The City Rings

Month: November, 2013

Visualising SoundScapes from De Regenboog

Today we listened to the wonderful compositions of our MySounds. We imagined the textures, colours and stories the different layers of the compositions and as a reflection created a visual representation of the tracks. Great job ‘De Regenboog’! We had a choice of media from sugar paper and pastels to using Sketch Up Pro and Doodle Buddy on iPad. Following this we explained our thinking, adding these reflections to SoundCloud. The many layers of texture in the collaboration is an art form itself. We went on to discuss whether sound is art sharing our opinions which were all in agreement – yes because ‘it’s sort of an expression of feelings and emotions which we can all connect with’.

Enjoy our visual SoundScapes and reflections and thank you to De Regenboog for inspiring us.






















And here we are creating our visualisations.

We’ll be using this idea to compose our SonicPostcards


Sonic Snaps as snow snaps Switzerland


Snow descended on Etoy, silencing the air. Session 3 began with inspiration from ‘Music for One Apartment and Six Drummers’

We quickly warmed up experimenting with the use of insulation or windscreens for our recorders. By breathing into each others ears we discussed what we felt and heard, deciding it was a good idea to cushion the recorders against any unwanted drafts. The sound hunt then began. Luckily as part of their inquiries at the moment the classroom is part woodworking workshop, so we had power tools, tape measures, hammers etc to play with. We recorded many sounds, venturing out of the classroom, listening… We quickly adopted signals for recording to ensure the rest of the class were aware and most importantly silent. Our sound technician, Juan Felipe joined us today and guided us to noting each sound as we were recording so we could easily identify the sound afterwards. Due to differing recording devices we were using some tracks were continuous recordings and others single (it’s worth noting for future reference, whilst recording in iPad directly to GarageBand is a seamless transition, there are multiple steps to get these tracks on to Freesound. It goes like this. Sound capture directly to GarageBand-upload to Soundcloud- download to desktop- upload to Audacity-download to desktop as .wav and upload to Freesound) We like mixing it up though!

Here’s a selection of sounds interspersed with image snapshots.

The rest can be found here:


We were so engrossed in our immediate environment we never got outside.










« Terrorific » sounds

Hello from Rennes !


In today’s session we have listened to soundscape from Berlin, but we didn’t recognize our sounds ! Then, we listened sounscape from Switzerland and we got there were our sounds. The one by Iris, Elodie and Lindsay !!!!!!!! had much success.




Then we listened two soundtracks : « Music for Appartment », that some of us already knew ; « Wochenende » by Walter Ruttman, it’s a movie without picture (« cinema for the ear ») :


The idea was to close our eyes and guess a scenario for this soundtrack. The scenario could take place in a boilerworks or in a factory.






It was difficult to chose recording sounds, so we began to write keysword for help us. Alicia, Ines, Iman and Yuna wrote words « key prison », « policeman who runs », « gun », « handcuffs », « victory », and they recorded a piece of metal, steps , claps on hands, a book that falls, ans scissors. Others chose differents places of school, for exemple playground, cafeteria, toilets etc…






A door slamming and a paper that imitates the sound of a gunshot.

(chalk and table)

Timothé,Oscar,Lucien : bicycle helmet

Galeno, Eliot,Okan : hit with a stick and shake tokens.

Arielle, Sara, Marcel : glass bowl and spoons.

Nélo, Erwan, Höel : the sound of a bike helmet for a shot.

Iris, Elodie, Lindsay : a fountain pitcher in the cafeteria.

Alicia, Inès, Yuna, Iman : a creaking door in the cafeteria.

Alicia, Inès, Yuna, Iman : an iron bar to imitate the sound of screams.


Other sounds are available on Freesound !
See you soon !


Brrrrussels is Rrrrringing Mysounds in the Mix


Hello there!

Time for some new ringing and rumbling adventures from Brussels. After listening to the mySounds from our sonic companions in Etoy Switzerland our imagination got really started. They send us a super fancy school bell sound and five nice mySound recordings. Their school bell is almost the opposite of the one we have in Sint-Jans-Molenbeek. Very smooth and well tuned against our old fashioned metal shaking bell. We agreed that our bell definitely would not fit into the Swiss landscape because it’s very loud sound would shake of the snow from the mountains and cause a dangerous avalanche!



After a few listening rounds we picked up our headphones and opened our laptops to start composing. We had to work together to make an interesting story with all these sounds. By trying and improvising we found out how sounds can be shaped, copied, cut and combined. It was a challenge to develop a composition and at the same time think of a good story to tell. It was also amazing to find out that such simple sounds can be transformed into a much bigger story. Enjoy listening!





Sharing headphones
Makes listening
even more fun!
; )



5b sonic cold snaps walk


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Mysounds.. your sounds .. OUR sounds

Another fun, but hectic day at the Ecole Olivier Métra. We overlapped with our partner school in Portugal so downloaded Rennes sounds instead which were great too. Before listening back we evoked what living in a small town in the Portuguese countryside might be like. They laughed when I told them that the children from Gualtar imagined Paris smelling of crêpes…and replied that it must be nice to be able to smell flowers and chestnuts instead of pollution. The tuning fork recorded by Rennes led the class to think about different sounds of church bells and how far you can hear them. Not something you hear in every arondissement in Paris.
We also discussed whether recordings made with everyday objects can be ‘composed’ or made into music. Like Berlin we watched the film, Music for One Appartment and Six Drummers which answered the question to some extent.
Globally the Rennes sounds were pretty similar to what we had managed to record, and as there was some frustration that we hadn’t had enough time to listen to the other group’s sounds ( the class has 26pupils and I am all alone, so I have been taking half the class at a time) we decided to remix our sounds with Rennes. You can hear the result here :

Using Audacity we also discussed the volume of the mix, and what sounds work together and why, and what doesn’t work, ie piling all the sounds, one on top of another to see what happens. Also this particular mix is too loud at the beginning.
Tomorrow we will be recording the inner workings of the school and will post the results of our findings.

Part II.
First some photos of us discovering the sonic properties of the school :






The class was divided in two, half with me, and half with their teacher Maddalen. We scoured the school and came up with some great sounds, and probably disturbed the rest of the school in the process… but there you go.
The pupils will have spent the weekend scouting for sounds in the area which we will attempt to capture tomorrow morning. In the meantime, a taste of what we found at the school. The rest can of course be found online.


Cuisine française with sounds. Boiling soundscapes from Portugal.

Creating a soundscape is something like cooking. You don´t need much spices for a tasty dish.
So we experimented today with sounds as spices: small but looking for a strong effect.

We divided in small groups and listened carefully to the fascinating and sometimes mysterious sounds from Paris.
We had a hard time at first, but little by little got into the world of the French recordings, cutting the sounds carefully into little pieces with sharp kitchen knives, mixing them as small ingredients and cooking a dish with both French delicacy and hot Portuguese flavors.

Be careful when you taste our miniature experiments. Bon appetit.

More photographs tomorrow!


5B inside headphones..

Hello again from Berlin! In today’s session we started by listening to the sounds from Rennes while students discussed a little what they thought they heard. Then the 18 Students present took headphones pairing up or working solo with either MacBooks with sound editing software while other students taught each other sound Apps on I-pads that can capture and modify sounds to be played back. It was great to see how students were engaged in working with sound being it through the TCR method or students sharing ideas and ways of playing with sound through their devices!!
After the session l still haven’t heard everything that was going on inside the headphones but here is a mix by Julian –

We also looked at Music For One Apartment And Six Drummers which is always great!
Tomorrow we will go on the streets for sound snaps!! and l promise photos!


Brittany mixing Germany

Today, we started the second session with exploring the website and listening the Mysounds from Germany (BMS). We are looking forward to see your pictures to the next session !


We tried to guess what object was used to produce each sound, and we associated a gesture to each sound (to tear, crease, tap, shake…). We tried to imagine what recordings could be sound effects movie (eg. crumpled and torn paper to represent the fire burning, shake pencils in glass jar made us think of a musical instrument, maracas). We imagined the ways of producing and material.




We noticed that we sometimes used the same objects (scissors, pencils, table and chair) and there was similarities. We found differences between the sounds produced with the same object. Every action on the object produces a different sound and so relates a different story (eg paper ripped, wrinkled, rubbed).


We discovered the Freesound website and we could see that all our Mysounds are online. We can listen our Mysounds at home and it’s the chance to introduce The City Rings to our family and friends!




Finally, We did a selection of four sounds and we started an audio editing with BMS sounds. We have worked with pairs (2) on laptops to create our first soundscape with the software Audacity.





We learned how to use this software, how to import, edit and level the sound.
We gave a title to our sound composition, this is the result of soundscapes from BMS “My sounds” :




Mayola and Galeno created their soundscape entitled “Flac Flic DJ”

“Untitled”, Kylian and Oscar

This soundscape was created by Lindsay and Alicia, its title is “School crazy”.

Yuna and Imane, “The Factory”.

Elodie and Iris, “Sounds fake”.

Sarah and Arielle, “The party”.

Timothé and Marcel, “Crazy laptops”.

Nelo and Eliott, “Funny sounds”.



“Kenavo” ! (Breton language for “Bye” or “au revoir” in french)


Weaving a story in our minds

We can see the hills and mountains again and there’s snow! We began the session today by watching a short piece about a Foley Artist, Ellen Heuer: This was the starting point for a discussion about how we naturally create images when listening to sounds or even make assumptions. We wanted to listen to the sounds of De Regenboog school without knowing what the source was, and use this as the beginning of forming a story or pictures in our imagination.

We enjoyed reading all about how our partner school, listened to the sonic qualities of their mySounds which gave us lots of ideas. This is the beauty of collaboration where ideas can grow and develop.
Headphones on, we listened carefully to each of the mySounds choosing the ones which evoked strong images and feelings- look for our comments.
These selections were dragged into GarageBand and compositions created. As we were listening to these we shared; how they made us feel, any stories which flowed into our minds or childhood memories (for the adults) that were triggered.
Enjoy our compositions below.