The City Rings

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Composing postcards in Ghent

Hi, there!


We split the class  in two and half of us worked on the postcards on monday and the other half on tuesday. First we got reintroduced to Vegas, the audio software we also used to create our Soundscapes. We learned about cutting and looping, fading in and out, how to lower the volume of a sound, etc… Oh, and we learned about saving our work. Ctrl+S is all you need!


Then we talked about how we felt about our own city, how we wanted to create a composition that was reflecting that feeling properly. We thought and talked about how to tell a story with sound, how to use tension and release, how to use different colors of sound, about the importance of contrasts and the importance of silence.


We all took the recorders home over the weekend so we had enough time to collect our favorite city sounds. Now it was finally the time to create! Some of us made extremely busy postcards, others tried to create something calm, as they felt Ghent was a calm, relaxed city compared to other big cities. We all had a blast! We could talk a lot more about the experience as it was different for everyone of us, but the best thing is just to listen! Check out our postcards! We hope they arrive soon in Paris!




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 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!








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?