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 110 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
Ueno adventure park
"I decided that the field recording should sit within the overall stereo field and along with the music simply form part of the composition and not become too prominent overall. Thus I created the music to wrap around the field recording as if the field recording was another instrument within the piece, which like the other sounds weaves in and out and drops in and out."
Ueno Park reimagined by Audio Obscura.
Eurasian stroll in 11/8
"Having attended a concert of middle eastern music a few day previous to beginning the piece I was inspired to attempt something rhythmic in a traditional time signature and use some of the pitched components of the recording to allude to a hijaz scale. The recording contained some percussive elements including coughing and bottles rattling which were uses as the rhythmic backbone. This idea was continued using some Chinese vocal sounds."
Viale Roma reimagined by Alison Beattie.
Ueno Park - a quiet place
"The recording location for 'Ueno Park - Quiet Place' is situated in Ueno Onshi Park in Tokyo. It is Japan's first public park and houses important cultural institutions such as the Tokyo National Museum, the National Museum of Western Art, the National Museum of Nature and Science, and the Ueno Zoo. Due to the presence of these significant attractions, it naturally becomes a gathering place for people. I discovered a 'Place of Silence' on one of the pathways within the park. Despite the hustle and bustle, it seemed that everyone had an unspoken agreement not to make noise and instead, they were listening to the silence amidst the commotion."
Recorded by Zion Bai.
Viale Roma, Vicenza
A walk from the station in Vicenza, Italy past a bar where music is being piped out of a PA, past a row of idling buses.
Recorded by Cities and Memory.
"I have never been to Kyoto, but this recording evokes in my mind a meditative place, immersed in nature, so I tried to add to the recording a gentle musical meditation. I also tried to focus on small details of the soundscape, like you might do while meditating, and pulled up from the original sample some seconds of people quietly speaking, turned it up and processed it to become audible but not understandable, like a conversation in a dream."
Fushimi Inari Taisha reimagined by Sergio Marchesini.
Fushimi Inari Taisha - a quiet place
"The recording location for 'Fushimi Inari Taisha - Quiet Place' is located at Fushimi Inari Taisha in Kyoto. It is one of Kyoto's busiest tourist attractions, but I also found its own kind of silence here. In both '1.3' and '1.4,' I heard the same insect chirping and its sound resembled that of frogs, but it was not as deep. During subsequent visits, I discovered similar insect sounds in the forests of many regions in Japan. I currently do not know the specific type of insect it is, but I believe it plays a significant role in Japan's soundscapes."
Fushimi Inari Taisha reimagined by Zion Bai.
This is a gift
Wow keep up the great work. This series is truly a gift!! Hope this project continues, would love to see what obscure sound archives they tap into. It feels like when you’re a little kid, and you just pass the picture book age. When your mind feels so alive with the mental pictures, based on l what you’re hearing your parents read. It’s exhilarating.
Awesome Sonic Mapping!
Wow what a great podcast —thanks