DiscoverCities and Memory - remixing the world
Cities and Memory - remixing the world
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Cities and Memory - remixing the world

Author: Cities and Memory

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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 4,000 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
2715 Episodes
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"A quiet afternoon in my neighbourhood. Croatia is in partial lockdown. The stores are open, but restaurants and cafes are closed. People are allowed to go out, but it is advised to stay at home. I guess I'm happy because I'm living with my wife. And to be honest, she's the perfect person to be locked in with." Recorded by Vlatko Blažek. Part of the StayHomeSounds project to map and reimagine the sounds of the Covid-19 lockdowns.
Cows feeding on Monte Grappa reimagined by Cities and Memory. Reimagining the sound of cow bells on Monte Grappa, we were drawn to how the sound was simultaneously melodic and chaotic, like a musical system alien to western ears being played out. That sense and the sonic quality of the cowbells brought to mind gamelan music, which was the inspiration for this piece. The cowbells sounds were transposed to MIDI, which was then used to play a series of gamelan instruments, so the cows' feeding becomes musical notation for the piece. Blended in lower in the mix are some dreamy, effected versions of the original field recording, and a sung gamelan prayer takes centre stage. The whole piece becomes a gamelan prayer song transported to the mountains of northern Italy.
After a long walk on Monte Grappa in northern Italy and a late lunch in a lovely mountainside malga, we looked down the mountainside and listened to the sound of cows feeding, their bells ringing out for hundreds of metres through the air, simultaneously chaotic and melodic, and a signature sound of mountainside life. Recorded by Cities and Memory.
Waves on Cromarty beach reimagined by Cities and Memory. The natural rhythm of the waves on the beach informed the backbone of this composition, with a Badalamenti-inspired delayed acoustic guitar picking out a pulse to match the repetitive beauty of the waves. The guitar line is joined by other, more effected versions as the pieces goes on, the heavier effects representing the waves finally breaking on shore as they move into the land. The piece is underscored by some effected cello and woodwind lines, which occupy the lower end and represent the low-end sound of the rigs from the original recording - really, it's a re-painting of the original recording through music.
"The waves at Cromarty beach, Scotland recorded in the summer of 2020. The faint hum of work on the retired oil rigs in the Firth can be heard." Recorded by Jessa Davies.
Pingo River reimagined by Cities and Memory. The original field recording contains a low tone that sounds almost as if the river is generating its own bass accompaniment, due to the particular way the water flows over the rocks.  This was the starting point for the idea of this composition, which takes the speed and energy of the river flow and builds on it with a developing drum pattern. First the hi-hats enter to represent the high-end spitting crests of the water on the surface, while the bass and toms stand for the deeper water and its immense power. The piece builds with effects across the river field recording to create some tonal patterns around the drums, and everything fades back down to hi-hats as we complete our walk past the river.
The River Pingo flows through the Torres del Paine National Park in Chilean Patagonia - we took a trek out to the Cascado Salto waterfall, walking along the riverside. In this particular part, the river flows very rapidly over a rock formation in a particular way that generates a low "blooping" tone, almost as if the river is playing its own bassline to accompany its flow - listen out for it in the recording.  Recorded by Cities and Memory.
New Year's Eve 2020, in Oxford, UK - Oxfordshire is currently in the UK's highest tier of coronavirus restrictions, with no shops, restaurants or other activities open, so it's a new year like no other.  On a quiet walk through the city centre, the only sound breaking the peace of the seven o'clock bells in the historic centre of the city from St. Margaret's Church are the last few buses taking people home for a locked-in New Year's Eve. A solemn, quiet reminder of the world we're all still living in as we enter 2021. Recorded by Cities and Memory.
Birds in the mist on Monte Grappa reimagined by Cities and Memory.   This recomposition attempts to create the feeling of experiencing this sound first hand up in the mountains - with no one else around and the sound reflecting off the mountainside, it had a uniquely haunting character and felt like the birds were communicating directly with us.  The piece builds layered sounds underneath the birdsong, respectfully lying underneath the beautiful original and communicating our sense of wonder at the sound, and how "warming" it felt to hear on a chilly day. Until the end, when our synth lines are smeared and stretched all over the original, representing the point at which the birds flew away and left us in our silent reverie.
Hiking on Monte Grappa in northern Italy on an extremely cloudy and foggy day, the visibility on the mountain paths was down to just a few metres. Stopping for a break, we encountered this beautiful sounds of birds calling out to one another through the mist - the sound was reflecting off the mountainside with a gorgeous natural reverb, and on a still day with no one around, there was no other sound but this - mystical, hanging hauntingly in the air, and unforgettable. Recorded by Cities and Memory.
London lockdown soundscape reimagined by Catherine Byrne. "I edited the original sound in Logic to include a repetitive echo and reverb that makes me feel as though appliances/objects are being repeatedly turned on, and the non-natural sounds feel more powerful and disturbing. This reflects the damage done to our ecosystems when cities return to their normal levels of noise and chemical pollution." Part of the #StayHomeSounds project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of the global coronavirus lockdown around the world - for more information, see http://www.citiesandmemory.com/covid19-sounds
"This recording was taken a month and half into the first lockdown in London, back in May. I had been recording almost every day to hear changes in the soundscape as lockdown became less strict and I feel this recording captures the very start of the city starting again after the initial closed lockdown." Recorded by Catherine Byrne. Part of the #StayHomeSounds project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of the global coronavirus lockdown around the world - for more information, see http://www.citiesandmemory.com/covid19-sounds
As Oxford celebrates Christmas Day, the city is fully aware that on the next day, 26 December, it will be moving into the strictest set of Covid-19 lockdown regulations in the UK, with all shops and leisure facilities closed and a 'stay at home' order issued. As such, people in the city are more keen than ever to take advantage of their last opportunity to see loved ones and family for at least a few weeks. This recording was taken at 8am in the Hogacre nature reserve close to the city centre - you can hear plenty of interesting bird species calling to celebrate the sunny, frosty Christmas morning, but equally the battle against the traffic noise of families reuniting for one last time during the festive season. Recorded by Cities and Memory. Part of the #StayHomeSounds project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of the global coronavirus lockdown around the world - for more information, see http://www.citiesandmemory.com/covid19-sounds
Part of the Cities and Memory x Kit Monteith: Audio-Cartographic Experiments project, January 2021. More information at www.citiesandmemory.com/audio-cartographic-experiments  This is the new work by Liverpool based artist Kit Monteith, presented on Cities and Memory as part of a new collaboration. Recorded entirely on an iPhone 6s, the album is designed to be listened to in a single sitting, it’s 23 tracks blending continuously to unfurl the story of a unique journey around the world.  Monteith performs as a percussionist with the band Foals and he composed and recorded this album during their 2019 world tour. In each of the cities the band performed he would make field recordings of the spaces and streets they visited, whilst on each flight composing musical pieces on his phone.  When ordered together these two elements conspire to form an Audio-Cartographic record of an extraordinary journey. A world tour with one of the biggest modern bands, sonically reimagined to capture and explain its strange blur of sensations; the aches, pains, exhilaration and loneliness of endless travel along with the glimmers of truth & euphoria found hidden amongst it all.
Part of the Cities and Memory x Kit Monteith: Audio-Cartographic Experiments project, January 2021. More information at www.citiesandmemory.com/audio-cartographic-experiments  This is the new work by Liverpool based artist Kit Monteith, presented on Cities and Memory as part of a new collaboration. Recorded entirely on an iPhone 6s, the album is designed to be listened to in a single sitting, it’s 23 tracks blending continuously to unfurl the story of a unique journey around the world.  Monteith performs as a percussionist with the band Foals and he composed and recorded this album during their 2019 world tour. In each of the cities the band performed he would make field recordings of the spaces and streets they visited, whilst on each flight composing musical pieces on his phone.  When ordered together these two elements conspire to form an Audio-Cartographic record of an extraordinary journey. A world tour with one of the biggest modern bands, sonically reimagined to capture and explain its strange blur of sensations; the aches, pains, exhilaration and loneliness of endless travel along with the glimmers of truth & euphoria found hidden amongst it all.
Part of the Cities and Memory x Kit Monteith: Audio-Cartographic Experiments project, January 2021. More information at www.citiesandmemory.com/audio-cartographic-experiments  This is the new work by Liverpool based artist Kit Monteith, presented on Cities and Memory as part of a new collaboration. Recorded entirely on an iPhone 6s, the album is designed to be listened to in a single sitting, it’s 23 tracks blending continuously to unfurl the story of a unique journey around the world.  Monteith performs as a percussionist with the band Foals and he composed and recorded this album during their 2019 world tour. In each of the cities the band performed he would make field recordings of the spaces and streets they visited, whilst on each flight composing musical pieces on his phone.  When ordered together these two elements conspire to form an Audio-Cartographic record of an extraordinary journey. A world tour with one of the biggest modern bands, sonically reimagined to capture and explain its strange blur of sensations; the aches, pains, exhilaration and loneliness of endless travel along with the glimmers of truth & euphoria found hidden amongst it all.
Part of the Cities and Memory x Kit Monteith: Audio-Cartographic Experiments project, January 2021. More information at www.citiesandmemory.com/audio-cartographic-experiments  This is the new work by Liverpool based artist Kit Monteith, presented on Cities and Memory as part of a new collaboration. Recorded entirely on an iPhone 6s, the album is designed to be listened to in a single sitting, it’s 23 tracks blending continuously to unfurl the story of a unique journey around the world.  Monteith performs as a percussionist with the band Foals and he composed and recorded this album during their 2019 world tour. In each of the cities the band performed he would make field recordings of the spaces and streets they visited, whilst on each flight composing musical pieces on his phone.  When ordered together these two elements conspire to form an Audio-Cartographic record of an extraordinary journey. A world tour with one of the biggest modern bands, sonically reimagined to capture and explain its strange blur of sensations; the aches, pains, exhilaration and loneliness of endless travel along with the glimmers of truth & euphoria found hidden amongst it all.
Part of the Cities and Memory x Kit Monteith: Audio-Cartographic Experiments project, January 2021. More information at www.citiesandmemory.com/audio-cartographic-experiments  This is the new work by Liverpool based artist Kit Monteith, presented on Cities and Memory as part of a new collaboration. Recorded entirely on an iPhone 6s, the album is designed to be listened to in a single sitting, it’s 23 tracks blending continuously to unfurl the story of a unique journey around the world.  Monteith performs as a percussionist with the band Foals and he composed and recorded this album during their 2019 world tour. In each of the cities the band performed he would make field recordings of the spaces and streets they visited, whilst on each flight composing musical pieces on his phone.  When ordered together these two elements conspire to form an Audio-Cartographic record of an extraordinary journey. A world tour with one of the biggest modern bands, sonically reimagined to capture and explain its strange blur of sensations; the aches, pains, exhilaration and loneliness of endless travel along with the glimmers of truth & euphoria found hidden amongst it all.
Part of the Cities and Memory x Kit Monteith: Audio-Cartographic Experiments project, January 2021. More information at www.citiesandmemory.com/audio-cartographic-experiments  This is the new work by Liverpool based artist Kit Monteith, presented on Cities and Memory as part of a new collaboration. Recorded entirely on an iPhone 6s, the album is designed to be listened to in a single sitting, it’s 23 tracks blending continuously to unfurl the story of a unique journey around the world.  Monteith performs as a percussionist with the band Foals and he composed and recorded this album during their 2019 world tour. In each of the cities the band performed he would make field recordings of the spaces and streets they visited, whilst on each flight composing musical pieces on his phone.  When ordered together these two elements conspire to form an Audio-Cartographic record of an extraordinary journey. A world tour with one of the biggest modern bands, sonically reimagined to capture and explain its strange blur of sensations; the aches, pains, exhilaration and loneliness of endless travel along with the glimmers of truth & euphoria found hidden amongst it all.
Part of the Cities and Memory x Kit Monteith: Audio-Cartographic Experiments project, January 2021. More information at www.citiesandmemory.com/audio-cartographic-experiments  This is the new work by Liverpool based artist Kit Monteith, presented on Cities and Memory as part of a new collaboration. Recorded entirely on an iPhone 6s, the album is designed to be listened to in a single sitting, it’s 23 tracks blending continuously to unfurl the story of a unique journey around the world.  Monteith performs as a percussionist with the band Foals and he composed and recorded this album during their 2019 world tour. In each of the cities the band performed he would make field recordings of the spaces and streets they visited, whilst on each flight composing musical pieces on his phone.  When ordered together these two elements conspire to form an Audio-Cartographic record of an extraordinary journey. A world tour with one of the biggest modern bands, sonically reimagined to capture and explain its strange blur of sensations; the aches, pains, exhilaration and loneliness of endless travel along with the glimmers of truth & euphoria found hidden amongst it all.
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