500 episodes

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

Cities and Memory - remixing the world Cities and Memory

    • Arts
    • 5.0 • 3 Ratings

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

    L'immacolata

    L'immacolata

    There's always something special about the sound of bells in a forest, somehow adding a magical aspect to both the forest air and the sound of the bells themselves just by being heard in the same context, the crisp forest air lit up by the chimes of the bell. 

    For this composition, we've filled in the gaps with how we felt while making the original recording, with gratitude for the day and for the beautiful scenery. Warm drones of brass contrast with the cold of the day itself, with a feeling of belonging, while celebratory peals towards the end of the piece emphasise the emotions brought up by the original sound of the bells, which continue to make themselves known throughout the piece. The tiny coda of the composition - my own footsteps in ice. 

    Cesuna forest bells reimagined by Cities and Memory.

    • 5 min
    Church bells in the forest

    Church bells in the forest

    Cesuna, northern Italy: church bells ring in the forest just outside the entrance to a long pedestrian tunnel that is part of a footpath made from an old train track. The train track ran from Asiago to Rocchette and has now been converted into a walking trail. On this cold December day, there was the crunch of ice underfoot, and the bells rang atmospherically through the clean, crisp forest air. 

    Recorded by Cities and Memory. 

    • 2 min
    Sound for the king

    Sound for the king

    “This piece was composed by attempting to build something physical and layered out of sound. The Ross seals’ calls sit high in the frequency range, which here is imagined to be towards the surface level of the Southern Ocean, with the seals swimming and whirling gracefully beneath the waves.

    "Beneath that is a construction made up of kick drums and many thick layers of drone and synthesiser, which take us much further down into the weight of the ocean - and which represent some of the many threats and menaces to the Ross seals’ existence, of which they are unaware as the piece progresses. There is ship noise, there are the jolting impacts of seismic surveys, and there is the calving, the devastation of climate change, on the horizon and becoming ever more menacing as the piece progresses.

    "Usually when reimagining a field recording, there is some degree of processing to add atmosphere or musicality to the recording, or to draw out that element of the recording that has my attention, so I can also draw the listener’s attention to it. On this occasion, however, the field recording itself is so entirely perfect that it sits ideally in the mix with virtually nothing done to it. 

    "The crackling ice in the middle section (and at the close) comes from the sound of a melting iceberg in our Obsolete Sounds project - surely the most terrible of all sounds to be labelled as obsolete or disappearing. Here this represents the dwindling habitats of the Ross seals. 

    "There is sadness for and fury on behalf of the Ross seals for our contribution to their suffering - that is the true bedrock of this contribution to Polar Sounds.” 

    Ross seals reimagined by Cities and Memory.

    Part of the Polar Sounds project, a collaboration between Cities and Memory, the Helmholtz Institute for Functional Marine Biodiversity (HIFMB) and the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI). Explore the project in full at http://citiesandmemory.com/polar-sounds. 

    • 9 min
    Thayù (Peace)

    Thayù (Peace)

    "The field recording (An Arctic Storm) gave the feeling of peace, lonesomeness and calm: An alchemy of emotions that (although poles apart) give a feeling of balance.

    "Without intending to change the recording too much that it lost its effect. I cut off unwanted frequencies, added reverb and delay and used it as a bed for my composition.

    "The composition; titled Thayù is an inspiration to search for oneself within oneself as is the case with the Arctic; A place alone in the world. But although it is on its own, it has found peace by finding itself within."

    Stormy ocean reimagined by Wahinya Mwirikia.

    Part of the Polar Sounds project, a collaboration between Cities and Memory, the Helmholtz Institute for Functional Marine Biodiversity (HIFMB) and the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI). Explore the project in full at http://citiesandmemory.com/polar-sounds. 

    • 3 min
    Hveðra

    Hveðra

    "In an effort to add to the bridge of science-art being made by this project I worked together with Art|Scientist Vivien Reichel to work with me on the concept for the piece and help me with my understanding of the workings of the arctic environment.

    "Our conceptual starting point was to never cut/take away from the original sample, but rather add to it. We as a species have taken away enough of the natural environment. When composing/constructing the piece, the sample formed the base layer of the sonic landscape I was trying to construct. To me the sample conjured up images of (animal) life and movement and I wanted to juxtaposition this with the natural elements at play in the landscape, the other instruments and sounds I used are meant to sound out other layers of the arctic landscape.

    "The only melody I wrote for the piece is heard in the melancholic saxophone line meant to sound  out the wind across the silent landscape. After the line the piece grows darker and comes to a rough conclusion, symbolising the dire situation the whole natural system is in."

    Rubbing sea ice reimagined by Baz Laarakkers.

    Part of the Polar Sounds project, a collaboration between Cities and Memory, the Helmholtz Institute for Functional Marine Biodiversity (HIFMB) and the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI). Explore the project in full at http://citiesandmemory.com/polar-sounds. 

    • 5 min
    Stormy ocean

    Stormy ocean

    The sound of the stormy ocean can result in what sounds like white noise.

    Recording credit: CC-BY 4.0 Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research 2022.

    Part of the Polar Sounds project, a collaboration between Cities and Memory, the Helmholtz Institute for Functional Marine Biodiversity (HIFMB) and the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI). Explore the project in full at http://citiesandmemory.com/polar-sounds. 

    • 2 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
3 Ratings

3 Ratings

Soundhoundess ,

Top podcast to discover how the world sounds

This is a great podcast full of bite-sized sounds from all around the world. In just a few minutes, it transports listeners inside a temple in Thailand or right in the middle of Manhattan. The remixed counterparts are also short but creative journeys of discovery.

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