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What is Cities and Memory?

Here’s an attempted introduction into what’s going on here!

The project stems from a longstanding fascination with sound, and specifically field recording and sampling, that goes back over ten years for me. I’ve been using field recordings in a musical context for a long time (for instance, radio number stations in this track by Sunnyvale Noise Sub-element, or this collage of recordings from an RNLI lifeboat station for Listing Ships).

I’ve always loved both ends of the field recording spectrum – that is, the true-to-life, unmanipulated recordings of what a place actually sounds like at a given point in time, and the heavily-processed, manipulated field recordings that create something new, using field recordings as pure source material.

What I’ve not seen is something that directly compares and even contrasts the two within the same space, so what I wanted to create with Cities and Memory is the opportunity for two parallel sound worlds to exist in the same place – a ‘documentary’ of pure, clean field recordings of a place (an audio photo gallery, as it were), and a space for experimentation and interpretation of sound.

So by presenting two recordings at a time, one a straight field recording and the other a processed version, a remix, a reinterpretation or a new sound that uses the original as its basis, it’s possible to explore the world through its real and imagined sounds at the same time.

So what you’ll get throughout is at least two recordings per location – the real and the imagined, or remixed world.