The City Rings

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Doctor Puigvert’s Sonic Postcards

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And after quite some work we finished the postcards :)


For the compositions we used keywords as habitable, unforgettable, fire, intense, extroverted, or fantastic.


We worked in groups of two, and some took a naturalistic approach while others had quite a fun time with the effects menu. I am sure you will recognize each of them when you listen to the postcards.
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We had some problems with different versions of Audacity installed in the computers at the school; plus some really problematic pc’s who gave us battle. But we succeeded.
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Please take a listen and comment!

Visit the freesound pack for the rest of them.


Thank you very much for your work.


For this edition of The City Rings we did not have time to test the recorders in the school or in a nearby market, park, or otherwise, as was often the case.


So after a brief introduction to how the recorders work -which the students already knew from previous exercises- they took the machines home to record there their Sonic Snaps. And we have quite a few! Take a listen.



We have already started working in The Postcards, this time by groups of 2 people; and using two keywords per group that refer to the experience of their daily environments, and that are the point of departure for the compositions. For example “habitable / inolvidable” or “extrovertit / fantàstic”.

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You can listen to the rest of the snaps at Freesound:


We will be soon back with the postcards, looking forward to hearing yours!


Soundscaping your sounds

We started the second session of our participation in The City Rings by looking at Saint Guinoux’s school post in the blog.


In the pictures, our class seemed to see many toys among the objects the pupils brought, were they right? We listened to the mysounds and talked about them for quite a while. We talked about their possible origin and properties, and attempted to describe them. Many of the sounds seemed to us percussive, startling, quiet… we imagined movies in which the sounds could be used. Most of the scenes that came to our mind were the “tense” type… just before something happens! We also heard horses and snakes, and imagined a western movie.


After commenting on the sounds we used a projector and speakers to do a group composition with Audacity. We went over the different tools available to us on Audacity. Select, move, envelopes, cut and pasting, track level, panning, etc. And used several of Saint Guinoux’s sounds to do a small composition based on our reflections on the sounds we commented before.
Please take a listen and tell us what you think.


After finishing the composition we spent some time to understand how the recorders work. Setting the recorded in pre-record mode, adjusting input level and mic gain, how to place the recorder in relation to the sound we want to capture, recording, stopping, listening, etc.
Everybody took the recorders home and we will be able to upload the sounds on tuesday. We will also listen to your soundscapes and “snaps” that day. Looking forward to it!
Oh! We are sorry about the lack of pictures of today’s post! Hopefully we will be able to add them very soon.
Thank you for your work!


and Mysounds from Barcelona !

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And here we are with a lot of beloved objects that represent us.


We started the class by checking the blog, where we learned about your school, and also that you were younger ! and cute :P


We wondered about the kind of sounds that you can hear where you live and around the school. We talked about vehicles, animals and the weather; and tried to imagine the differences between Barcelona and Saint-Guinoux


We’ll discover soon, with your sonic postcards!


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After demonstrating collectively how do you attempt to find sounds in an object, by looking for its materials and different ways of “activating” them; everybody started to work on his own .
We explored for quite a while, and wrote down about 5 different sounds per object. Selecting, in the end, about 1 or 2 per person, to be recorded.
As you can see the objects were quite diverse (even a BMX bike!) and so were the manners in which we activated them.
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Listening, and in particular listening through the recorder, was a way to understand better the possibilities of each object. Is it plastic or furry? is it ressonant inside as an instrument? can it turn or twist?


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We look forward to read and listen to the sounds you recorded, and to what you do with our sounds. And we are also very excited about listening to your sounds and composing something out of them. How will it sound?
It will happen soon!
Thank you for the work!
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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!





mysounds from Barcelona

It is always nice to see the kind of beloved objects that participants of TCR bring to the first session. They do not know we are going to use them as sound instruments!



And so, today all their little boxes covered by pictures and full of secrets, teddy bears, binoculars, books and glasses… were subjected to curious sonic exploration.




We started by collectively attempting to come up with possible ways of obtaining sounds from a single object. Then moved to individual exploration.  An attempt was made to avoid hitting and scratching as too obvious or easy.



Paying attention to irregular surfaces, materials and moving parts proved to be a good way of obtaining sound. We wrote down how to produce this sounds.




During the recording we exercised collective silence and listening… using the pauses between a recording and the next, to cough and move around a bit before … hush!… and again… until all sounds where ready. Please enjoy them below, and do not forget to visit our Freesound page for the rest of them :)


p.s. apologies for the phone-quality pictures, we promise not to forget our camera again , ouch! ;(



The Postcards (Can Cladellas, Barcelona)

Today we finished the Postcard. We had started yesterday, as we dedicate two sessions to this exercise. The first session we asked the participants to listen to their sounds, do a selection, rename them and clean them of any talking or other unwanted sound. The second session has been more focused on the composition of the postcard itself.



They started the composition based on one or two keywords that define how they experience their daily environments. This is one of The City Rings suggested methodology, and we adopted it. Once they have those words, they are to represent them, using the sounds (sonic snaps ) recorded at home and school the previous days. And so, the final composition (the postcard) is a sonic representation of their subjective daily experience.



For their compositions, the participants used, along their intuition, some of the tools and strategies we suggested during the Soundscapes session: multilayering, the envelope tool, track gain, intensity curves, repetition, silence, etc.


Technically, they did not have any problem handling Audacity, except for some of its limitations, as the difficulty to split a sound in two or more separated fragments, and keep then on the same track. Also the limited screen size  of the tiny laptops, makes it difficult to see quickly all the tracks in use , instead of having to scroll up and down for it.


In any case the dedication of the class to their compositions surprised us! they even missed voluntarily some time of their morning pause in order to be able to finish it the way they wanted. We really appreciated that!



Please , listen below to some of their compositions, and do not forget to visit our pack at Freesound for the rest of them 

Thanks for reading!






Snap! Sounds from Palau Solità i Plegamans (Barcelona)

Look at them, with their recorders and headphones, running around, asking people to perform actions so they can record them. They are like us, but smaller! ;P



So we dedicated a full session for participants to learn how the recorders work and practice their new acquired knowledge around the school. This was a preparation for the task of taking the recorders home, and go on recording sounds from their daily life.



And they have collected quite some interesting sounds indeed. Below you can hear a few of them, and don’t forget to visit our Freesound SonicSnaps pack for the rest of them:


Oh! we did not remove , from the sounds, the voices of the participants when they announce what they are going to record. Of course we will not use those voices during the Sonic Postcard composition, but we found it could be interesting for you to hear some tiny Spanish and Catalan voices at work.






Can Cladellas Soundscape

And so we received the mysounds from Essen, and went to listen and talk about them. We talked about their physical characteristics, as loudness or lenght; about some of their other, more complex traits, as if they were pleasant, annoying or subtle; and we also closed our eyes and tried to imagine what kind of scenes or sensations these sounds produced on us. You will find the participants answers at the comments section, Essen ;)


And after this, we moved onto an introduction to Audacity and its tools -they always love the envelope tool. Our plan was to do a selection of sounds and attempt to do a small composition -the soundscape- all while looking at possible compositional strategies. The strategies we saw were, repetition, crescendo and decrescendo (fadein, fadeout), multilayering, and paying attention at the intensity curves of the composition as if it was a movie.



We cut some sounds and alternated the pieces to create an effect, that later became rhytmic; we used what we believed to be some sort of marble as a transition, and finished it with a a sonic burst that the class really enjoyed, and got us applauding :D Needless to say, our time went quick, but we think we came up with a well-thought, tiny composition. Listen and enjoy!



their sounds ; Palau Solità i Plegamans (Barcelona)

And so we started January’s 2013 edition of TCR :)


First of all I want to say this school, Can Cladellas, is at our hometown! both Laura and I, Jaume grew up in this town called Palau Solità i Plegamans. This makes the whole situation a bit more special for us.


And we started by presenting the project to the participants, in particular the pictures and bell-sounds of the other schools. The bell sound is always a very interesting way to perceive differences and similarities between schools, their locations, history and way of doing.


Since we did not have a lot of time we went straight into checking our objects -beloved objects that the participants were asked to bring from home- and here you can see an example of the variety, a horse named “xocolata” (catalan for chocolate) and a fork that was engraved with the name of its owner, right when she was born.



We started the sonic exploration of our objects collectively as an attempt to help each other go further the hit/scratch basic sounds that we usually come up when we confront the sonic exploration of an object for the first time.




Then we moved to individual exploration of the object, where each participant was asked to come up with at least 5 or 6 sounds (our strategy to, again, attempt for them to avoice hit/scratch sounds… this works sometimes ). And then we went onto recording the sounds one by one.


Listen to some of them below and to the rest visiting our January 2013 Mysounds pack at Freesound, also below. Thanks for stopping by!