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Entries in location-based (7)


Cities & Memory

We’ve seen quite a few projects using geolocation lately, from Sterepublic which “crowdsourced the quiet”, to the URB project in Porto, also collecting sound data from locations. The Cities & Memory project is different in the sense that it wants to record the sounds of the actual space, as well as the poetic, underlying space.

Every faithful field recording document here is accompanied by a reworking, a processing or an interpretation that imagines that place and time as somewhere else, somewhere new. The listener can choose to explore locations through their actual sounds, or explore interpretations of what those places could be – or to flip between the two different sound worlds at leisure.

I think the idea of having both the real field recording and the poetic interpretation side by side is very interesting. Of course this is an interpretation, so bound to be quite subjective. I’m especially curious if we, in time, could figure out a certain sound-vocabulary to describe the poetics of a place. If any, Cities and Memory is a good start!


Quotidian Record

Brian House created Quotidian Record, a great looking vinyl record on which he makes locational data audible:

As the record turns, the markings on the platter indicate both the time as it rotates through every 24 hours and the names of the cities to which I travel. The sound suggests that our habitual patterns have inherent musical qualities, and that daily rhythms might form an emergent portrait of an individual.

To record his location data he used the OpenPaths app, which records your location data privately. Listening to the sound of the record patterns can be heard, although it doesn’t really have a musical quality. An interesting concept nonetheless. 


329 prepared dc-motors in a toluene tank

Zimoun has done it again. His installations seem to get bigger and bigger, and all based around the same principle: many small prepared dc-motors spinning endlessly like a flock of insects. This time in the form of 329 prepared dc-motors, cotton balls, toluene tank.

The sound installation is designed very clean and well. The lack of visual disturbances such as cables enhance the feeling of autonomy of these things. The tank, located in Dottikon, Switzerland, melts the gentle knocking into a cloud of sound, like rain on the roof of a tent. 

The tank from the outside. Nothing seems abnormal here.

Also read Zimoun’s answers to the ‘five sound questions’ I asked him three years ago, back in 2010. See his website to read more about his projects. 


Music for Forgotten Places

Wandering around a city we might encounter these forgotten places - a vacant lot, an old ruin, a building no one lives in anymore. These spots always fascinate me, make me fantasize about their history and former inhabitants. Inspired by their mystique, Oliver Blank composed pieces of music for them - Music for Forgotten Places. 

Visitors and residents can call a phone number found on a sign at the forgotten place they pass, and listen to its music. A mindful moment in a busy city. The project is created in Coruña, Spain, but Oliver will visit cities across the world to discover and compose for their forgotten places as well. 

Find out more and listen to a piece of music at


Ideas in Movement

My friend Joachim Baan was invited to create a project for the all new Samsung Galaxy Tab, and he asked me to be one of his collaborators, together with Raymond Lemstra and Mathijs de Bruin. So came up with the idea to create a virtual world in image and sound, using Layar on Android. 

Joachim drove to Germany in the middle of the night and took wonderful, strange and surrealistic pictures at some chalk mines. They are the starting point of our project. My task will be to create a new sonic layer around this dark world. More soon. It is part of the Ideas in Movement project.


A Balloon for... a Water Tower

The cities we live in contain many places with marvelous sonic properties, but who is aware of them? Concrete, towers, a hole in the wall. It might just take a little amplification to bring them to life. A popping balloon might also work. 

With A Balloon for… a Water Tower Davide Tidoni shows us the amazing effect the sound of a popping balloon creates in front of the water tower of Santarcangelo. The project invites the average passers-by to listen a bit more careful to the world around them. Watch the movie and listen to the effect:

Click to read more ...


The Manual project

Exploring sound and listening as tools for "social cooperation and environmental investigation", that's what the Manual project, a site specific field study in Oslo aims for. Social interaction through sound.

What can sound do with an architectural space? What do everyday sounds tell us? Is the city telling a story? Despite these interesting questions there doesn't seem to be clear objective to this project. It generates beautiful images, that's for sure.

Swedish duo Kristina Lindström and Åsa Ståhl (aka å+k), the American artist Brandon LaBelle, Tao G. Vrhovec Sambolec from Holland/Slovenia, and Norwegian artists Jana Winderen and and Siri Austeen collaborated on this project.