The City Rings

Part: Greece
2014
16/05
Friday

Sonic postcards from Athens!

Hello to you all!

We have been working on our sonic postcards for the last two days! It has been a bit difficult to organize it because we only had two laptops to work with. So, we decided to form groups and share activities. Here’s our plan: each day two groups worked with Audacity and the rest dedicated our time in visual scores!

About the sonic postcards:

We have made three of them! We did not want to work on a certain scenario. On the contrary, we wanted to listen many times to the sounds we had made and decide on our compositions more spontaneously, trying various combinations of sounds. Each group collaborated democratically on contents choosing sounds that the whole group liked. Little by little we decided on what would our final outcome sound like. During this process we concentrated on the title of each composition trying to find a title that would fit it best! Finally, on Tuesday we listened to our outcome realizing that each group had worked in a very special way: some were more rhythmical than others, others more literal, others more associative…

Let’s listen to them:

1. FrenoCar (by Flori, Kostis, Mateo): Φρένο (Freno) in Greek means brake. So this composition is about cars. Athens is full of cars and their sounds are very typical of our city! Us composers like beatboxing and pop music, too, so we thought of working with human voice and repetition as well.

2. The barba(by Ekramul, Muhammad, Leonardo): we thought that the sound of the word barba has something in common with the composition that follows, so we decided to name our postcard after it. We have used a variety of sounds to create it!

3. Three rains (by Joana, Marina, Erisha): Due to a technical problem we will only be able to upload this sound by next Tuesday. Until then, try to imagine various types of rain: heavy, light, dense… They all sound differently, don’t they? We have attempted to create a rainy atmosphere here without using any rain sound at all!

About the visual scores:

While the two laptops were fully working on Audacity projects in two continuous days, the rest of the class talked about pentagram scores and visual scores. We talked about Wassily Kandinsky’s connections between sound and painting, as well. In the city rings blog, we found and watched Artikulation: As the sounds of Gyorgy Ligeti’s piece are played, one can simultaneously see the visual score made by Rainer Wehinger.

After that, we were asked to stop and listen very carefully and try to create visual scores of the soundscape in the very moment it was being composed. Listening attentively, it was only but a matter of time that shapes and patterns emerged to describe the others’ voices, the sounds that came from their headphones, the sound of traffic, Linos’ (the bird!) chirps, Sofia’ s steps, our pencils on paper, our breaths, the murmur of the classroom, laughter and many many more! Here you can take a look of some of our scores (By Muhammad, Selena, Flori, Leonardo, Ekramul, Spyridoula, Mateo, Kostis -not in order of appearance!):

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Finally, this is an Origami T-Shirt by Selena with many of the symbols she has used in her scores on it:

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Last, but not least, we would like to thank you very much for sharing sounds and ideas with us! Working with you has been a great pleasure and every time we had a session we were longing to listen to you on the blog!

Little by little, Summer is approaching, so we wish you have a great and sonorous Summer this year!

The kids from 49 primary School of Athens!

 

2014
13/05
Tuesday

more SonicSnaps from Athens!

Hello to all of you!

Today we had our fourth session! Unfortunately, we haven’t managed to gather all of the sound recordings yet. We will have everything by tomorrow, though. So, we decided to dedicate this session to other sonorous things… We took a look at your comments on our first sounscape and were very intrigued by the idea of sonic cinema! It was so fun to read how differently each one of you have perceived the same sound. Thank you both for the great idea! So, here´s where your sounds have taken us to:

a sound from Ghent (we tried not to spy on the title…):

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is the soundtrack for…

-a bank robbery

-person blowing in his hands because he is cold and tries to roll a big rock outside a cave in order to get in.

-a man is running because he is being chased by a lion. The lion tries to throw a stone to him.

-a man cutting down a tree.

-a man on a bicycle, horning.

-a fireman goes to extinguish a fire.

-school bell ringing. the students run like dogs.

-dogs with bells hanging from their necks run.

a sound by Etoy:

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was the soundtrack for…

-a train that horns and stops at the station./tram coming from the previous station./train that horns to a dog

-the school’s bell/fire alarm.

-a crazy alarm clock wakes the chicken up and they are taken aback.

-a child wakes up and takes his/her skate. Almost runs into a dog!

-a ship full of containers horns. People unload the containers and the air comes.

-workers building a house.

another sound by Etoy:

picture357

was the soundtrack for…

-a guy driving a truck in the snow. He is trapped by the snow and gets down to dig and continue his drive.

-people disembark from a ship after having crossed the car parking, take their luggage and get off.

-a radio trying to get signal.

-a ship off for a trip. its radar being fixed.

-it rains. A guy gets in his house and gets out again because he dropped his keys down.

-Kiriku runs away from the witch.

-a submarine in the bottom of the sea. it comes next to a cargo ship and the ship takes it inside. then the ship’s engine starts.

-lots of traffic in the street, trucks horning, dogs barking, people running.

-the Titanic sinking.

 

Afrer listening to some soundscapes from you, we listened to the sounds that we recorded these days and talked about our experience. Unfortunately, we have had some problems: some of us could not complete their recordings and some others have had interventions from people speaking, unwanted noises etc. Last, but not least, heroic Joanna got burnt trying to record the boiler…
Reading Ghent’s post, we realized that you have had as well some of our problems: there were interventions in your recordings, too. Gent helped us understand that sometimes interventions might be interesting and that listening to the soundscape can be itself a composition full of unpredictable surprises.
Listening to our sounds, we noticed the low quality of the mp3 players and wondered whether this is a disadvantage or it can be welcome sometimes, too. In order to think on lo-fi sound, we listened to an example that comes from music: the Cocorosie sisters, (who use children’s toys with lo-fi sound, as well) recorded their first album not in a proper studio but in their bathroom! Listening to Terrible Angels we imagined them playing in the bathroom, we talked about the small room’s acoustics and paid attention to the toy’s sounds and to the little “noises” that were captured during the recording.

Here they go:

Has their sound been affected? Yes, but in a positive way! So, for the next days we need to think on how we can mix our recordings made with the high quality recorders with the ones made with the mp3 players in a way that we have an interesting outcome!

Here are some of our recordings. In order to know who is the author and what is being recorded, we say our name and give a small description of the sound in the beginning of each file:

flush!

beads!

cars and traffic!

an electronic toy!

faucet!

the notorious boiler!

drinking glass!

book!

letting something down!

drawing (and brother’s intervention…)!

That’s all for now! We are very anxious to start with our sonic postcards tomorrow!

Listen to you soon!

2014
08/05
Thursday

Listening through the recorders

Hello everybody!
Our third session was lots of fun!
We started by watching the kitchen scene from Music for apartment and six drummers. We thought the woman with the mixer was very funny and we liked the sound of the egg slicer. Some of us wondered if things are destroyed the way the drummers manipulated them. But then, we saw them leaving the room (almost!) untouched. The scene gave us some ideas on how we can produce sound at home, with everyday stuff.

After that, we took some time listening to your soundscapes! We liked a lot some of them and some others were quite confusing. We were very enthusiastic about recognizing some of our sounds within bigger compositions: Marina’s duck, Ecramol’s chain, Leonardo’s clicking sound, Mateo’s funny lip noise, Joana’s Frog, Kostis’ paper flapping, Flori’s pencil, Selena’s keys… It was very interesting to see (or let’s put it more correctly, to listen to) how our material was transformed into something new!

Then we turned the recorders on and listened. The first contact with augmented sound was a big surprise! We could hear all the tiny noises and the cars passing by our school! We started playing with the possibilities that this new medium gave us. We moved the microphones towards and away from a sound source, we shouted, we blew on the microphones and we whispered. We also revealed some secrets to the ones who had the headphones on… While experimenting, we learned how the recorders work. Check some of our experimentations out. Warning! Voices included ;)
1. Blowing close to the microphone:

2. Moving recorder towards and away from voice:

3. Plastic bag and voice:

Finally, we decided to continue working outside, at the yard, and do some recordings there. We realized that the traffic noise is omnipresent! Listen to our recordings:
1. Our faucets and a car passing by:

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2. Clapping hands all together:

4 Running around:

Did you notice the space’s affection on the running recording? Take a look at it: It is a semi-closed room (3 walls and ceiling but open to the yard):
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Finally, we got back to class and we were given some recorders to take home. However, these recorders are different from the ones we have been experimenting with so far.. They are simple mp3 players that have the possibility to record as well, in this case in low quality. But, is low quality necessarily unwanted? Or does it offer the possibility for different, interesting results? We ll answer to that question next time. In the meanwhile, take some time to think about it as well!
Looking forward to hearing from you soon!
2014
07/05
Wednesday

Our first composition!

Hello Ghent, Hello Etoy!

We started our second session by listening to your bells. How different is Etoy´s bell from ours!! It reminded us of the sound announcements in the Metro. “Next station…. Keramikos!”

Then, we tried to guess the source of your sounds. Sometimes it was too hard to guess! We recognized very easily the sound of coins but it was impossible to guess the squeaking sound of the adhesive tape! Could it be a spaceship taking off? Luckily, Muhammad had some tape with him and, when he pulled the edge, we realized it was alike to what you sent us.

After that, we opened some files in Audacity. We were very curious to find out what happens if more than one sound are played simultaneously. We learned the basic functions: how to move, cut, copy, paste, change the volume, fade in and out and more!

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Joana, Flori and Leonardo have chosen one sound each and formed a group in order to make a composition together. The rest of the class were watching their moves and commenting. Unfortunately, we did not have enough time to create more compositions and we can’t wait for the next steps of the project to really get into editing! Listen to our first sound:

We are curious to listen to your compositions next time and check if we recognize any of our sounds in them!

2014
05/05
Monday

MySounds from 49th primary school of Athens

Hello everybody!

This Monday we read your posts and tried to imagine how do your cities sound like. We imagined the whistling sound of the wind going through the windmill wings, the buzzing cars in the highways, the repeated train sounds, the strange noises that factories might make, the water in the lake and canal, your voices at school and many more! We were quite jealous that you both have water close to your neighborhood (canal and lake).

Take a look at our previous projects n the classroom walls. Many of us like art, as you can see.

classroom

Farsad, for instance, had made a beautiful windmill drawing before we knew about the windmills in Sint-Kruis-Winkel:

windmill

We also brought some things from home in order to explore how we can produce sound. We tried very hard not to burst into laughter while recording, as some of the sounds were really funny! Some of us chose not to bring anything from home but rather to make a sound with our own bodies! Let´s see if you can distinguish body sounds from the rest… Can you guess the sources of all our sounds?
After listening to the recordings we talked about our sounds. The sound was different from what we had thought! We described our sounds as: funny, creepy, strange, rhythmic, sad, happy, slow, fast, repeated, scary, desperate, electronic, natural… One of them reminded us of war and another of strong wind. Listen to them:

 

What do you think? We are very curious to listen to what you are going to do with them!!

Finally, apart from us humans, there is a bird attending our class! That makes us 14 pupils. His name is Linos. We wanted to include his sounds among ours! You may have already noticed his tweets in some of the previous recordings as well… he likes to tweet all the time!
Here he is:

Linos

And here you can listen to his whistling dialog with our project leader:

Finally, we talked a little bit about Audacity and we saw how some of  our sounds look like when opened in the program. The waveforms reminded us both of a cardiograph and of a seismograph.

We are very happy to take part in TCR because this period we study sound in our physics lesson!
Listen to you soon,
the kids from the 49th primary school of Athens

 

 

2014
04/05
Sunday

49th primary school of Athens, Greece

Hello Etoy, hello Ghent!!!
We are the children of the 49th primary school of Athens.

Athens is a big city with many inhabitants. It is the capital of Greece. Greece is a small country with a large history and lots of sun. It is situated in the south of Europe. Our school is close to the city centre, in the neighborhood of Keramikos. Our neighborhood is called this way because of the ancient potteries that produced ceramics a long long time ago in the area.

This is our school:

school

Below you can see our yard. It is small but colourful!
yard
Now listen to how we sound like when we take our break at the yard:

This is our classroom’s door decorated with paper flowers:
classroomdoor
We are in the fifth grade. Take a closer look at our door… “Fifth grade” is written on it, in Greek. As you can see, the Greek alphabet is different from yours. Which letters do we have in common?
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We are a multicultural class!!! Eight of us are from Albania, three from Afghanistan, one from China and one from Greece. Let’s see if you can spot the countries we come from on the world map!
Finally, take a look at our bell:
schoolbell
Listen to it. Does it sound like yours?

We are very curious to learn things about you and to listen to your sounds!
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