Cities and Memory remixes the world, one sound at a time - a global collaboration between artists and sound recordists all over the world.
The project presents an amazingly-diverse array of field recordings from all over the world, but also reimagined, recomposed versions of those recordings as we go on a mission to remix the world.
What you'll hear in the podcast are our latest sounds - either a field recording from somewhere in the world, or a remixed new composition based solely on those sounds. Each podcast description tells you more about what you're hearing, and where it came from.
There are more than 5,000 sounds featured on our sound map, spread over more than 100 countries and territories. The sounds cover parts of the world as diverse as the hubbub of San Francisco’s main station, traditional fishing women’s songs at Lake Turkana, the sound of computer data centres in Birmingham, spiritual temple chanting in New Taipei City or the hum of the vaporetto engines in Venice. You can explore the project in full at http://www.citiesandmemory.com
Kaoss on the Elizabeth Line
Elizabeth Line opening day reimagined by Simon Woods.
"The 'Kaoss' of the title refers, not to any chaos that may or may not have occurred on the opening day of the Elizabeth Line, but to the use of Korg Kaoscillator and Kaoss Pad in the composition. All the percussion is made from sounds of the doors closing or other bangs and crashes on the journey. The two chords are from the tone of the train moving."
The first day of the Elizabeth Line, London
The first new full London Underground line since 1979 opened on 24 May 2022, in honour of the (recently-passed) Queen Elizabeth II. We jumped on board the line on its very first day to record the sounds of a journey from Farringdon to Paddington.
Recorded by Cities and Memory.
Dreaming with cicadas
"Following some other samples I recording around the mountain, I try to image a scene when cicadas start dreaming."
Composition by Ryan Chiang.
Jewel Mountain's day and night
"This recording is about a day living in Jewel Mountain: a small city mountain joust located in Hangzhou, China. I met a cat in the night and cicadas remain happily during the night. The next morning I just walked around the mountain and cicadas were still happily and loudly singing, and I was just wondering how they perceived day and night compared to humans."
Recorded by Ryan Chiang.
Sound of Old Anarkali
"Old Anarkali has been a bustling market in the city of Lahore for at least 200 years. Owing to its rich history, the market still holds much of the historic architecture at its backside while the front has been modernised, catering to the commercial needs. These buildings are mostly residential and while their material condition is in decay, the intangible environment has a strong 'sense of the past'.
"As an undergraduate architecture student, I visited Old Anarkali in 2019 in search of remnants of the past and found the sonic elements to be the most prominent in the creation of the 'sense of the past'. I recorded at 14 different spots in the neighbourhood and edited them to remove sounds that were not there in the past i.e; motor sounds, traffic noise. This approach left me with sounds of horse trotting, leather shoe steps on gravel pathways, sounds from an old church, pigeons cooing, children playing. Finally I combined the latter sounds into a 40 second audio as a palette that can always potentially create a sonic environment similar to the times gone by.
"The resultant audio sounds like a melody, where all the sounds merge together in harmony and transport you to a calmer place. This idea inspired me to create architecture that materialises that calm sense by amplifying low frequency sounds and buffering outside, traffic noise."
Composition by Sania Ahmad.
Collison of old and new sounds in Anarkali
This recording is a sample of multiple recordings made at 14 different spots in Rasala Bazar, Old Anarkali. It is an amalgamation of a constant sound of an electric motor and a continuous chirping of a bird- symbolic of how the existing and growing neglect of historic neighbourhood in affecting the habitats of birds that seek shelters in 'jharokas' of the pre-independence buildings (1947).
Recorded by Sania Ahmad.