The City Rings

Author posts.

Adeus and postcards from Portugal…

The last session was about listening. Listening to the sounds of Paris and letting work our imagination.
We wrote a short story about the sounds we heard and then we picked out some sounds that were the most intriguing for us.
We experimented with cutting the sounds in small parts and listening again.
The result was like in a laboratory, looking to sounds under a microscope and adding drops of other sounds in a search for the right chemical reaction.
To experiment was more important then the result, everything was allowed excpet the expected, how crazier how better!
Thank you Paris for the wonderful inspiration!

Goodbye or Adeus in Portuguese!









A door, a fire, sanding wood and twenty sharpened ears in Portugal…

Soundscapes from Gualtar.

Can you guess which sound belong to which picture?
Descriptions of the sounds on Freesound.







More 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!


How does Paris sound? First session in Gualtar, Portugal.

In our first session, this afternoon, we talked about traveling.
Every country has its own smells and colors, but also its own sounds.


We tried to imagine what are the typical smells, colors and sounds of Paris by becoming walkers with our imagination and by looking with our ears.


In Paris we found the smell of crepes, caramel and perfume, and the colors of yellow-gold-brown of autumn, but also grey clouds. How does Paris sound for us? As carousels, rain, birds around the Seine and the Eifel Tower, and a lot of people and cars.


The smells of Gualtar are on this moment roasted chestnuts. They are roasted by sellers on the corner of the streets in november, the color of Gualtar is the deep green of the hills around. Even in winter the trees have leaves and flowers keep growing. The most typical sound of Gualtar? A lot of bells. On top of the hill in front of Gualtar you find 2 of the biggest churches of Portugal, Bom Jesus and Sameiro, in and around the hills are dozens of others small churches.


After this imaginary trip we went to listen to the first real sound of Paris. The school bell of the Olivier Metra school, that didn´t seem te be so different of ours.
Next step was to explore how sound recording work and all pupils presented objects they brought from their homes.


We listened to the sounds that these personal objects can make and experimented with the different sounds of them. Time passed very fast, so there was no choice then to continue in another session.


Here you find some photographs of our afternoon.









And here you have a taste of our sounds (more then 20 others on Freesound):



Our school in Gualtar, Portugal


Our school in Gualtar is the Escola Basico EB2,3. Our class has 20 pupils of 8 -9 years old.
Gualtar is a small town at the edge of high hills, the Minho area in North Portugal, close to Spain. Gualtar is a small town with 3.700 residents.


From our school windows we have a wonderful view on the town and the hills.

ScreenHunter_01 Nov. 17 19.21

Have a look to our shiny school bell! How would it sound?

School Bell Gualtar

This is how our school bell is waking us up in the morning!


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!


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.



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.


First sounds of Lamaçaes – Portugal

First sounds from Portugal.

Amelie with forks

For the first session in Portugal the pupils waited captivated on how the school bells of Barcelona and Ghent would sound. All children wanted a  school bell as in Barcelona! Several children visited already the Spanish city and there was even a girl that visited Ghent. Ingredients of the sound cooking today were talks about sounds of the sea, the woods and mountains and how various places in Europe and as well in Brasil sound.

After a vivid talk we came finally to the objects and their stories. First the children wrote down the sounds of their objects.

amelie fork

Explanation about recorders and listening to their objects via headphones was the following step. The children experiences how you can use the recorder as an “earoscope”.

Then the recording sessions followed in a complete silence.

Geert recording

Time flew so fast that no time was left for creating an own soundscape.
But tomorrow there is another session.


Enjoy listening!




Centro Escolar Vale de Lamaçães – Portugal

Our school is the Centro Escolar Vale de Lamaçães, a new school that opened in 2009 with ten class rooms, a garden, a covered patio, a theatre, multipurpose rooms and spaces for special activities. Our school has 232 pupils from 3 years old till 10 years old. The neighborhood of the school is the Lamaçaes parish, located at the border or the city of Braga in Portugal. The parish has a population of 2.525 inhabitants. It is a neighborhood with an old center looking over the hills and woods of the green Braga valley,   but also has a modern area with many shopping centers, new apartment blocks, playgrounds, public sport fields and squares with bars and restaurants.

And here is a photograph of our school bell.

And this is how it sounds. Enjoy!