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!
Here we are editing the recordings we made at school, at home and around our neighborhood and turning them into compositions!
We hope you like our sonic postcards!
Greetings from Barceloneta!
Sonic postcards from all of us!!
Here are some of our first Sonic Postcards! Cover your ears, or just don´t!
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!
Today we finished our postcards and I think everyone is generally pretty happy with the result.
We started off our session by listening to the postcards from Ghent, and thinking about the description of it being ‘calm and quiet’. This was not our general impression, quite the opposite, so we deduced that you had made microscopic recordings, or ‘close-ups’ of many different objects from you daily environment and assembled them in a ‘non naturalsitic’, or unliteral way. Some postcards ended in crescendos, some became quieter. This provoked a conversation on the many ways of composing with the recordings, should the recordings always reflect reality, and be a sort of storyboard of events ? There are so many different possibilities, or stories to tell with the same sounds, even with a given theme or keyword.
We decided to make a few more recordings in the kitchen, using the old fashioned telephone, the speaking weighing machine, and the squeaking window, whilst reflecting on the matter. It reminded me of this film :
This was good to watch, everyone laughed, and it was a counter example, another approach to composing with everyday sounds.
With all these thoughts the time flew by … here are our postcards. I hope you manage to hear them, and thank you so much to everyone for sharing. Bonne écoute !
The very last session on the project is over and we will definitely miss these meetings in the next weeks. It was so much fun.
We fougth with audacity (sometime things got lost or simply our hands slipped away, and suddeny everything was gone)
So here, dear folks from Palau Solità i Plegamans, are now our little sonic postcards for you.
To imagine what could be in the postcards and how it could be sounding like we draw even some postcards at home.
We found that easier (because we could talk about colours and form of sounds) than describing what one could send on a postcard, then we transformated these thoughts with the sounds we recorded at home to these results. We hope, you have fun listening.
And yes, we found the effect section in audacity! Hear what we have done!
After finishing our compositions we found it very easy to talk about pictures we got in our heads when we listened to the postcards of Can Cladellas (you will find the comments in the comments ;-) )
Because we now experienced that a sound when listened repeatedly, it get’s more and more abstract and we don’t perceive it any more as the source of the recording but as a part of a sound picture.
We loved the whole project so much, that we could edit the sounds ourselves, that we could take the recorders at home, that we were working in groups, …
Tuesday, January 22 :
Here we come to the end of the session of the city rings !
Before returning to realizing our audio editing, we’re reading the post of berliner students. After listening to each sound, we try to guess how and with what they were made. Sometimes there were many ideas for one sound! Eg, the sound “water pump” was the sound of a tap for some pupils, was the noise of a toy kitchen for other.
We have listening some other sounds on “freesound”, now we can use the website easily !
Unfortunately, when we wanted to take our editing audio… files were no longer on computers ! Because of this bug, we repeated all our poscards! We were really disappointed!
To you now discover our daily sonic environment … somewhat reinterpreted!
We tried to reproduce a day of bad weather with thunder. For example, the wind noise was made from a dictionary, turning the pages very quickly.
We were inspired by the sound of a bell. It made us think firemen, so we completed the editing audio on this topic.
When you hear this sound, we hope to give you the impression that you are in a factory. Noises are mechanical and repetitive, like an assembly line.
We imagined being in a playground. But the atmosphere of the school yard will be a little crazy. Sounds in the school grounds were recorded during a battle of snowballs.
We chose to create a soundscape around the theme of war too! In fact, we talked about war in Mali this morning in class, and we were several groups to be inspired by this theme to create our soundscapes.
On this sonicposcard, we can listen aircraft noise hunting, crackling, or attack helicopters…
The sonicsnaps (sounds centrifuge, oven …) inspired us to create a soundscape around the war. The sounds are violent and we can imagine that we are attacked by enemies!
Can you guess what country we could be?
According to you, where are we?
We are on a ship at sea, and we come near a deserted island, but we still do not know what we’ll find!
All of sounds together give some repetitive bull sounds. So we decided to give to these composition «waste deposal» as key word. Sounds seem to show objects which are about to be crushed by a big machine.
We wanted to create a ambience like a halloween night in which sounds remain chain saw for exemple. We hear somebody running out until a ghost train to keep this person to go somewhere safe but he is in a haunted house and at the end, a big noise of a chain saw stops this track.
Sounds of our track remain us ski. We listen to lashing sounds like when we turn quickly in a big descent in order to slow down. We also hear some people who cry are speak with a lot of wind like at the mountain where everybody ski.
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!
Today we finished the Postcard. We had started yesterday, as we dedicate two sessions to this exercise. The first session we asked the participants to listen to their sounds, do a selection, rename them and clean them of any talking or other unwanted sound. The second session has been more focused on the composition of the postcard itself.
They started the composition based on one or two keywords that define how they experience their daily environments. This is one of The City Rings suggested methodology, and we adopted it. Once they have those words, they are to represent them, using the sounds (sonic snaps ) recorded at home and school the previous days. And so, the final composition (the postcard) is a sonic representation of their subjective daily experience.
For their compositions, the participants used, along their intuition, some of the tools and strategies we suggested during the Soundscapes session: multilayering, the envelope tool, track gain, intensity curves, repetition, silence, etc.
Technically, they did not have any problem handling Audacity, except for some of its limitations, as the difficulty to split a sound in two or more separated fragments, and keep then on the same track. Also the limited screen size of the tiny laptops, makes it difficult to see quickly all the tracks in use , instead of having to scroll up and down for it.
In any case the dedication of the class to their compositions surprised us! they even missed voluntarily some time of their morning pause in order to be able to finish it the way they wanted. We really appreciated that!
Please , listen below to some of their compositions, and do not forget to visit our pack at Freesound for the rest of them
Thanks for reading!