The City Rings

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The Swiss Mix

We have two postcards from this edition of The City Rings.
Built from sounds captured on the building site our our new swimming pool/ sports complex.
Can you imagine playing basketball, hitting a tennis ball or walking out into a crowded pool then diving in the water?

We’ve collaborated together to compose our soundscapes as part of two after school clubs.
There’s been creative coding, Minecraft, tinkering, podcast interviews and of course soundscape creation all in the same room.
A really cool, creative environment!

We look forward to imagining new story ideas from all the postcards.


The Sound Collector

Students in Grade 3 have just been working with the poem ‘The Sound Collector‘ by Roger McGough.

This was an excellent opportunity to share ‘The City Rings’ with the class and use soundscapes from Pacè as provocations for shape poems.

We began by listening to one soundscape example and then used an improv. technique to build ideas and create a story. The idea works as follows:
Yes, and…
Stand with a talking partner.
Play the soundscape then begin the game and it goes something like this:

“I’m wondering how the rain drips down”
“Yes, and…I can hear it being collected in large pool”
“Yes, and…I think there are some electric cables leading into the pool”
“Yes, and…there are crack of sound and sparks flying like lightning…”

You get the idea!
From hear we sketched out ideas and compared these with the sound waves of each soundscape.

Thanks to students from Pacé you are excellent sound collectors and have given us many ideas for our shape poems.

Here’s one poem written by Prokop
The sound collector
By Prokop H.

A stranger called this morning,
Dressed all in black and grey,
Put every sound in a bag,
And carried it away,

The tapping of the cups,
The printing of the receipt,
The blowing of the aggregator,
The unwrapping of the sweet,

The clattering of the knives,
The beeping of the cars,
The thudding of the chairs,
The lighting of cigars,

The ticking of the clock,
The ringing of the bell,
The thundering of thunder,
The humming of the laptop DELL

A stranger called this morning,
He didn’t leave his name,
Only left us silence,
Life will never be the same.


Just an idea! Preserving a memory

Our school is building a new swimming and sports complex

Here’s a selection of captures.

We had the opportunity to visit the site and capture the sounds of construction. Our final soundscapes will try to capture the feeling of the building site, where currently it is being transformed from an idea of an architect to reality. Hopefully our compositions will preserve this transition.

We are pretty excited about creating these memory compositions. Imagining the sports and activity that will take place in the future. Like a time machine!


Layers of sound- Soundscapes mixed from Pacé

Students from both Genius Hour- our independent project inquiry hour and Radio Club, enjoyed listening to the MySounds from Pacé and quickly got into the mindset of mixing a ‘sound story’. We really enjoyed finding the rhythm in our mixes that fit into a story structure of having a beginning, middle (challenge), resolution (end)

We hope you can make stories out of them too!

All mixes were created in GarageBand.


The layers of landscape

We are excited about this edition of The City Rings. Located between Lausanne and Geneva we overlook Lake Geneva. At this time of year there are many layers in the landscape that remind us of soundscapes within the changing seasons. We’ve just had snow in the mountains.
See what you think.

For this edition we have a mixed aged group of artists collaborating between two after school clubs namely Digital Photography and Radio club. We are between 9 and 13 years old.

Our bell is digital and very similar to our local supermarket announcement.


Taking photographs of sound…

For this edition of The City Rings we are inspired by the recent Mozilla festival and the words of sound artist Klasien van de Zandschulp, “All around us people take photographs and we don’t even notice, but when we make field recordings of sounds, some people think it odd?”
Our digital photography club exchanged their cameras and smartphones for sound recorders, capturing moments through audio. Following the recording they took a photograph that represented that moment. Can you match some of the sounds to the images?

Find the whole collection here

Many thanks go to Juan Felipe and Paul, our photography mentors who were openminded to capture visual images as sounds.


Postcards from Etoy, Switzerland

Postcards sent!
Can you connect the Postcard to the visual creation?

Kids from Athens and Gent- thank you so much for working with us with the City Rings project. This amazing collaboration has bound us all together through the medium of sound. We have tried our best to connect other member of our school community too and many students from other grades have wanted to use the recorders and created Soundscapes. Our teachers are thinking of new ways to embed these ideas into our curriculum. We shall definitely share all the Postcards with the whole school community via our Facebook page and hopefully create an interactive gallery using maybe QR codes.
We have had many discussions in school about how much access to mobile learning devices and screen time students should have. The City Rings project has highlighted how digital arts and technologies can help us cross borders and reconnect with our own environment. The mindset of our students throughout the project had been that of exploration, inquiry and wonder which they will take with them into other areas of learning and life.
Until next time!


Sonic Snaps and visual imagery weave our compositions

We began today with a short visualisation imagining our keyword. With our keyword we imagined textures, colours, shapes and forms that could be associated with these words. Then listening to our sonic snaps we connected our visualisations with some of these sounds. The group had some ingenious ideas for grabbing sounds at home using personal devices as we have limited recorders in school. Our incredible resourceful students used mp3 players, video capture on a tablet, voice memos on an iPod and GarageBand. I have featured some of the collection below.
With our images and sound ideas growing in our minds we had the chance to create visual interpretations of our ideas using a variety of media from pencil and paper and crayon to using the app ‘Brushes’ on iPad or sculpture. These creations prompted some great dialogue about our compositions.

Plenty more here:
I have the opportunity to work with many grade levels throughout the week. I visited grade one later in the morning. We listened to the sonic snaps from Athens and Gent and imagined which living thing could sound like these.
Weaving the compositions in our mind and visually, we are ready to begin composing.


Sonic cinema stimulates story telling!

Friday afternoon at the movies! We brought two classes together to listen to some of the Soundscapes created during the first week of the project. The lights were dimmed, imaginary popcorn shared and the films rolled. The only difference, the images and visuals were in our imagination.(We have and some interesting discussions around topics of accessibility and whether it’s possible to experience ‘the movies’ if one is blind.)
We were careful not give any direction to the visualisations created, no titles or preconceived ideas with the first three; Random, Athens, At the movies. Only giving general guidance of what to listen for in characters, settings, landscape, time of day etc with will be beneficial next week when building new compositions.
First up, ‘Random’

We visualised:
“My dad blowing into a beer bottle”
“My dad driving a train”
“With my family in a car making funny sounds”
“Underwater in a submarine-I saw a shark”
“Snorkeler blowing through a snorkel”
“Underwater- with a whale blowing bubbles”
“Train taking me to my dreamland”
“Steamboat ride”

Second, the Soundscape from Athens:

We imagined:
“Raining- I’m in the film, in the afternoon”
“Having a haircut- wet hair then dry hair”
“A toy I used to play with- a wind up toy”
“Two kids slamming a door and then locking it”
“My car in the rain”
“Like a tape measure- a dancing one”
“Objects with eyes in a room looking at me”

Next up: At the the Movies- Gent

We were really getting into the creative mindset now:
“An old lady going to the cinema on a very rainy day. Eating popcorn.”
“A grandpa putting things into a bin, he was in a bad mood.”
“A random man, riding a bike, dodging fireballs”
“Somebody with speedy legs”
“At the theatre- helicopters, planes and trains”
“Someone playing chess on an aeroplane”
“A man working, he makes a remote control aeroplane”
“In a market place- moving things”

Final Soundscape, “A Strange Woman” Gent
With this composition we knew the title, so we imagined this strange woman, using questions as provocations. Who was she? What was she wearing? What would she be listening to on her iPod? What sort of book would she be carrying? …

Here she is:
She could be called, “Molly, Polly, Bobby, Putini, Lizzy or Nono”
Her mood, “Mad, busy, angry, crazy”
Hair, “Red head, curly, cropped, green and short, blondy/brown”
Age, “250!20, 29, 32, 20, 26, 89″
Song on iPod, “a story about running, Michael Jackson, Heavy Metal”
Book, “Mr Putter and Tabby, Police officers notebook, Diary”

She is quite a character!

I am amazed by the diversity of ideas and how the project has stimulated creativity and imagination. The City Rings project has taken us all on a journey of wonder, through the architecture of sound. We are building new landscapes and reconnecting to our physical environment through digital recordings and compositions- another example of the power of digital arts in redefining how we ‘see’ and experience the world around us.


Connecting through sound!

We had an enjoyable session today imagining some of the sounds from Athens and Gent and then creating our first compositions.
Using the storyboard technique from yesterday we began by listening to a few sounds and drawing a line drawing without taking our pencil off the paper. We found comparing these with the sound waves very insightful. The blikje from Gent was- upside down, a bee flying, a movie, an Airplane. With the next sound our imagination were opened further we had a castle in sand, bubble gum, a clock, the snap of a finger, a hand shake, two kids playing a hand game, rain, a monastery. WOW! All from one sound, can you guess which. Thanks to both schools for providing us with some great story settings! Following this we looked at sound and composition shape comparing sound waves and looking at the layers of a composition. We are lucky to have access to iPads in class so we used GarageBand to compose in.
The end of the day we had a mini hackathon, part of which used a Makey Makey which aloud use to play sounds from Playdough, fruit and even each other which haas pretty exciting.
We hope you recognise some of your sounds in our compositions.