The sacred sounds of Montreal, Canada

The sacred sounds of Montreal, Canada

Our Canadian contributors were busy during our Sacred Spaces callout, with a diverse range of sounds coming in from the creative city of Montreal, and an equally diverse range of reinterpretations.

Eric Boivin sent us several recordings from the churches of Montreal, the first of which comes from the Notre Dame Basilica, here reimagined by Mark Taylor in a piece called “Do Campanologists Dream of Electric Bells?”.

Mark tells us that the piece was created using Reaktor 5 and Kontakt 5 and hosted in Sonar X1, and says:

“All parts in this one, (except the electric piano solo), were created directly from fragments of the original field recording.

“Various snippets of the Quebec recording, (not just the bells, but other incidental noises as well) were loaded up into five granular samplers for extensive editing. The electric piano solo was performed using the Scarbee Mark 1 virtual instrument.”

City version:

Memory version:

Our second Montreal recording is by M Qaro, and is from Paperman and Sons Jewish Funeral Home.

Angel Muniz tackled this recording, writing:

“I chose this recording, because it reminded me of listening to my father sing in church when I was a child. It brought back some fond memories.

“Also, I just liked the idea of working with vocals and really looked forward to making something totally different out of the source sound.

“Right away I knew I wanted to create something using only the recording as the source. I started using some granular synthesis techniques but I wasn’t satisfied with the results.

“So, I ended up taking a more simple approach by sampling a few small sections of the source sound and making rhythmic patterns with the voice.

“After a lot of experimenting, the result was a killer sub bass (created using a snippet of singing, which was pitched down, distorted, and EQ’d/Limited) accompanied by some odd panned vocal percussive bits(source sound pitched up and time stretched with tremolo and panning modulation).

“I also tried making a decent kick out of the source sound, turned out not too shabby. My DAW of choice was Reaper and I relied mostly on stock plugins and freeware. Again, no other sounds were used besides the source recording.”

City version:

Memory version:

Eric Boivin’s second recording is bells ringing out the hour through waves of birdsong outside Montreal’s Christ Church Cathedral, which has been reimagined by Sofia Botero.

City version:

Memory version:

The sound of protest – Montreal, Canada

idle_nomore.jpeg.size.xxlarge.letterboxMichael Nardone from Montreal, Canada, sent us a selection of his sounds from protests in his home city, including this one from the casserole marches during the Quebec student strike, in May 2012. This sound was taken on by the Random Order Collective, who are a collective of four artists based in Germany, the UK and the USA whose practices expand from sculpture, film, performance into new technologies and immersive environments. They’ve collaborated across countries to produce the final mix you hear here – and they’ll also be guesting on our forthcoming Hamburg project.

Have a listen to what happens when you take the sound of political protest and make music out of it!

City version:

 

Memory version:

 

Inside the Tour de Levi, Montreal

Inside the Tour de Levi, Montreal

1A guest sound today from long-time contributor Dan Tapper, who’s sent through a recording and remix from the Tour de Levi in Montreal, Canada which was created for a multi-channel performance as part of the Sound Travels Intensive run by NAISA. Dan was kind enough to write a really interesting note about the sounds, so I’ll let him describe them in his own words:

This piece is composed from recordings of an old water tower located in Montreal called Tour de Levi. I was able to gain access and record using a combination of contact and binaural microphones. The water tower itself was very dusty but
produced incredible resonant sounds. These are focused on in the first part of the composition. I played the tower by banging, scraping and investigating as many ways as I could to create sound.

The acoustic sound inside the tower was very noisy as a loud industrial air conditioning system dominates the space. Outside the tower, however, there is an amazing sonic and visual panorama – a 360 degree view of the city. I was able to
hear swallows alongside an abseiling drill being taken by the Montreal fire department.

The field recording presented incorporates recordings taken from both these spaces, the interior of the water tower and the exterior.

The composition further explores the water tower in three distinct sections:

The first: Looks at the low frequency resonances of the water tower, creating deep drone and transient material.
The second: Investigates the exterior sounds of the tower, looking at the sounds of birdcall and how variations in repetition can create a perceived soundscape. This section is later combined with the sounds of the fire crew.
The third: Creates a hybrid between real and imagined space, incorporating sounds of other resonant objects – a set of saucepans from my kitchen – with the water tower’s interior.

The presented composition is a slightly reworked version for stereo. It is highly recommended that the piece is listened to on headphones or good quality monitor speakers as the low frequency material featured in several of the sections is too low for laptop/computer speakers to effectively reproduce.

City version:

 

Memory version: