Brussels is back with a whole bunch of sound adventures! We took our recorders with us and started exploring our homes and environments for sonic secrets. We recorded in kitchens, bedrooms and gardens, we listened in zoo’s, parks and in the streets, we played with sticks, stones, doors, gates, and carpets, we rumbled with metal, wood, paper, and plastic stuff, we secretly spied on our sisters, brothers, fathers and mothers conversations, we tried to catch the sound of wind, water and the falling autumn leaves and so many things more. They all can be heard in our Sonic Postcards. Enjoy listening!
A swift sonic update from Brussels, since the 26 of us where very busy and eager searching all kinds of sounds from the neighborhood. Back in the classroom we mixed our first Sonic Snaps. On the pictures below you can see us checking out our recording gear at the schoolyard!
Time for some new ringing and rumbling adventures from Brussels. After listening to the mySounds from our sonic companions in Etoy Switzerland our imagination got really started. They send us a super fancy school bell sound and five nice mySound recordings. Their school bell is almost the opposite of the one we have in Sint-Jans-Molenbeek. Very smooth and well tuned against our old fashioned metal shaking bell. We agreed that our bell definitely would not fit into the Swiss landscape because it’s very loud sound would shake of the snow from the mountains and cause a dangerous avalanche!
After a few listening rounds we picked up our headphones and opened our laptops to start composing. We had to work together to make an interesting story with all these sounds. By trying and improvising we found out how sounds can be shaped, copied, cut and combined. It was a challenge to develop a composition and at the same time think of a good story to tell. It was also amazing to find out that such simple sounds can be transformed into a much bigger story. Enjoy listening!
Hello City Ringers,
After searching our homes, drawers, kitchens, closets and classrooms we where very curious to hear which sounds could be discovered from our sound objects. We first started to explore our object for sonic possibilities, for example what is the loudest sound you can make with your sound object and what is the most quietest, or can you make a sweet sound with it, or maybe a sad, angry or funny sound. Then we chose our favorite sound and started recording. While everyone was very silent we listened to each others recording sessions. Some kids even didn’t dare to breath anymore which caused an outbreak of laughing at the end of course!
After we made the recordings we listened them back one by one and talked about the differences. What happens with the sounds when you listen carefully and forget about the sound source? They sound louder, more closer, you can hear more details and they start to trigger the imagination… So we started to make up some stories. The ticking sound of a ballpoint pen became an old typewriter with a woman typing on it with very long nails, the sparkling sound of dripping water from a plastic bottle became a large fountain and the shaking sound of fine sand in a crystal sand timer reminded of snow falling on Christmas eve. Down here you can listen to a selection of the 26 mySounds that we recorded. Enjoy!
Chaimae El Y
We are the kids from the 5th grade from a school called ‘De Regenboog’ in Sint-Jans-Molenbeek, a town in the Western part of Brussels, Belgium. The neighbourhood where our school is located is a very lively and multicultural place, with lots of traffic, shops and a bit of industry. It really breaths the atmosphere of a big city suburb with also a lot of different languages vibrating through the streets. Most people speak French in this part of the country, but in our school the main language is Dutch. We don’t have an electrical school bell but a nice old fashioned one that you have to ring by hand. Actually we have two, the other one is used when we stay indoors and it rings with a fine bright ting!
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!