Alan Kirker

Art > Cities and Memory Audio Project

Playing tracks from Cities and Memory, a massive audio project undertaken by Stuart Fowkes over in the UK, on Humanoid Radio at CFRU FM, led to contributing to its most recent sub-project, Future Cities.

"Cities and Memory is a global, collaborative sound art and mapping project that remixes the world, one sound at a time. The project covers more than 90 countries and territories with more than 3,000 sounds, and more than 550 contributing artists." (From the Cities and Memory Audio Project website)

Future Cities

For the Future Cities sub-project of the wider Cities and Memory audio project, participants contributed to or selected from an extensive library of field recorded sounds captured in cities and towns around the world. People who picked a recording were invited to remix all or part of it as they saw fit, aligning it with the broad theme of Future Cities, and submit it for inclusion on the Future Cities Project sound map.

From the selection of recorded sounds, a piece of audio was chosen that was captured in a country park, Oxford, UK; a context sonically similar to this one here in Canada; on the edge of town, the rural-urban divide, a littoral zone where nature and humanity meet. The original field recording features the occasional background plane and car, dog barking, and wonderfully syncopated bird song, the latter standing out and serendipitously matching a drum loop, with a few tweaks. Slightly edgy, atmospheric loops were recorded, then added to lend a futuristic feel to the beats and tweets. The humourous sounding Peter Sellers voice sample softens the piece's underlying message: We must look after our feathered friends as they are integral to healthy, biodiverse cities and towns, now and into the future.

Check out the Future Cities webapge to find out about the project and visit the Future Cities Bandcamp page to listen to selected field recorded sounds from this project, and my Future Cities page on Audioboom to check out the remixed tune, Oxford Birdy Num-num.

Future Cities Project map excerpt image

Alternatively, listen here to the finished remixed piece,"Oxford Birdy Num-num", incorporating field recorded bird song, loops, and voice sample.

Similarly, listen to the original field recorded sound captured in rural Oxford, UK, obtained from the Cities and Memory / Future Cities project repository.


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