Today we checked out the mySounds from the kids in Athens and Etoy. We had a lot of fun guessing, wondering and trying to figure out how their mySounds were made. But then we decided that telling a story about the sounds we listen to was much more interesting then cracking our brains on possible sound sources.
So the sticky sound of a piece of tape became a plane crashing down, the scraping sound of a pencil sharp became an old truck trying to get it’s engine started and the soft sliding sound of a curtain reminded us of sad feelings and the silence of a funeral. But then the loud and high pitch sound of a flap which slowed down to the end in a more rumbling and rolling sound, made us think of a crazy ride in a roller coaster!
In some of the recordings we also discovered voices and little percussive instruments. We experienced that listening to those sounds is different in a way, because you recognize the sound source more easily and then the magic is kind of broken. Still some of these where pretty cool recordings, so maybe you can discover them in the soundscapes that we made with the mySounds from Athens and Etoy!
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.
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!
We also made a first group composition with all our mySound recordings:
We are the kids from the 5th grade from a school called ‘De Regenboog’ in Sint-Jans-Molenbeek, a town in the Western part of Brussels, Belgium. The neighbourhood where our school is located is a very lively and multicultural place, with lots of traffic, shops and a bit of industry. It really breaths the atmosphere of a big city suburb with also a lot of different languages vibrating through the streets. Most people speak French in this part of the country, but in our school the main language is Dutch. We don’t have an electrical school bell but a nice old fashioned one that you have to ring by hand. Actually we have two, the other one is used when we stay indoors and it rings with a fine bright ting!
As you might remember last week we focussed on recording : with wide open ears we searched our environment for interesting sounds. Just like a beachcomber scans the shoreline for washed-up treasures, we scanned our school,streets,houses,… for fascinating acoustic treasures.
In this fourth session , the Sonic Postcard session, we worked in pairs and each duo
made a composition with the sounds they recorded during the last week.
Maybe there’s a bit different approach here then in Barcelona, mainly because :
– we lend the recorders for one week , so the pupils can record sounds wherever/whenever they want :
at night in grandmother’s attic, in the garden at 6am, in the bus on the way to school,….
– while me made the first ‘soundscape’ alltogether , this Sonic Postcards are also made in duos,
but here we don’t have the restriction to make a ‘natural sounding composition ‘, at the contrary :
pupils try to organize and manipulate their sounds in such a way that it becomes very personal and that we get to know more about how they experience their city/environment.
So it’s not only about registrating reality, but also about manipulating reality to tell the story we’d like to tell. Some pupils are inspired by the tranquility of their environment , while others want to express the ‘hustle and bustle’ of their city.
Before the kids started composing, we did a demo of the multitracksoftware and showed the kids how to edit their sounds ( cut, copy,paste ) and how they could organize/mix their sounds ( concept of multitrack/ volume & panning envelopes ). Luckily the kids seemed to remember most of these skills from the Soundscape session.
Then each duo had a small brainstorm on what kind of energy/feeling they wanted to express with their composition and which sounds would be good for that purpose.
After that every duo started to work on their 1minute composition.
You can hear the results here, enjoy !
Today pupils were too curious to know what happened to their mySounds and how they were used in the Spanish compositions. So we started listening to the different compositions and discussing/comparing them, and tried to describe the compositions with keywords : heroic, nervous, energetic were the words that were used most here. Pupils seemed to like the use of contrast and the progression of the Spanish compositions: silent <> loud / dark,raw <> soft, light … You did a great job there in Barcelona !
Then time for some action : today we got ourselves familiar with the process of recording : we learned about the portable recorders and about the whole ritual that comes with recording sounds.
Our first recordings weren’t really that good : sometimes sounds were recorded too loud, sometimes too silent.
We also learned that it’s really necessary to check for unwanted/disturbing sounds : sometimes we’re so focussed on the sound we’d like to record , that we don’t hear any other disturbing sounds around such as radios playing , people talking, cars passing by…
Hmm, recording seems to be a process that needs some concentration, but after a while recordings got better and better. You can listen to some of our Sonic Snaps here, next week we’ll have more and start composing !
Good luck !
Dear readers, this week we had our second session of TCR here in Ghent.We listened closely to the sounds we got from our friends in Barcelona (which were very good) and we discussed those sounds: what do you feel when you hear these sounds? Fascinating to hear the many different energies sounds can have : some sounds make us laugh, others frighten us, some sounds make us bloody nervous, while others make us feel totally relaxed.
With all those different sounds we started working on a composition in 2 groups. We briefly explained how Sony Vegas worked (the program that we would be using to make the compositions) and we split up in 2 groups. Each group would make a composition of 1 minute, using the sounds we got from our Spanish friends.
When the compositions were ready, we carefully listened to eachother’s work. Remarkable to hear how all 4 groups seemed to like the same sounds and used them in their compositions,this preference of certain sounds,is very interesting. Have a listen below !
Next week we’re going to experiment some more with recording sounds. Until then, best of luck in Barcelona!