The City Rings

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Soundscape time!


Our second session was quite exciting as we had just recieved a whole bunch of new MySounds from our friends in Belgium and France. At first we were busy for a while trying to guess where those misterious sounds were coming from. That wasn’t easy at all! At least we agreed that most of them were produced by rubbing or hitting an object. There was some shaking there too. We could also guess if the object was made from metal, clothes, paper, etc. Then we started thinking about some words that could describe each sound properly. At first we focused on describing what kind of emotions the sound provoked, namely, if that felt nice, or disturbing, or made us get goosebumps, and so on. We even found a “nervous” sound. Then we tried to link the sound to a more complex scenario, like a part of a movie or a story. Amongst other things we imagined a funny scene, Western-like, with a cowboy on a three legged horse. Crazy.


Well, that’s when composition time arrived. The kids were already familiar with Audacity (our usual audio editing software), because Flora, their music teacher, uses it for her classes. So we went over the basics and started working with the sounds we got from the french and belgian schools. We worked together, talking about whether we should use a particular sound or not, and what to do with it or where to put it in the timeline. We enjoyed using “crescendo and decrescendo” (something they learned from their music class too).


We regret not having more time to dig deeper into the compositional process; with one hour, and focusing on the process, time flies! In any case I think we successfully accomplished an interesting composition, with a totally cool ending ;)



What Barcelona did with the sounds she received from Ghent


This was the second session at Santa Anna school. We listened carefully to the sounds we got from De Wijze Boom and De Toverberg students. Obviously, first we tried to guess the source of each sound, but most of the times it was too hard to say! These sounds are really good. Sometimes we had to close our eyes to hear better.


As we went on, we also tried to describe what we heard and how we felt about it. You can describe a sound in many ways. Physically (as short, long, high or low pitched…), making a subjective assessment (as nice, unpleasant, funny, untidy…), or even trying to imagine a scenario for each sound (like…this sounds like washing the dishes, this sounds like a train coming or this sounds like a puppet show). We also paid some attention to how the sound “looks”. You can guess a lot from looking at a sound wave!

Afterwards we did a short explanation about how to work with Audacity -the program we use to edit- and we compared it to some sort of table, where you put some sounds, and then you can cut them, move them around, re-order them… whatever you want. Easy!

So, we decided to work on the composition alltogether. We discussed which sounds we wanted to add, where did we want them, how loud… and when students had different opinions they talked in order to decide if to proceed one way or another.



Finally, we also did some kind of experiment. We wanted to hear all the sounds we got from Belgium at the same time. The result? noisy, but good!