Artistic Endeavors – Cities and Memory

Sound Photography asks “What is the relationship between photography and sound?” It’s an international creative interaction between more than 160 photographers and sound artists from 32 countries. Apparently volunteers send in photographs, for which sound artists create a composition based on their reactions to the photo.

The website says it better than I can:

Photographs in the project cover everywhere from Djibouti and Botswana to India, Vietnam and Australia, and include:

– Iconic locations such as Tiananmen Square, the Empire State Building and Copacabana Beach;
– Political protests, social commentary and photojournalistic stories;
– Environmental studies and nature photography;
– Some of the world’s most beautiful cities, including Paris, Venice, Kyoto and Chefchaouen (Morocco’s “blue city”).

The sounds created in response demonstrate an extraordinary breadth of creative approaches including:

– Recordings of melting ice, floating driftwood, electromagnetic fields or words translated into 20 languages;
– Using the raw data from a photograph to construct brand new sounds;
– Using elements of the image as musical notation from which to build new melodies;
– Collections of historical sound recordings from the location of the photograph to bring its past to life;
– Sonic fairytales assembled from legendary fictional tales through the ages.

The Verge interview with composer Stuart Fowkes about this project gives more details about the thinking behind it and the process used.

“Every location on the Cities and Memory sound map features two sounds: the original field recording of that place, and a reimagined sound that presents that place and time as somewhere else, somewhere new.

The listener can explore places through their actual sounds, to explore reimagined versions of what those places could be…”

Here’s the ambient sounds version of sewing machines in Mani Sithu (Myanmar) market, followed by the music created based on those sounds.

You can search the project by episodes or playlists.


Filed under Commentary

2 responses to “Artistic Endeavors – Cities and Memory

  1. Well, that is cool and there are many to see/listen to on their website too. Artists and their ideas seem never-ending! Thanks for sharing.

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