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!
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 !
We had the last 2 sessions here in Ghent. In the 4th session we learnt further tips & tricks of the editing software Vegas. We experimented with trimming, copying, manipulating and layering of sounds. Then everyone came up with some keywords and a sketch/drawing , as a ‘scenario’ for their personal postcard. This way everyone had a clear idea how their composition would develop over time , and which effect they wanted to have on the listener of the composition. While in the 4th session we only had time to do the basic outline of our arrangment, the last session left more time for refinements and further experimentation.
The last session we started by listening to some of the (unfinished) compositions. We discussed pros and cons and came up with ideas on how some compositions could be improved. Learnful for the makers to get ideas and feedback right away. This discussion led us to Brian Eno’s “Oblique Strategies” : a set of published cards , with cryptic remarks that can be used to break a deadlock or dilemna situation , specific for music composition.
Below are some cards that were really useful for us , can you find which composition drew inspiration from which card ?
Honour thy error as a hidden intention
Discover the recipes you are using and abandon them
Repetition is a form of change
Give way to your worst impulse
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?