The City Rings

Author posts.
2013
24/04
Wednesday

Sonic Postcards from De Piramide Ghent part I

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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.

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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.

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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!

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2013
22/04
Monday

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

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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!

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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.

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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!

2013
18/04
Thursday

Soundscape adventures from De Piramide Ghent

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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!

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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.

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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!

2013
16/04
Tuesday

New ringing and rumbling sounds from Ghent, Belgium

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Hi there

Our first day at De Piramide school in Ghent was full of springlike sounds; birds all over the place (doves, blackbirds, sparrows), children having their gym class outside at the schoolyard (goodbye winter jackets!!!), and we had this amazing roof terrace to spend our first listening session. First we all listened for several minutes to the sonic environment with our “normal” ears and then we switched to the headphones connected to the recorders. The kids noticed they could hear much “further” then on ground level because of the “air” that surrounded us instead of walls and buildings. While we had to cover our mics from the wind they also started noticing very near and detailed sounds like a shoving shoe, a zipper carefully being zipped, breathing, movements and some mysterious whispering… but maybe that was the wind playing tricks with our ears!

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After our “blowing-with-the-sounds-session” we went back inside the classroom to examine the chosen sound objects. We first tried out the loudest possible sounds we could make and then we concentrated on making a sound as quiet as possible. We discovered there were a lot of variations and expressions possible with only one object. Having recorded everyone’s personal sound we listened them back with our eyes closed and tried to “forget” the source of the sound. This first was a bit difficult but as soon as fantasy kicked in a whole new world of enthusiasm and storytelling emerged. We heard an animal with a big trunk spading the ground, an elephant maybe? Oh no more like a giant anteater! Then we heard the ocean with it’s big waves crashing on the beach. After that we heard footsteps in the Sahara and then suddenly someone was shaking his spray can to paint some graffiti.

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A few sounds that we have recorded that day are at the bottom of our post here. The rest you can find in the freesound pack called: mySounds_Ghent_April2013. We are looking forward to hear the mySounds from the other kids too. Enjoy listening!

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