The City Rings

Part: mySounds

what objects do we use in Messac ?

When Julie arrived,  she presented the project and website The city rings with the various stages of the project.  We read the text that we wrote and Julie translated it into English. We tried to read it and recognize it in French. We made two groups of students, one is left with Erwan and the other stayed with Julie.


We brought a sound object from home and we recorded the sound generated by the object.

We listened to different kinds of ringtones European schools that participated in the project. There was a soft ring, some a little stronger and more unbearable.

She explained the operation of digital recorders. We recorded the sounds produced by us with these objects. The two groups are then grouped together and we listened to our own sounds.

We noted that sounds recording were different than what we perceive without the digital recorder.

There were other sounds that the recorder had been captured. Finally, we tried to guess what objects we used and how we manipulated the object to get the sound.





The group with Erwan :

The group with Julie :




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.


My Sounds from Pacé

Firstly, we discovered the Cityrings Website. Then, we translated our last article in French. Each pupil had brought a personnal object and we tried to do a sound with it.


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Next, we recorded, with an audio recorder, all the sounds we did. We listened and drawed a graphic score. At least, we watched videos where people created sounds with different objects and we finished the course by discovering the software Audacity.


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Here is an excerpt of the film that we watched this morning, ” Sound of Noise – Music for one apartment and six drummers”


We listened to an audio excerpt from a composition by Pierre Henry in 1963, “Variations pour une porte et un soupir”.



Taking a walk through sound images

We imagined walking through the different layers of landscape. Like a sliced onion, with our school in the centre we explored the idea of a composition through the out layers of school yard, railway and highway, orchards and vineyards and mountains and lake. It’s tricky to truly capture just the sounds of nature with building work, aeroplanes and cars.

We had fun today listening to sounds from Gent and Athens. The school bell from Athens reminded us of an athletics stadium or swimming pool and the respective bells brought to mind ‘shock’ and ‘fire’.
We used various drawing techniques to capture the shape of the sounds and enjoyed comparing these with the ‘sound spine’ from Freesound (one student coined the phrase early in the year). Have a look at some of our line drawings. Like students from Gent, imagining and comparing and making stories from them. One dutch girl enjoyed seeing sound titles in her own language and helped the rest of the class to pronounce the objects.

We are looking forward to listening to more tomorrow and crafting some SoundScapes. We love how TCR project gives us new ideas and ways at thinking about sound and the world around us.


Sint-Laurens is Ringing!


Hello everyone,

Today we had our first City Rings session. We checked out the other schools on the City Rings website and listened to their recordings. The schoolbell from Athens sounded almost the same as the one we have in Sint-Kruis-Winkel and the recording of their schoolyard sounded like a big swimming pool.


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We also enjoyed listening to the recordings from Etoy. Listening to the footsteps made us wonder what is going to happen as you can hear them walk through the building. So that was exiting to listen to. Off course we made some recordings too! Check them out!

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We also made a first group composition with all our mySound recordings:


mySounds Gems World Academy-Etoy Switzerland

Hi All,
We had an active first day and our crowd sourcing of sounds from the remaining students who are in school had been very successful. We take a further sound walk tomorrow to gather more natural sounds that reflect the location of our school. Like the layers of a composition we are between train tracks and highway, and they are between vineyards, some industry and lake Geneva.
We have a lots of mySounds: here is a selection:


The rest are available in our pack:
mySounds GWAEtoy May 2014

We found the source of the school bell too!


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.


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


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:


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




and Mysounds from Barcelona !

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And here we are with a lot of beloved objects that represent us.


We started the class by checking the blog, where we learned about your school, and also that you were younger ! and cute :P


We wondered about the kind of sounds that you can hear where you live and around the school. We talked about vehicles, animals and the weather; and tried to imagine the differences between Barcelona and Saint-Guinoux


We’ll discover soon, with your sonic postcards!


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After demonstrating collectively how do you attempt to find sounds in an object, by looking for its materials and different ways of “activating” them; everybody started to work on his own .
We explored for quite a while, and wrote down about 5 different sounds per object. Selecting, in the end, about 1 or 2 per person, to be recorded.
As you can see the objects were quite diverse (even a BMX bike!) and so were the manners in which we activated them.
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Listening, and in particular listening through the recorder, was a way to understand better the possibilities of each object. Is it plastic or furry? is it ressonant inside as an instrument? can it turn or twist?


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We look forward to read and listen to the sounds you recorded, and to what you do with our sounds. And we are also very excited about listening to your sounds and composing something out of them. How will it sound?
It will happen soon!
Thank you for the work!
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My Sounds from Saint-Guinoux!

Hello from Saint-Guinoux where it rains for a few days !
We are happy to start this first session of TCR with you and looking forward to share our sounds with our Spanish penfriends.


Monday, we have started our session by looking at the blog TCR on internet and we discovered that you were much older than us ! We have between 8 and 9 years. Your school seems much larger than ours but there are many more students ! We don’t have wide corridors in our school !

Here our classroom :
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We have playing a game called “Sound Kim” (“Kim sonore” in french) The game has picture cards of objects (eg door, book, underground …) and an mp3 player with the sounds that correspond to each object. The purpose of the game is find the sound of each illustration.
This game has helped us to focus on the listening and given us ideas to produce sounds using everyday objects.



After that, we recorded sounds from our own objects from home, our classroom or own schoolbag. Each pupil recorded the sound trying to avoid to get only drumming sounds.
On this pictures, you can see us during a recording session. We had : glue tube, moneybox, bell, green box, Egyptian pencils box, hot-water bag…… An object was made from a plastic bottle plastic containing coarse salt instead of using a musical instrument !



It was nice to listen afteward the recorded sounds as they ‘look’ really different. We have understood the differences between the sound produce in front of us and sound recorded.
Tuesday, we’ll begin to construct a soundscape with the “mysounds” of Spanish students. Looking forward to it !

Here are the sounds that we recorded Monday, try to find the sources of the sounds and you will find the other sounds on Freesound.




Exploring the colour of sound in Switzerland

Session one, together with our Music teacher Miss Lynne.  We enjoyed listening to our partner school’s bell, ‘De Regenboog’ in Sint-Jans-Molenbeek, Belgium. We explored the colour that the sound could be, closing our eyes and listening. We wrote down what we thought without showing anyone else and amazingly came up with very similar colours.

Here’s what we thought; grey, grey, grey-green (lichen green) yellow, yellowy orange, dirty yellow, grey.

We were challenged by emotions that can be evoked by sound, with Lara noting how the sound of any school bell makes her feel anxious.

I wonder what colour you think our school bell is?

We discovered and inquired into the sonic qualities of our sound objects, recording firstly a group composition, conducted by one student and secondly capturing each sound object individually, directly into GarageBand (we are experimenting recording directly into GarageBand on iPad which may prove tricky working with Freesound. We have a couple of field recorders too. Miss Lynne then gave us a masterclass in composition, discussing layers of sound and how to edit between thin and thick layers of a ‘cake’. Using these ideas were produced a collaborative composition.


There are only six of us in class because we have just opened so we’ll add some more mySounds on Wednesday.
Here are our first recordings.