The City Rings

Month: April, 2013

Sonic Postcards De Piramide Ghent part II


Hello everyone,

Can’t believe this is the final post for this edition of The City Rings already. Time flies when you’re having fun! Our last editing session this week went very well. Some great compositions have been made for the postcards. There was a lot of curiosity to listen to each others creations. Some of us really got into the editing details to refine their sounds, while others where fascinated by the rhythm they discovered in their recordings. It was really cool to work with the editing program to experience how sounds can be shaped, cut and combined with each other. It’s like drawing with different colors and textures until an interesting image pops up. We are looking forward to hear the postcards from Barcelona and Lamaçaes too. It was a great sonic trip to be part of. Enjoy our postcards!






Postcards from Mediterrània, Barceloneta!

Hello everyone!
Here we are editing the recordings we made at school, at home and around our neighborhood and turning them into compositions!
We hope you like our sonic postcards!
Greetings from Barceloneta!





Sonic mail from Lamaçaes!

Sonic postcards from all of us!!


Here are some of our first Sonic Postcards! Cover your ears, or just don´t!


Sonic Postcards from De Piramide Ghent part I


Hi there,

It was great fun having the recorders at home for the whole weekend exploring our homes and it’s surroundings for interesting and exiting sounds. Everyone did a great job and came back with a personal, funny, mysterious and sometimes bizarre collection of sonic snaps to compose their postcards with.



We turned the classroom into a big editing studio full with laptops, headphones and recorders. So then the fun could really begin! A short explanation about the editing program was enough to get everyone started. At first it was a bit of a search how to arrange the sounds in an interesting way. But by puzzling, creating and listening we wrote our sonic postcards piece by piece.



Sometimes it was good to remember the previous sessions in which we fantasized and made up stories about the soundscapes from the students of Barcelona and Lamaçaes. This was a good point of reference to get more grip on our own composition. It was great to see how everyone got focused on their own idea in a relative short time. Some of us where so much absorbed by their sounds that they even skipped lunch break! Speaking about sonic ambitions… Here you go, postcards form De Piramide, Ghent. Enjoy the sonic trip!





Mysterious sounds in the Barceloneta neighborhood …

Hello everyone!
These are busy sonic days in the Barceloneta neighborhood!
Last Wednesday we started our session by listening to the composition you made with our sounds: it sounded awesome … and a bit scary!
We all agreed that we really liked the way you composed our sounds. Many felt as if they were listening to the soundrack of a scary movie!
So we imagined the story: a dark scenario, danger getting closer… and a wicked witch! We could hear the frightening steps of the witch chasing a child in the middle of a forest and then a mysterious rain of stones …
On thursday we got acquainted with the recorders and went out to practice with the sounds of our neighborhood, la Barceloneta. We started by walking, listening and recording sonic snaps through Andrea Doria Street, which connects our school to the marketplace.
It is a very nice and lively neigborhood, so we found lots and lots of sounds! Steps, works in progress, cars, pets, birds, sounds from the shops and then the wind and the greater sonic space of the market square. We felt like recording everything!



Some of us went inside the market and others went through the narrow lanes of the barrio in order to catch more snaps and practice recording technique.
After school we took the recorders home and kept recording all through the weekend, adding to our neighborhood repertoire some sounds of our daily life. We recorded fridges, books, a cashier and many more soundsnaps. Do you like them?
We are still collecting more to be ready for the postcards!!!


It’s a Bird… It’s a Plane… It’s a Super Sonic Snap!


Hey ho everyone,

Friday, 3th session: We where all very curious to hear what the soundscapes from the other countries would sound like. What great fun it was to let those sounds get into our ears and trigger the most crazy stories and situations! Again we noticed the students from Barcelona have this great feeling for rhythm and structure in their composition. Someone noticed it sounded like the constant back and forth movement of a hand saw cutting a small tree. Yes indeed, a small tree, not a big one! And at a sudden moment someone was hitting a cooking pot with a spoon. Must be the wife of the woodman calling for diner!


In the soundscape from Lamaçaes we even discovered a sound for which we couldn’t find the right word at first. It sounded familiar and far away at the same time. So we had to dig deep into our memories to find the right image belonging to that sound. Finally the word we where looking for was ‘pendulum’. We realized no one actually uses this word anymore because there aren’t so many old clocks nowadays. So the sound of something old became present again. That was an interesting experience.


And then it was time for the Sonic Snaps. At first we where all so excited about getting our own recorder and headphone that most recordings where full of enthusiastic laughter and shoutings. Whoops, no voices kids! Stay focused and listen closely. It’s a Bird… It’s a Plane… It’s a Super Sonic Snap!


Glasses for the ears… Listening with all our body around Lamaçaes.


Can you put glasses on your ears? Not like you do normally, but like trying to look with your ears? Are there things that don´t sound? Colors, air, light? Is there something you can´t describe with sound? Sound is in everything. Can you hear on the same manner as you are looking? From beneath, from above, from far, from close? Can you even go further an can you hear smells, flavors, touches? Maybe to feel, to smell, to taste can bring you close enough to things so you can hear them?


This is what we experimented a whole session around the school.
Making recordings means to walk slow, to be silent, to be patient and to use all your senses. It is trying to hear with your whole body, not only your ears.
We tried all to make a recording of three minutes. That only three minutes can last so long, nobody expected. This is called to perceive.


Five groups went on an exploration with a recorder as glasses, each following their own path and trying to see things they never saw before.



Secret soundscapes from Barcelona

“The Secret Sounds (from 4th grade class)” would be a rough translation of the title we chose for the Soundscape we made on the second session of the workshop.




We started the session carefully listening to the great mysounds recorded by both Belgian and Portuguese schools, trying to guess how where they produced, and attempting to select already some of them for our composition.


Since we did not have much time, we went straight to had a good look at the basic tools that Audacity offers us: moving, cutting, copying, pasting and the envelope tool; plus the “normalize” effect. Then we tried to bring together some of our favourite sounds from the other schools and started to build our soundscape.






We did not use any concept as point of departure for the composition, asking ourselves instead what did sound good to us. We tried to understand the waves, how visual transformations would affect the resulting sound, and payed special attention to the transitions between sounds. The envelope tool was the overall winner ;) and we used it to end our composition with a coming and going subtle sound.


We thank you very much for your recordings and wish you enjoy our little composition!





A Portuguese bridge of sound between Barcelona and Ghent


What if sound was like travelling? This question was the first on the morning of our second session. With closed eyes we listened to sounds of Barcelona and Ghent. The difference between the sounds was obvious. The sounds from Barcelona, rhythmical, extroverted, almost like little dances. The sounds from Ghent intimate, slower, like little dreams.


We chose each a sound from Barcelona and Ghent and imagined to begin a travel…


Writing down how our trip started was the first step. We imagined to hear rain, singing wires in wind, an old bike going uphill, a door that opened, a clock ticking…


We decided to chose six sounds as stones to build a bridge between Belgium and Spain.


We hope you enjoy our first try, a small travel between North and South.


Soundscape adventures from De Piramide Ghent


Hello everyone!

Today we started the second session with exploring the website and also the mySounds from the other countries. We discovered that it was more difficult to guess what the exact source of the sound could be, but at the same time that made it easier to get our fantasies and storytelling going. It was also nice to see the image of the soundwaves visualized on the big digital screen in our classroom. The rhythm and structure of some of the sounds reminded us of breathing or a heartbeat!


While listening to the mySounds of the other kids we noticed that at some point there was a kind of similarity with our own recordings. Like the rattling of wooden pencils, the cracking of a plastic water bottle or the polishing sound of pieces of paper being rubbed against each other. We also discovered a difference in volume between the recordings of the other schools. Barcelona was sometimes really expressive and loud, while Lamaçaes seemed more patient and intimate in their expression.


This we actually used as an inspiration for our soundscapes. While working with the mySounds from Barcelona we discovered a lot of rythm and symmetric structures. This reminded us of a DJ scratching his records. But after we listened more closely it could also be a drowsy snarling dog as well.

One of the mySounds of Lamaçaes immediately triggered a story in our head. The recording starts with 4 short bangs and then it continues in a more improvised crispy and rustling sound. It made us think of someone shooting a gun, then trying to reload it, but he get’s scared and his hands are shaking, then he is trying to escape and… Well, the rest you can hear yourself. Enjoy listening!