locative sound

Engaging with this weeks subject was problematic; I do not have much direct experience of locative sound projects to be able to discuss them in any critical depth and I could not get the ‘sonicmaps’ app to work or find the app very intuitive, with very little guidance included over how to upload/link to sound files, this wasn’t helped by the app crashing numerous times.

Thinking about the right sort of sound to attach to place, allowing people to experience it while on the move would require multiple sounds. I considered creating a street of soundscapes, documenting the inhabitants, where sounds could overlap and play concurrently, to allow the cacophony of family life to spill out into the street.  I wondered if the app allowed sound to get louder the nearer the listener was to the centre of the circular area defined, so that people would know how close to source they were, highlighting the locative nature of the sound, as “sound always travels over space in time, emanating from the source, distributed over space and eventually fading.” Behrendt, 2012, p288. Perhaps, allowing sounds to ebb and flow in volume and hierarchy if played concurrently, remixes the sounds on the move, considering how “movement – often walking – acts as remixing” Behrendt, 2012, p286

The idea was to externalise internal sounds, breaking through the walls of the house to experience the soundscape of the occupants within. Where sound creates the space inhabited by the family, a house becomes a home due to the occupants and the noise they make whilst using the space. That my ‘quiet’ sub-urban street is not as quiet as it seems to be, that sound spills out of spaces. However, home is also a very private space where occupants may not want their everyday behaviour documented for anyone to access.

My intention had been to first have a trial run at uploading a recording of the everyday sound created by my family, therefore I had recorded a sound file on my phone, ready to upload to sonicmaps, however, I am yet to make this work!


Behrendt F. 2012 The Sound of Locative Media. Covergence: The International Journal of research into New Media Technologies, 18 (3), pp.283-295

In other news –

AIAIAI Presents the Sound Taxi from AIAIAI on Vimeo. The Sound Taxi is equipped with a microphone to record its surrounding noise. Specially designed software written in Max analyses the frequencies of these noises and uses them to generate unique music in real time. The music/sounds will change and evolve as it is driven in different parts of the city. Further info can be found at: http://www.makethecitysoundbetter.com/



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