See/Listen: Cities and Memory

One of our recent discoveries of place-related projects is Cities and Memory, a global soundmap that presents both the reality of a location through field recordings, but also presents its “imagined, alternative counterpart”. Each recording that is uploaded to the sound map is accompanied by a reworking or interpretation that imagines the place somewhere else, somewhere new, and which incorporates the original recording in some form. Some reimaginings/remixes use only sounds from the original sample, others are musical/tonal compositions that contain the original sound in some form.

It is a fascinating project with over 400 sounds on the map located in 23 countries and uploaded by numerous contributors. For those of you within striking distance of Oxford, UK, in the next week you can also experience Cities and Memory as part of an exhibition Kymmata, taking place at the O3 Gallery. The exhibition as a whole brings together installation, artwork and live performances, for which the soundtrack and one of the exhibits will be a three-hour mix of Cities and Memory sounds:

“Taking a trip across the world from west to east, we’ll begin in San Francisco and end in South Korea, taking in 25 countries along the way, as each field recording blends into the reimagined version of itself, and then into the next location. The soundscape has been created specifically to fit the theme of the exhibition and to work within the space, and will form the sound element of this multidisciplinary five-day showcase.”

The exhibition runs from Wednesday 28 January to Friday 30 January (12 noon to 5pm each day). And if you want to get an idea of what the Cities and Memory project is all about, have a listen below: