Can’t believe this is the final post for this edition of The City Rings already. Time flies when you’re having fun! Our last editing session this week went very well. Some great compositions have been made for the postcards. There was a lot of curiosity to listen to each others creations. Some of us really got into the editing details to refine their sounds, while others where fascinated by the rhythm they discovered in their recordings. It was really cool to work with the editing program to experience how sounds can be shaped, cut and combined with each other. It’s like drawing with different colors and textures until an interesting image pops up. We are looking forward to hear the postcards from Barcelona and Lamaçaes too. It was a great sonic trip to be part of. Enjoy our postcards!
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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!
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!
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.
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!
We split the class in two and half of us worked on the postcards on monday and the other half on tuesday. First we got reintroduced to Vegas, the audio software we also used to create our Soundscapes. We learned about cutting and looping, fading in and out, how to lower the volume of a sound, etc… Oh, and we learned about saving our work. Ctrl+S is all you need!
Then we talked about how we felt about our own city, how we wanted to create a composition that was reflecting that feeling properly. We thought and talked about how to tell a story with sound, how to use tension and release, how to use different colors of sound, about the importance of contrasts and the importance of silence.
We all took the recorders home over the weekend so we had enough time to collect our favorite city sounds. Now it was finally the time to create! Some of us made extremely busy postcards, others tried to create something calm, as they felt Ghent was a calm, relaxed city compared to other big cities. We all had a blast! We could talk a lot more about the experience as it was different for everyone of us, but the best thing is just to listen! Check out our postcards! We hope they arrive soon in Paris!
Bonjour and hello!
The 3rd and last session of this week already!
The first thing we did today was reading and translating the text our Parisian friends wrote. They recognized the saucepan lids and the metal tray! How wonderful! And indeed, we had one, even two sounds that sounded like an egg timer. We listened to some of our sounds again, closed our eyes and tried to think of them as sounds made by kitchen utensils. And it worked!
The soundscapes the pupils from the IDES school made were beautifully crafted miniatures. All of the sudden we heard machines come to life, we saw a man chopping wood in the forest (ironically, that was a sound made with a book), bees buzzing and lots more. Thanks to all of you guys and girls for this beautiful compositions! We had no idea that our simple sounds could be turned into an actual story. Could we use our objects to make a soundtrack to a real movie?
We had less than an hour left to learn how to work with the recorders. Next to the technical stuff, we also learned about the difference between a coffeemaker recorded really close in a quiet room and a coffeemaker recorded from far away in a busy cafe. We were maybe a little bit too excited about hunting for our own sounds that we didn’t really got the basics right. So it took a quite a bit of trail and error before we got something decent. We did some tests in the classroom and then went outside for a while to hunt on the playground. You can have a listen to a selection of errorfree sonic snaps underneath the pictures.
Hear you next week!
Today we started our 2nd session with watching some short videos about Foley (Foley is the reproduction of everyday sound effects which are added in post production to enhance the quality of audio for films, television, etc…). We were all amazed to see that so much things we “hear” coming from the screen are actually finely tailored, handmade sounds. And most of the times it’s all made with very normal objects!
Then we listened to the mySounds from different schools. We thought we recognized a book, a marble rolling over a table, a plastic bottle, and much more. We were surprised to hear that the “cricket object” from our partner school IDES was very similar to a sound we made the day before. Nice!
We ended with the creations of 2 soundscapes with the mySounds from our Parisian friends. We had a lot of fun. The sounds coming from the dog toys were quite popular. When we heard it for the first time the whole class started laughing.
Hear you all on Thursday! We look forward to listening to the soundscapes in the classroom!
We had such a great time today! After checking out the ‘thecityrings’ website we did a listening exercise. Half of the class would listen to the sonic environment with their “normal” ears and the other half listened with the headphones on (and the headphones connected to the recorders, of course). Some of us thought they heard a horse walking by, while others heard the breathing of their neighbour and the sound of clothes moving . At one point we opened the door to get some more sound into the room, but except for a lot of ice-cold air we didn’t get much new from that, except for the squeaking sound made by the hinges of the door.
Then we recorded our sounds. A lot of very different sounds were made, some of them really loud (at some point everyone had their fingers in their ears, that was a funny sight!), others extremely quiet and intimate. We listened to our recordings and talked about the feelings and visions we got while the sounds were playing. After that we did the samewith some prerecorded sounds. That was when our fantasy really ran wild! Someone even thought she heard a zombie biting someone in the leg! Oh, and most of our listening was done with eyes closed, there is just so much more you can hear all the sudden.
You can listen to some of our sounds at the bottom of our post here. The rest you can find in the freesound pack called ‘mySounds_jan2013′. We are looking forward to listening to the sounds of our partner school tomorrow! Did they record similar sounds? Or will it be totally different?