The City Rings

Part: United Kingdom

Sonic Postcard from Greater London

We had such a great time contributing to the City Rings project and we literally recorded 100’s of sounds between a class of 30.
Because there were so many of us Patrick created a postcard using a selection of the sounds from our 10 sound recorders:

We also created 1 postcard each so in total we have 30 mini postcards for you to listen to! Here are a couple of examples, enjoy!

You can listen to and download the rest of the Sonic Postcards HERE
We had a little bit of time left at the end of our last session, so Serin, Taja and Deniz recorded each other talking about The City Rings project:


The Young Ears of Edmonton

This week our sound recorders made their inaugural exploration into the depths of North London….!!!!


What came back was astonishing; splashes, splurges, rattles, rustles, bangs, bumps, beeps, sizzles, machines, babies, alarms, meows, cock-a-doodle-doos, trains, cars and serendipities


But what was most interesting of all was hearing the overall sound of exploration…..!




Hello from London

Today was the first day of the project for the children of class 5w at Galliard Primary School. The class is big and has 30 pupils so it took quiet a long time and required lots of patience in listening, recording and describing all the sounds they had to share.


We were very intrigued to read about the other schools and compare them to Galliard which has around the same population as the whole of Hailuoto island, Finland!


Here is the link to the mySounds pack including all the sounds the children recorded.

and here is a few selected to quickly listen to…

We didn’t have enough time to make a soundscape with all 28 sounds we recorded but here is a short but sweet composition entitled “The Extraordinary Tunnel”……..

more next Tuesday, May 1st



Ready for action in London!

Next week we begin a new City Rings project in London. We will be working with class 5W at Galliard Primary School, Enfield, London. Said hello briefly to the class today and also recorded the school bells. Yes, they have an ‘old-school’ school bell and a modern systematic version.



Sonic Postcards from Penzance

Sadly, Thursday 20th October was our last session. We met at 9am and started by listening to some of our Sonic Snaps from last week. We listened to the difference in quality between the recordings and discussed if and how we could improve them.

We had Tony Whitehead, who has done lots of Sonic Postcard work, come and visit us today, he and Cat talked us through some of the recordings and then demonstrated making graphical scores. We listened to some of the recordings and drew a graphical representation of them. It seemed strange to be drawing sound but it was a really useful way to develop our compositions.

We then had a brief introduction into Audacity, where we each demonstrated a different technique, to make sure we all knew how to use the software. We then set about making out Sonic Postcards…

Here is the Sonic Postcard that we composed together using the sounds that Cat recorded. Cat was able to get a wider variety of sounds because she recorded the school environment at different times during the day, and she also went out and about in Penzance. We wrote these down on separate pieces of paper and the juggled them around to compose our class postcard. What do you think? Can you identify the sounds? Does Penzance sound as you expected?

After this, the class worked together in small groups to make their own Sonic Postcards…

Here is Heidi & Hetty’s composition, Heidi and Hetty worked really hard on this, they made some fantastic recordings and have edited this really well. They have used some sound effects in here but not many – Have a listen and see what you think. Can you identify the sounds and which ones were effected?

Here is Ben & Xan’s composition. It is also a almost a combination of an abstract piece of sound art and the a Sonic Postcard concept. It is a really interesting mix of sounds, some of which have had effects put on them and others which have none. Have a listen and see what you think. Can you identify the sounds?

Here is Tom & Joe’s composition. This is a really interesting use of the sounds we had. They have made and used some lovely recordings, and it is nicely edited together. What do you think? Can you identify the sounds?

Here is Julia, Jordan and Mitch’s composition. This is a quite a short piece but is really interesting use of the sounds they chose. This group also worked really hard on their recordings and the composition. What do you think? Can you identify the sounds?

Here is Joe’s composition. It is more like an abstract piece of sound art than a sonic postcard. Have a listen and see what you think. Can you identify the sounds?


Sonic Snaps from Penzance

For our third session at Humphry Davy School here in Cornwwall we had a really productive morning!

We looked at the website for the first time and finally said a proper hello to you over in Barcelona and in Gent. We really enjoyed looking at your photographs and listening to some of your mySounds and Soundscapes and discussing them. Take a look at the Soundscapes page for some of our thoughts and comments!

After we had a look at the web site, Cat played a few recordings that she had made in and around Penzance and other parts of Cornwall. We had to guess which sounds we thought were recorded in Penzance. It turns out 5 out of 6 were recorded in Penzance, and 4 of them on our school grounds – we’d never have guessed that some were recorded here! This really showed how a real variety of sound can be found even in a small area.

We also talked about sounds that we associate with Penzance – not all of them were obvious! They included:

  • The sea
  • Seagulls
  • Old grannies
  • Horses hooves
  • Traffic
  • The crunching sound of eating Cornish pasties!
  • We weren’t able to go out of the school grounds to record our Sonic Snaps, so Cat will use these ideas to make some recordings around Penzance for our Sonic Postcards next week.

    Having done this, we were excited about getting outside with the recorders and recording our Sonic Snaps around the school. You can listen to some of the results here. Can you guess how they were made, or which part of the school they were recorded in?


    Dydh Da from Penzance!

    Session 1: Students from Humphry Davy School


    Good Day from Humphry Davy School here in Penzance, Cornwall.  Above are most of the students in our group, we are a class of 28.



    In Session 1: We had an introduction to the project and did some listening and sound making exercises. We were asked to bring in an object, we then explored how any different sounds we could make with that object, and from those selected one to record for our mySound. Cat then showed us how to use the M-Audio recorders and we recorded our mySounds, which you can listen to on the mySounds page.  Can you guess how we made our sounds?


    Last week we had session 2: We were shown how to edit in Audacity. Unfortunately we experienced a few technical problems so unfortunately not all of us managed to finish our Soundscapes. Luckily in session 3 we got a chance to catch up and create some soundscapes – you can listen to the results below!

    Ben and Xan made this Soundscape from their own mySounds and Amandu’s mySound from Belgium.

    Tom & Jacob made this Soundscape using their own mySounds and the mySound from David & Judith in Barcelona and Segyid in Belgium.


    Session 2: Introduction to Audacity


    Session 2: Students editing mySounds in Audacity



    More from Scotland…


    It’s taken me a little while to upload the last compositions and a few photos from the project at Portlethen Primary School. At the end of October, Pippa went back to visit Class P7 and they did some more excellent work.

    The whole group made a composition using the iSounds from Denmark. Have a listen below: I like how the meow sound keeps repeating and but sometime it has an echo or the pitch has changed! What do you like about this composition?

    The class had also been working on some poems inspired by the project. Using the iRivers, they recorded a few of these. The descriptions of the sounds and sights of Portlethen show how unique this location is.

    Finally, at the end of the day, Class P7 presented an assembly to the rest of the school. They described the project, showed everybody the recording equipment and played some of their compositions. You can see a photo below with one of the pupils holding up an iRiver!


    Final countdown to…. the presentation


    Today we are so excited as we are going to show the whole school what we have been doing.  We’ll miss the project when it’s over but we’ll be staying in touch via the website, as there will be more to look at and listen to on the website.  Watch this space for our sound poems.

    Today we are making one more composition with the Danish iSounds.  Keep the comments flowing!


    The final mixes!


    Well here they are – 3 compositions made from sounds around Portlethen and a couple of ‘guest’ sounds from Belgium and Spain! Our computers were playing up a little bit but we still managed to work in 2 small groups and create a sonic postcard using Audacity.

    Can you hear the ball being hit against our school fence? Can you hear the leaves – so perfect at this time of year? Can you hear the lego being played with? And of course the sea and rain….

    We loved the overall experience and can’t wait to do some more at the end of October – hopefully Denmark will be with us by then! Pippa’s got lots planned for us on the 27th October – including recording some of our sound poems, more listening and discussion, and we’ll be performing our compositions and showing the website to the rest of the school at the end of the day!

    Keep listening!

    P7 Portlethen Primary School, Aberdeenshire, Scotland

    Here’s our composition made by the whole group. It’s followed by a screen grab of how the composition looked when we made it using Audacity:

    We also divided into two groups and made a couple more compositions. Here they are: