Show cover of Cities and Memory - remixing the world

Cities and Memory - remixing the world

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 6,000 sounds featured on our sound map, spread over more than 120 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

Tracks

Four o'clock in a perfect world
"My recollection of this field recording was standing in Campo San Giacomo di Rialto at 4pm, after an entire day of recording the sounds of Venice - my favourite urban space in the world for sound recording. The sun was warm and mellow, and the campo was unusually quiet and empty considering its proximity to the Rialto Bridge, one of Venice's most popular and crowded tourist spots.  "The trickle of water from a small fountain cut through the air, and when the bells chimed the hour, I felt lucky to be alive, and fortunate to be spending time doing what I love in one of the most beautiful places in the world. This piece brings together strings, synths, brass and tape degradation effects in an attempt to encapsulate that feeling - along with the title, obviously inspired by DJ Shadow's midnight." Rialto Bridge walkthrough reimagined by Cities and Memory. 
04:35 4/9/24
A lazy afternoon in Rialto
A walkthrough across Venice's iconic Rialto Bridge, through the market at the bottom of the bridge, and out into Campo San Giacomo di Rialto. In this quiet square just away from the hustle and bustle of one of Venice's most popular tourist spots, all we can hear is the gentle trickle of a water fountain, and the bells chiming for 4pm.  An unusually contemplative and mellow end to a soundscape of what is often one of the most frantic and crowded destinations in Venice.  Recorded by Cities and Memory. 
04:26 4/9/24
Migrating terns
"The sound of the migrating terns is replaced by violins playing a the same rhythm as a short loop of the field recording. This pattern is faded in and out with other orchestral string instruments playing similar tern patterns." Migrating terns reimagined by Simon Woods.
00:14 3/29/24
Tern colony at Cemlyn Bay
Tern colony at Cemlyn Bay, Anglesey. Sandwich, Common and Arctic tern migrate from Africa or as far as the Antarctic for the Artic tern every spring to breed there and then head back each autumn hopefully with young terns following them.  Recorded by Phil Cunliffe.
03:40 3/29/24
To step outside time's relentless flow
"I listened and listened to the beautiful recording and played along the best I could on my acoustic guitar to form an idea. I used the recording complete in places and cut up and sampled in others , to creat a kind of vocal line to the piece. "To step outside of times relentless flow is a journey , a holiday if you like. A trip away from the everyday. Music for me is the escape , the trip , the journey.  "The voices on the recording filled me full of awe and wonder. Each voice individual and unique in its own right but carried along by the songs never changing flow. "I tried to capture this in the piece. A journey of wonder using repetitive rhythmical forms but changing each and every time whilst cascading towards the journeys crescendo and ultimate end." Masai Mara warriors' song reimagined by Daniel Chudley - Le Corre. Part of the Sound of Adventure project in partnership with Exodus Travels. To learn more and explore the full collection, visit https://citiesandmemory.com/adventure.
06:02 3/8/24
Promise of the pier
"In my mind, a pier is almost always a busy place, people are coming or going and that alone brings excitement. For those who in fact are on the pier to embark on a voyage it is perhaps even more exciting. Remember the feeling as a child going on your first travel by boat, being in the moment just before embarking, feel the tremble of joy, but also of fear of the unknown. What may happen once out to sea? But then the anticipation overrides and we get on board to sail for the horizon.  "The piece is built on the recording by Catherine Boulle in its entirety and some parts of it were used as percussion. For the rest of it the music is composed on a grand piano manipulated with a computer." Cape Town pier reimagined by Stefan Klaverdal.  Part of the Sound of Adventure project in partnership with Exodus Travels. To learn more and explore the full collection, visit https://citiesandmemory.com/adventure.
03:48 3/8/24
A page of the night book
"A period of time a few minutes long fifty-eight years wide." "This recording gave such a strong sense of a moment in time held still - the way in which the space of a minute in the middle of the night can take on the same qualities as an hour during daylight. "The nighttime rainfall sits as a bed throughout the track, which overall is structured into one section punctuated by the calls of an owl, and a second that highlights the cries of the deer. "The instrumentation chosen - strings, brass and flute for the most part - is intended to evoke something of the sense of wonder of being in such close proximity to the natural world. "The overall feel is inspired by the Tomas Transtromer poem quoted above, from which the title comes: A page of the night book I stepped ashore one May night in the cool moonshine where grass and flowers were grey but the scent green. I glided up the slope in the colour-blind night while white stones signalled to the moon. A period of time a few minutes long fifty-eight years wide. And behind me beyond the lead-shimmering waters was the other shore and those who ruled. People with a future instead of a face. Nighttime nature sounds in France reimagined by Cities and Memory.   Part of the Sound of Adventure project in partnership with Exodus Travels. To learn more and explore the full collection, visit https://citiesandmemory.com/adventure.
04:29 3/8/24
Path
"I loved how the field recording provided a really nice atmospheric layer to the song. The interesting thing is that the recording has different moments as in one part you hear the sounds of the waves and in another, human voices combined with other elements that inhabit the place. "This song talks about the wish of feeling nature, of experimenting the outside. I think that the feelings of travel and adventure are reflected in the musical creative process. In this case Giuliana and I embarked on a musical style different from what we usually compose and we enjoyed so much. This song was a new journey for us." Belém Tower reimagined by Maribel Tafur & Giu. Part of the Sound of Adventure project in partnership with Exodus Travels. To learn more and explore the full collection, visit https://citiesandmemory.com/adventure.
06:21 3/8/24
Finlandia
"I used the field recording unedited and throughout the duration of my piece. It inspired me to put myself in the outdoors, listen to the sounds of nature in the recording and transfer how this made me feel into music: peaceful and hopeful, and then adventurous. I started with a piano solo and build instrumentation around it. I also drew inspiration from the classic composition by the Finnish composer Jean Sibelius, hence the name 'Finlandia'." Pepperskär Hamnen, Finland reimagined by Kid Kin. Part of the Sound of Adventure project in partnership with Exodus Travels. To learn more and explore the full collection, visit https://citiesandmemory.com/adventure.
04:41 3/8/24
Early morning at Pepperskär Hamnen
"A sleepy harbour at Pepperskär on the island of Järsö, 12km south of Mariehamn, Åland's capital. It's just after 7am on a Sunday. The roe deer on the road vanish into the woods as I arrive, the gulls haven't yet flown in from the rocky havens in the bay.  "A slight breeze stirs the tide to softly lap the the wood-clad harbour walls and the hulls of the handful of boats moored therein. Alongside the rough cawing of early rising crows, and the calls of various smaller birds filling acoustic niches as they rouse, a lone grey heron remains silent." Recorded in Finland by Julian Weaver. Part of the Sound of Adventure project in partnership with Exodus Travels. To learn more and explore the full collection, visit https://citiesandmemory.com/adventure.
14:19 3/8/24
Unboxing
"The field recording from the martial arts studio in Thailand is over 20 minutes long, so I initially selected several parts that appealed to me because of their athletic energy, community spirit and sweat.  "I chose sound sections that reflect the general training atmosphere in the room and, of course, the sports activities with rhythmic sequences. Muay Thai is a national sport in Thailand, so I also wanted to incorporate traditional musical elements and instruments of the culture without falling too much into clichés or appropriating them culturally.  "Martial arts is similar to dance choreography, so I instinctively created a danceable piece. My track is intended to show the anticipation and sense of adventure of a Western European who is curious to discover an Asian culture." Muay Thai gym reimagined by Giant Skeletons. Part of the Sound of Adventure project in partnership with Exodus Travels. To learn more and explore the full collection, visit https://citiesandmemory.com/adventure.
03:38 3/8/24
Sting Club Muay Thai gym, Chiang Mai
"People from across Chiang Mai and the globe training in a Muay Thai gym." Recorded in Chiang Mai, Thailand by Alex Boyesen. Part of the Sound of Adventure project in partnership with Exodus Travels. To learn more and explore the full collection, visit https://citiesandmemory.com/adventure.
21:16 3/8/24
On the edge of a lake in the jungle
"A dense and captivating dawn chorus of Vietnamese wildlife in Huyện Đà Bắc, Hòa Bình, Vietnam. The waking of animals, birds, insects and people on the edge of a lake in the jungle at around 5am." Recorded in Vietnam by Kit Wilmans Fegradoe. Part of the Sound of Adventure project in partnership with Exodus Travels. To learn more and explore the full collection, visit https://citiesandmemory.com/adventure.
19:36 3/8/24
CO-PI-I
"Quite coincidentally, the track "CO-PI-I" was made on the go during my recent travels in late 2023. I believe it happened for a good reason since it serves the purpose of the "Sound of Adventure" project.  "Over the years I made an interesting observation. Before venturing into new territory, two things happen: first - we suddenly are opened to fantasy, meditating on possible/probable experiences and adventures; and second - activate that sleeping inner child in us, eager to play "make believe" and explore uncharted worlds.  "It is a certain kind of excitement and anticipation many of us indulge in before setting foot on a new playground.  "I felt these dynamics and characteristics in the chosen field recording, then built up on the inspiration. Curiosity is a hunger that makes us seek new skies, smell fresh air, and try flavors we've never tasted.  "I find our ability to make up a version of a place apriori intriguing. This version is made of bits and pieces of various knowledge, from previous cultural encounters to tales and the internet, etc. All these elements contribute to our collage of a place, creating a potential for the next journey.  "Often, the real deal drastically differs from the product of imagination. Still, the fantasy is exciting and rewarding.  "'CO-PI-I' is just that, a fantasy about a place never experienced; a puzzle I put together with the field recording in the very center. "Why did I choose Vietnam? I could've easily picked a country I am familiar with, though, I wanted to create something based out of pure curiosity. A projection of a place never visited, based on all the elements mentioned. Hoping one day to compare fantasy with reality." "'COPII' incidentally stands for quite a few meaningful things. First, it means children in the Romanian language. Second, an existing organization that helps kids in Vietnam is called COPI, which I accidentally found upon googling.  "Third, COPII is also a protein complex, and fourth - COP stands for Conference of Parties that holds United Nations Climate Change Conferences. "All things considered, I hope there is enough room left for creating a fantasy, aided by the sounds of Vietnam." Nature in Vietnam reimagined by Serge Bulat. Part of the Sound of Adventure project in partnership with Exodus Travels. To learn more and explore the full collection, visit https://citiesandmemory.com/adventure.
04:10 3/8/24
Vermont's dawn chorus
"The wildlife of Berkshire, Vermont awakening. The scene features Morning Doves' distinctive calls, along with other song birds, a few Raven calls, as well as the croaking of frogs at a nearby pond." Recorded in Vermont, USA by Chris Ruprecht. Part of the Sound of Adventure project in partnership with Exodus Travels. To learn more and explore the full collection, visit https://citiesandmemory.com/adventure.
03:00 3/8/24
Shadows unveiled
"The field recording in this piece inspired me to create a story about how an adventure can begin feeling dark and uncertain but can then open up to an expanse of lightness and magic.  "Often when I have travelled, being in an unknown places it can feel unsettling but often hidden gifts reveal themselves when you immerse yourself in all that it has to offer." Vermont, USA dawn chorus reimagined by Firephly.  Part of the Sound of Adventure project in partnership with Exodus Travels. To learn more and explore the full collection, visit https://citiesandmemory.com/adventure.
06:06 3/8/24
Crossroads - bird chirping, Tokyo
"The recording location is an unidentified crossroad in Tokyo. Whenever the traffic light turns green, the speakers on the traffic lights play continuous bird chirping sounds to alert people to proceed.  "In some parts of China, which is also in the Asian region, pre-recorded human voices are used to signal pedestrians at crossroads. I believe that using bird chirping sounds instead of other practical sounds may be a method to reduce urban noise and provide people with a momentary auditory respite.  "Hearing a clear bird chirping at a bustling crossroad is indeed a fascinating adventure. There are many crossroads in Tokyo where bird chirping serves as the alert sound like this." Recorded in Japan by Boyi Bai. Part of the Sound of Adventure project in partnership with Exodus Travels. To learn more and explore the full collection, visit https://citiesandmemory.com/adventure.
03:53 3/8/24
Adventures in temporal displacement
"Lots of small sounds stood out from the field recording I worked with, small enough not to be noticed, yet, in the right frame of mind, significant enough to catch one's attention. I tried to be open to letting them take my attention for a wander and responded to that by making sounds that followed them, resampling, ornamenting, mimicking. Sometimes the best adventures are small ones, unexpected, adventures that don't have a purpose other than taking you out of the familiar - and bringing you to the start of your next adventure." Tokyo crossroads reimagined by de Velden. Part of the Sound of Adventure project in partnership with Exodus Travels. To learn more and explore the full collection, visit https://citiesandmemory.com/adventure.
03:44 3/8/24
Piazza San Marco on a hot August day
"In Piazza San Marco, the most famous tourist destination in Venice, at 3pm on a hot August day. Bells chime the hour, and the famous jazz cafes play live music as we walk past. After a great deal of summer rain, there was an unanticipated acqua alta (high water), so you can hear the occasional sloshing of puddles too - very unusual for a summer afternoon." Recorded in Italy by Cities and Memory.  Part of the Sound of Adventure project in partnership with Exodus Travels. To learn more and explore the full collection, visit https://citiesandmemory.com/adventure.
06:08 3/8/24
The distant horizon
"This work was composed by Michael Serafin-Wells, performed and recorded by Bipolar Explorer - Summer Serafin (vocals), Michael Serafin-Wells (guitars, baritone guitar, bass, tape loops, percussion, vocals) and Sylvia Solanas (vocals). We used the field recording throughout, with some small edits, looping and reverb. The field recording itself is lovely and evocative and we wanted our contribution to serve as a kind of underscoring to it, like in a film, perhaps.  "We, of course, love travel - returning to favorite places and discovering new ones - and found ourselves quite moved. Sometimes, I think, we can find ourselves in the loneliest of moments even when we’re surrounded by people and in a beautiful place.  "Although feeling the warmth and glow of wonderful company and breathtaking vistas, our wishing that our lost ones could be there, too, at our side to share the experience, can sometimes overwhelm. And both feelings - contentment and loss - can commingle. Inspired by this wonderful soundscape of Venice in high season, we hoped to support both its welcoming beauty and the deep sense of longing we also feel." Piazza San Marco reimagined by Bipolar Explorer. Part of the Sound of Adventure project in partnership with Exodus Travels. To learn more and explore the full collection, visit https://citiesandmemory.com/adventure.
12:51 3/8/24
Eid Milad-ul Nabi at Nizamuddin Dargah
"The recording is placed in Hazrat Nizamuddin, a mausoleum dedicated to the Sufi saint – Khawaja Nizamuddin Auliya who lived during 1238 – 1325 CE. He was a saint of the Chishti order and a firm believer in secularism and religious harmony. The mausoleum was constructed in 1325 by Muhammad Bin Tughlaq (The eighteenth Sultan of Delhi). "The recording was made while walking the premises of the Dargah, during a much crowded Eid Milad-ul Nabi (observation of the day when the Islamic prophet Muhammad is reported to have been born) -23. One can also chart the distance from the Centre of the Dargah where ceremonial Qawwali is taking place. This distance changes as we move close to and then further away from the grave/shrine." Recorded in India by Bariya. Part of the Sound of Adventure project in partnership with Exodus Travels. To learn more and explore the full collection, visit https://citiesandmemory.com/adventure.
04:02 3/8/24
Delhi's memory lane
"'Delhi's Memory Lane' is a musical tale that paints a vibrant picture of the diverse sounds that define old Delhi. Imagine wandering through the bustling and bright streets of Paharganj, where there is beauty in the sounds of every corner. Suddenly, go to the outskirts of the city and find yourself in the semi-countryside, surrounded by moments of serenity where time slows, marked by the distant crowing of roosters acting as a natural alarm clock. "The heart of the composition lies in the original crafted recording that undergoes meticulous stretching and gradual manipulation from beginning to end, forming distinct choruses. This recording serves as the foundation, weaving seamlessly with additional layers that bring forth the rich tapestry of Delhi's cultures. "At the core of the narrative are the enchanting tones of the handpan, dancing in harmony with the resonant echoes of a sitar recording I captured from an Indian colleague during my university days. Together, they skillfully guide the listener through the diverse sonic landscapes of Delhi. Like a cinematic journey, the music effortlessly transitions between various soundscapes, culminating in a reimagined memory of the time when Delhi was home - a captivating musical narrative, a Polaroid of my experiences in India." Eid Milad-ul Nabi at Nizamuddin Dargah reimagined by Deep Dive Sound. Part of the Sound of Adventure project in partnership with Exodus Travels. To learn more and explore the full collection, visit https://citiesandmemory.com/adventure.
04:22 3/8/24
Savia Monteverde: dawn chorus, Costa Rica
"It is a brand new day and the the forest is starting to wake up. It had been raining the whole night before and although it is not raining at the moment, water droplets keep falling down from the canopy.  "The birds are getting playful and are moving around singing and looking for food, several groups of them can be heard in all directions. A slow breeze passes through the forest bringing in the mist of dawn." Recorded in Costa Rica by Diego Espeleta. Part of the Sound of Adventure project in partnership with Exodus Travels. To learn more and explore the full collection, visit https://citiesandmemory.com/adventure.
14:09 3/8/24
Arrival
"I used Diego Espeleta's recording of a dawn chorus in Costa Rica as the starting point for my composition 'Arrival'. I wanted this piece to communicate an uplifting feeling - the joy of arriving at your destination and the wonder of exploring a new place. This is what field recording has been for me - a way to explore more deeply. The joy of collecting sounds and immersing yourself into a new landscape feels almost childlike - just like children collecting rocks and feathers and other pretty keepsakes to bring home and remember things by.  "Additionally, I have used a few of my own field recordings in this composition - the bells of sheep in the village of Aulus-les-Bains in the French Pyrenees, and some recordings I made with my brother in my hometown of Bergen, Norway. We went to an old, empty military base on a day right after Christmas, and recorded the sounds and vibrations of icy, empty metal buildings with a LOM Geofón he gifted me. The composition features the sounds of us both singing into a huge metal pipe, and I have also worked sounds of us hitting this same pipe into the drum beat. As I have lived in the UK for so long, arriving home in Norway now also feels like an adventure.  "Two arpeggiated synth lines are at the centre of this composition, wandering and shifting as the track develops, with multiple ascending parts joining in, as well as a peaceful, deep pad. I wanted to use Diego's field recording throughout most of the track - when it is introduced it is processed with a low pass filter and vibrato, to bring out the rain taps on the leaves and make the birdsong sound a little bit strange. Towards the build up at the end of the A section I have also used an additional section of the dawn chorus recording processed with a spectral shimmer for an etherial, high pitched, shimmery sound that takes us into the B section. "In the B section the synths drop out and are replaced with a driving beat, doubled with metallic pipe hits. We can now hear the unprocessed, stereo field recording for the first time. This section is slowly built with layers of bells, synth and vocal samples, and I have doubled a section of the morning chorus that featured an especially melodic bird call, to act as a lead melody." Costa Rica dawn chorus reimagined by Sara Wolff. Part of the Sound of Adventure project in partnership with Exodus Travels. To learn more and explore the full collection, visit https://citiesandmemory.com/adventure.
04:30 3/8/24
Deer and owls in the middle of the night, France
"The beginning of autumn goes pair with nature changing... And alpha male deer are seeking and fighting for their partners to preserve their species. This is the time, at the end of September, where you can hear deer in the evening and in the night.  "Hidden in forests, with owls calling as well, you can immerse in pure nature with no human intrusion. Some wind goes through the pine trees and oak trees. Distant calls give a sense of depth to this soundscape at Mont Lozère at 1500 m altitude." Recorded at Mont Lozère, Mas de la Barque, France by Antonius Driessens. Part of the Sound of Adventure project in partnership with Exodus Travels. To learn more and explore the full collection, visit https://citiesandmemory.com/adventure.
03:39 3/8/24
Masai Mara warriors' song, Kenya
"I am at the open space of a traditional Masai village with a population of about 250 people. All around are little huts and in the centre, cows and goats are laid down. The Masai men sing and dance the warriors song. They jump as high as they can as a sign of bravery and in order to attract the women's attention." Recorded in Kenya by Christina Antoniadou. Part of the Sound of Adventure project in partnership with Exodus Travels. To learn more and explore the full collection, visit https://citiesandmemory.com/adventure.
05:03 3/8/24
Sound Reflections on the East Wall, Portugal
"Workers from the "Museu de Arte Popular" assembled at Torre de Belém before heading to the Lisbon city center for a conference. During this gathering, one of the museum collaborators pointed out a location on the east wall where you can hear both the sounds of the sea and the Torre de Belém garden, thanks to the unique acoustic properties of the wall." Recorded in Belém, Portugal by Carlos Berrizbeitia. Part of the Sound of Adventure project in partnership with Exodus Travels. To learn more and explore the full collection, visit https://citiesandmemory.com/adventure.
06:24 3/8/24
On the pier, Cape Town
"Kalk Bay Harbour embodies the raw beauty of Cape Town’s False Bay coast. Listen to the sound of waves; seagulls flying overhead; seals snorting from time to time as they bathe in the sun, waiting for scraps; the low hum of tools as fishermen repair their boats; an artist who takes out a selection of works to sell to passers-by, and the chatting of tourists and locals walking up and down the pier." Recorded in South Africa by Catherine Boulle.  Part of the Sound of Adventure project in partnership with Exodus Travels. To learn more and explore the full collection, visit https://citiesandmemory.com/adventure.
03:08 3/8/24
Migration Sounds on BBC World Service Newshour
An interview with Cities and Memory founder Stuart Fowkes on BBC World Service's Newshour about the Migration Sounds project, playing recordings already contributed from the USA, the UK and the Sahara desert and discussing our callout for contributions to the project. Broadcast on 23 February 2024.  
05:03 2/24/24
Migration Sounds on BBC Radio 4 Today Programme, February 2024
Our Migration Sounds project featured in BBC radio news bulletins, 23 February 2024. This clip taken from the Today Programme. 
00:16 2/23/24

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