The City Rings

Part: Sonic Snaps

A door, a fire, sanding wood and twenty sharpened ears in Portugal…

Soundscapes from Gualtar.

Can you guess which sound belong to which picture?
Descriptions of the sounds on Freesound.







More online!


Sonic snapshots of the 20th arrondissement in Paris

We tried to record typical Parisian sounds. Here is a selection of images and recordings. See if you can match them !










Sonic Snaps as snow snaps Switzerland


Snow descended on Etoy, silencing the air. Session 3 began with inspiration from ‘Music for One Apartment and Six Drummers’

We quickly warmed up experimenting with the use of insulation or windscreens for our recorders. By breathing into each others ears we discussed what we felt and heard, deciding it was a good idea to cushion the recorders against any unwanted drafts. The sound hunt then began. Luckily as part of their inquiries at the moment the classroom is part woodworking workshop, so we had power tools, tape measures, hammers etc to play with. We recorded many sounds, venturing out of the classroom, listening… We quickly adopted signals for recording to ensure the rest of the class were aware and most importantly silent. Our sound technician, Juan Felipe joined us today and guided us to noting each sound as we were recording so we could easily identify the sound afterwards. Due to differing recording devices we were using some tracks were continuous recordings and others single (it’s worth noting for future reference, whilst recording in iPad directly to GarageBand is a seamless transition, there are multiple steps to get these tracks on to Freesound. It goes like this. Sound capture directly to GarageBand-upload to Soundcloud- download to desktop- upload to Audacity-download to desktop as .wav and upload to Freesound) We like mixing it up though!

Here’s a selection of sounds interspersed with image snapshots.

The rest can be found here:


We were so engrossed in our immediate environment we never got outside.










« Terrorific » sounds

Hello from Rennes !


In today’s session we have listened to soundscape from Berlin, but we didn’t recognize our sounds ! Then, we listened sounscape from Switzerland and we got there were our sounds. The one by Iris, Elodie and Lindsay !!!!!!!! had much success.




Then we listened two soundtracks : « Music for Appartment », that some of us already knew ; « Wochenende » by Walter Ruttman, it’s a movie without picture (« cinema for the ear ») :


The idea was to close our eyes and guess a scenario for this soundtrack. The scenario could take place in a boilerworks or in a factory.






It was difficult to chose recording sounds, so we began to write keysword for help us. Alicia, Ines, Iman and Yuna wrote words « key prison », « policeman who runs », « gun », « handcuffs », « victory », and they recorded a piece of metal, steps , claps on hands, a book that falls, ans scissors. Others chose differents places of school, for exemple playground, cafeteria, toilets etc…






A door slamming and a paper that imitates the sound of a gunshot.

(chalk and table)

Timothé,Oscar,Lucien : bicycle helmet

Galeno, Eliot,Okan : hit with a stick and shake tokens.

Arielle, Sara, Marcel : glass bowl and spoons.

Nélo, Erwan, Höel : the sound of a bike helmet for a shot.

Iris, Elodie, Lindsay : a fountain pitcher in the cafeteria.

Alicia, Inès, Yuna, Iman : a creaking door in the cafeteria.

Alicia, Inès, Yuna, Iman : an iron bar to imitate the sound of screams.


Other sounds are available on Freesound !
See you soon !


5b sonic cold snaps walk


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Mysterious sounds in the Barceloneta neighborhood …

Hello everyone!
These are busy sonic days in the Barceloneta neighborhood!
Last Wednesday we started our session by listening to the composition you made with our sounds: it sounded awesome … and a bit scary!
We all agreed that we really liked the way you composed our sounds. Many felt as if they were listening to the soundrack of a scary movie!
So we imagined the story: a dark scenario, danger getting closer… and a wicked witch! We could hear the frightening steps of the witch chasing a child in the middle of a forest and then a mysterious rain of stones …
On thursday we got acquainted with the recorders and went out to practice with the sounds of our neighborhood, la Barceloneta. We started by walking, listening and recording sonic snaps through Andrea Doria Street, which connects our school to the marketplace.
It is a very nice and lively neigborhood, so we found lots and lots of sounds! Steps, works in progress, cars, pets, birds, sounds from the shops and then the wind and the greater sonic space of the market square. We felt like recording everything!



Some of us went inside the market and others went through the narrow lanes of the barrio in order to catch more snaps and practice recording technique.
After school we took the recorders home and kept recording all through the weekend, adding to our neighborhood repertoire some sounds of our daily life. We recorded fridges, books, a cashier and many more soundsnaps. Do you like them?
We are still collecting more to be ready for the postcards!!!


It’s a Bird… It’s a Plane… It’s a Super Sonic Snap!


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!


Glasses for the ears… Listening with all our body around Lamaçaes.


Can you put glasses on your ears? Not like you do normally, but like trying to look with your ears? Are there things that don´t sound? Colors, air, light? Is there something you can´t describe with sound? Sound is in everything. Can you hear on the same manner as you are looking? From beneath, from above, from far, from close? Can you even go further an can you hear smells, flavors, touches? Maybe to feel, to smell, to taste can bring you close enough to things so you can hear them?


This is what we experimented a whole session around the school.
Making recordings means to walk slow, to be silent, to be patient and to use all your senses. It is trying to hear with your whole body, not only your ears.
We tried all to make a recording of three minutes. That only three minutes can last so long, nobody expected. This is called to perceive.


Five groups went on an exploration with a recorder as glasses, each following their own path and trying to see things they never saw before.



Snap! Sounds from Palau Solità i Plegamans (Barcelona)

Look at them, with their recorders and headphones, running around, asking people to perform actions so they can record them. They are like us, but smaller! ;P



So we dedicated a full session for participants to learn how the recorders work and practice their new acquired knowledge around the school. This was a preparation for the task of taking the recorders home, and go on recording sounds from their daily life.



And they have collected quite some interesting sounds indeed. Below you can hear a few of them, and don’t forget to visit our Freesound SonicSnaps pack for the rest of them:


Oh! we did not remove , from the sounds, the voices of the participants when they announce what they are going to record. Of course we will not use those voices during the Sonic Postcard composition, but we found it could be interesting for you to hear some tiny Spanish and Catalan voices at work.






Sonic Snaps from Rennes in the snow !



Friday, we first listened to the Berliner soundscapes, and we are delighted to hear that German are made from our mysounds ! We tried to recognize all the sounds that we recorded.
Then we went into introducing the recorders once again, and we separated the classe in 7 groups to record sounds in the school (classroom, corridors, playground…). The playground was snow, we were able to record the sound of footsteps in the snow and snowball fights! We took benefit before it disappears. Today, we have no snow in Rennes unlike Paris! What luck !




We had instructions to record the sounds:
– Record environnemental sounds
– Record a moving object with the recorder in a fixed position
– Record a stationary object with the recorder motion
– Record a close sound (“zoom in” on a sound)
– Record a far away sound, distant





Here is a selection of audio recordings made at school by each group:


When we finihed the session, we got the recorders at home. We gave the recorders to the leaders of each group because we have only 13 recorder and we are 30 students in this class !


Here is a selection of audio recordings made at home by each group:

You can hear the others sonicsnaps recorded by each group on Freesound !

Today, we listened to some recordings at home, we recognized the sounds of a centrifuge, a plastic ball, a hammer … and even the subway!

We were separated into groups and we started our audio editing on Audacity, from the sounds made ​​at home and in school. Friday, you can listen to our audio postcards, we look forward to hearing yours !

See you soon !