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Building a new soundscape of Oxford

oxford-mist-sunset-yellowWe’re staying at home today, with two sounds from our hometown of Oxford – the classic sound of British ducks relaxing by the river, and a conversation between two students (bitching about a mutual friend of theirs) in the queue at Oxford’s ornate central Post Office building.

We passed these sounds over to Manchester sound artist Julian Holloway, who is part of the Zirkus collective, who selected them because he used to live in Oxford, and he’s created a blended soundscape using both field recordings – his own woozy soundscaping of Oxford as a whole.

Julian writes that he “it was recorded in one take… minimal mixing and mastering after that, just to balance some stuff out.  A sound from Cowley Road carnival only comes in, very processed, at the very end: I concentrated on the students and the ducks. The only things added were some choir sounds. My grandfather was head verger of Christchurch College for many years so those sounds are fitting with memories of the city. In fact, the cottage next to the church was called Holloway Cottage for a while and there is  a gargoyle/grotesque of him near Old Tom Tower at Christchurch.”

City versions:


Memory version: