get much new from that, except for the squeaking sound made by the hinges of the door.



Then we recorded our sounds. A lot of very different sounds were made, some of them really loud (at some point everyone had their fingers in their ears, that was a funny sight!), others extremely quiet and intimate. We listened to our recordings and talked about the feelings and visions we got while the sounds were playing. After that we did the samewith some prerecorded sounds. That was when our fantasy really ran wild! Someone even thought she heard a zombie biting someone in the leg! Oh, and most of our listening was done with eyes closed, there is just so much more you can hear all the sudden.



You can listen to some of our sounds at the bottom of our post here. The rest you can find in the freesound pack called ‘mySounds_jan2013′. We are looking forward to listening to the sounds of our partner school tomorrow! Did they record similar sounds? Or will it be totally different?