Soundcities – Herd Above The Noise.

Stanza , Soundcities, art installation

art installation

Soundcities – Herd Above The Noise. Installation

An installation about the sounds of the city.

The installation can play thousands of sounds from around the world and is arranged like a map of the city the artwork is installed in. What you see and experience in the galllery is a map of wires and cables including over 170 speakers, a custom made amplifier that are all used to make the installation. The installation can be changed to just focus on any given city ie London , Paris, Rome or the whole world.

The installation features the use of soundcities.com database and live feeds with a new software system. The system works in auto mode if no one uses it or can users can interact and choose the sounds that get played on the speakers. (Its both interactive and generative)

The sounds of cities give clues to the emotional and responsive way we interact with our cities. Cities all have specific identities, and found sound can give us clues to the people that inhabit these spaces, as well as provoking us and stimulating our senses in a musical way. I am interested in the sounds of specific places, and how the sounds reflect this identity and re-imposes characteristics back onto the location or environment. It becomes an online aural experience that evokes place, both as literal description but also developed musical composition. The city is its own music, constantly evolving, a beautiful composition of squeaks, clanks, and pulses. The city is the orchestra. As globalization fractures the identity of the city experience we start to find things that appear the same the world over. Soundcities, involves field recording literally the sounds we hear as we walk out of the door. Not just as noise (data) or as noise pollution but also as an appreciation of sound and how this not only affects the space but is the space. The noise is the city, the noise is the music, the city is the orchestra and we are just conductors whose interactive actions compose this music as we walk around. We control the interface of the city as we navigate the streets. We are responsive in out interactions of the city space.

 

Soundcities – Herd Above The Noise. Installation, from Stanza on Vimeo.

Stanza , Soundcities

Stanza , Soundcities

 

Soundcities – Herd Above The Noise.

Installation.

The installation can play thousands of sounds from around the world and is arranged like a map of the city the artwork is installed in. What you see and experience is a map of wires and cables including over 170 speakers, a custom made amplifier that are all used to make the installation.

The installation can be changed to just focus on any given city ie London , Paris, Rome or the whole world. The installation features the use of soundcities.com database and live feeds with a new software system. The system works in auto mode if no one uses it or can users can interact and choose the sounds that get played on the speakers. (Its both interactive and generative). The audience operate the system from two computers these can also connected to two projectors. These computers show the interactive  sound maps. Or if no one is in the room or they leave it then it works on its own.

Soundcities was the first online open source database of city sounds and soundmaps from around the world, using found sounds and field recording. The concept started in 1995 with various interactions. Stanza's soundmaps have been online since 2000 and the Soundcities database since 2004. The sounds can be listened to, used in performances on laptops, or played on mobiles via wireless networks.

The Database is also open so anyone can upload sounds they collect from world cities, thereby making a contribution to the project and making an online sounds archive. There are sounds from over 88 worldwide cities including sao paolo, london, paris, dresden, amsterdam, saltburg, graz, rotterdam, barcelona, san sebastian, manchester, liverpool, ljubiana, frankfurt porto, istanbul, mexico city, new york.etc

Context

As globalization fractures the identity of the city experience we start to find things that appear the same the world over. The soundcities database is growing labyrinth, a community of aural cityscapes and collages and its evolving online.

The aim is to create an online aural experience that evokes place, both as literal description but also developed musical composition. The sounds of cities evoke memories. As globalization fractures the identity of the city experience we start to find things that appear the same the world over. A growing labyrinth, a community of aural cityscapes and collages is now evolving online.The sounds of cities also give clues to the emotional and responsive way we interact with our cities.

Cities all have specific identities, and found sound can give us cluesto the people that inhabit these spaces, as well as provoking us and stimulating our senses in a musical way. I am interested in the sounds of specific places, and how the sounds reflect this identity and re-imposes characteristics back onto the location or environment. The nature of the sounds and noise of cities varies in tone and language. A background rhythm can come into the foreground. It mixes itself, and evolves. The city is its own music, constantly evolving, a beautiful composition of squeaks, clanks, and pulses we compose this orchestra as we move about. We control the interface of the city as we navigate the streets. We are responsive in out interactions of the city space.

Soundcities, involves field recording the sound we literally hear as we walk out of the door. Not just as noise (data) or as noise pollution but also as an appreciation of sound and how this not only affects the space but is the space.The noise is the city, the noise is the music, the city is the orchestra and we are just conductors whose interactive actions compose this music as we walk around. What Soundcities does is create an open source archive, a resource to make spatialisation and sonifications of the environment based on the analogue recorded sounds.

Technical

Soundcities uses a custom made online database and the instalaltion uses feeds from a custom API to a javascript interface. The hardware uses custom MAX/ MSP to custom amps and speaker set up,

Booking

Installation of the work. I will bring all the speakers and systems ie all equipment except projecpts. I will bring a series of related artworks for the walls if requested. Email me for details.

Workshop Also Available

Stanza workshop with the soundcities project.  The workshop investigates field recording, collecting sounds, editing sounds, and finally they put them in the database and on soundmaps on the soundcities.com site. The group creates these soundmaps in the city by recording sounds using portable devices. The aim is to learn about field recording and using sound for creative uses, ie concerts, installations and enhanced experience of our surroundings.

A two day workshop for up to ten participants. (they need to bring or share their own sound recorder)

DAY 1. Introduction to the project and talk forty mins. Sound recording, the system, and data base. Places to go visit in groups and record the city using recorders. DAY 2: Morning Edit the sounds. We will need some computers. Group can bring laptops and use their own laptops to speed up the editing Afternoon. Group will place sounds inside the Soundcities database and form a map of the new city and the whole project goes live.

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Installation also includes paintings by Stanza

Installation also includes paintings by Stanza

French Text:

Le projet d’installation Soundcities s’inscrit dans le prolongement de la base de données interactive éponyme initiée par Stanza en 1995, pour apparaître sur le web en 2004 dans sa version actuelle, renouvelée en permanence. http://www.soundcities.com/ est la première base de données en open source rassemblant les sons des villes grâce à des captations sur le terrain, à des compilations de sources existantes, et ouverte aux contributions en ligne.

Le site permet en outre de composer ses propres cartographies sonores et de mixer les sources. Pour la mise en espace de Soundcities, Stanza propose une installation au sol composée de 170 enceintes. Celles-ci diffusent plus de 3000 sons issus de la base de données et diffusées selon deux modalités : celle d’un programme aléatoire modifié toutes les 40 secondes, et celle d’une interaction avec le public qui va choisir de diffuser le son de telle ou telle ville sélectionnée sur les ordinateurs à disposition. Outre les projections des cartes de villes dont on écoute le son spatialisé dans l’espace grâce à la disposition des enceintes, l’artiste a choisi de montrer une série de peintures récentes, Complexity Series. Celles-ci superposent des cartographies de données diverses, qui, retravaillées vont recouvrir, révéler, et offrir les indices d’une flânerie poétique et futuriste. Par ailleurs, appréhender la ville par ses sons permet de de déplacer le point de vue sur l’identité de celle-ci – les outils de caractérisations ne sont plus les mêmes, et un nouveau rapport à la réalité peut s’installer, l’écoute invitant à une stimulation sensible inaccoutumée. Enfin, cette expérience permet également de mesurer les effets de la globalisation sur ce qui est diffusé acoustiquement par les villes – effets sans doute moins évidents que l’uniformisation visuelle déjà largement étudiée. « Le bruit c’est la ville, le bruit c’est la musique, la ville est l’orchestre, nous sommes des chefs d’orchestre dont les simples interactions avec l’environnement composent une musique au fur et à mesure de nos déambulations. »

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