The City Rings

Part: Sonic Snaps

Sonic snaps in Messac, in the forest, at the seaside…

We again visited the website. After reviewing the operation of recorders, we split into groups of 2 or 3 people and we left record sounds around the school. We also used objects such as a soccer ball or basket, photocopier, chalk, chairs creaking , cafeteria cutlery… So we recorded sounds to the nursery, in the garden, in the computer room in the copy room, in the street in front of the school…The ideas of sounds were noted on a sheet.




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All sounds are not posted, we made five recordings by group.
Here are some of our audio recordings :



In the projection room, we saw a film clip Sound of Noised, the short film is the story of six percussionists who enter an apartment break. But they do not steal anything, They go into every room and create musical rhythms from objects. Before leaving, Julie has lent a digital recorder to students to record sound at home on the weekends.


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Now, here are the sounds recorded at home :


Just an idea! Preserving a memory

Our school is building a new swimming and sports complex

Here’s a selection of captures.

We had the opportunity to visit the site and capture the sounds of construction. Our final soundscapes will try to capture the feeling of the building site, where currently it is being transformed from an idea of an architect to reality. Hopefully our compositions will preserve this transition.

We are pretty excited about creating these memory compositions. Imagining the sports and activity that will take place in the future. Like a time machine!


Sonic Snaps in the rain…

Today, November 20th Julie went on to show us the blog post of the Swiss school. We watched their texts and pictures and we translated into French. Then we listened to our audio montages created last Tuesday and Julie asked us to make a review.

After that, she showed us how to use recorders. Then, we split into groups to record sounds of objects and places in our school. Finally, we listened to some sounds recordings.

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We went on the hunt for sounds :

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To listen to all the sound recordings made by the students, go to the website and you can upload files :



Here is our sounds created this weekend



Sonic Snaps and visual imagery weave our compositions

We began today with a short visualisation imagining our keyword. With our keyword we imagined textures, colours, shapes and forms that could be associated with these words. Then listening to our sonic snaps we connected our visualisations with some of these sounds. The group had some ingenious ideas for grabbing sounds at home using personal devices as we have limited recorders in school. Our incredible resourceful students used mp3 players, video capture on a tablet, voice memos on an iPod and GarageBand. I have featured some of the collection below.
With our images and sound ideas growing in our minds we had the chance to create visual interpretations of our ideas using a variety of media from pencil and paper and crayon to using the app ‘Brushes’ on iPad or sculpture. These creations prompted some great dialogue about our compositions.

Plenty more here:
I have the opportunity to work with many grade levels throughout the week. I visited grade one later in the morning. We listened to the sonic snaps from Athens and Gent and imagined which living thing could sound like these.
Weaving the compositions in our mind and visually, we are ready to begin composing.


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…):


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:


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:


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:



cars and traffic!

an electronic toy!


the notorious boiler!

drinking glass!


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!


Snap snap snap from Sonic Sint-Laurens


Hello there,

Today we arrived back at school with a lot of recordings we made at home and in our neighbourhood. It was not always easy to capture the sound right. Because sometimes other sounds and peoples voices interfered while we where recording. Still it was very exciting to search for interesting sounds and to discover that our daily sonic environment is actually a composition on it’s own. Here are some sonic snaps that we managed to capture:







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:

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):
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!

For this edition of The City Rings we did not have time to test the recorders in the school or in a nearby market, park, or otherwise, as was often the case.


So after a brief introduction to how the recorders work -which the students already knew from previous exercises- they took the machines home to record there their Sonic Snaps. And we have quite a few! Take a listen.



We have already started working in The Postcards, this time by groups of 2 people; and using two keywords per group that refer to the experience of their daily environments, and that are the point of departure for the compositions. For example “habitable / inolvidable” or “extrovertit / fantàstic”.

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You can listen to the rest of the snaps at Freesound:


We will be soon back with the postcards, looking forward to hearing yours!


Researchers sounds…Sonicsnaps

Today, we worked in groups and we imagined a story to help us to record sounds. We wrote our ideas on paper (places, objects …). you discovered our histories in future sessions when we started audio editing!




for now, you can listen ours records made in the playground, cafeteria, in the classroom and even in the nursery ! We are in a little school so we have classrooms reserved for children 3 to 5 years.
We also used amplifiers sounds, some of us hold like a gun, even the teacher !





We finished the session to watching « Music for Appartment », we discovered that everyday objects can become wonderful musical instruments !


Other sounds are available on Freesound !
See you soon !


Search & Snap!


Hello All,

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!