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!
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!
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!
This was the second session at Santa Anna school. We listened carefully to the sounds we got from De Wijze Boom and De Toverberg students. Obviously, first we tried to guess the source of each sound, but most of the times it was too hard to say! These sounds are really good. Sometimes we had to close our eyes to hear better.
As we went on, we also tried to describe what we heard and how we felt about it. You can describe a sound in many ways. Physically (as short, long, high or low pitched…), making a subjective assessment (as nice, unpleasant, funny, untidy…), or even trying to imagine a scenario for each sound (like…this sounds like washing the dishes, this sounds like a train coming or this sounds like a puppet show). We also paid some attention to how the sound “looks”. You can guess a lot from looking at a sound wave!
Afterwards we did a short explanation about how to work with Audacity -the program we use to edit- and we compared it to some sort of table, where you put some sounds, and then you can cut them, move them around, re-order them… whatever you want. Easy!
So, we decided to work on the composition alltogether. We discussed which sounds we wanted to add, where did we want them, how loud… and when students had different opinions they talked in order to decide if to proceed one way or another.
Finally, we also did some kind of experiment. We wanted to hear all the sounds we got from Belgium at the same time. The result? noisy, but good!
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!
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?
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:
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?