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Oxford Circus in sound

We’re heading to another central destination on the Underground today – Oxford Circus, one of the busiest destinations in London. As such, we have two field recordings – one is the bustle of the station’s underpasses, but the first is some chanting football fans making their way through the station.

City version – football fans:

We’ve tackled a reimagined version of this sound ourselves, by layering multiple tracks of strings and reverb-laden synths over the vocal samples to create a mournful piece from the sound of the football chants.

The synth drones and reverb from the station come together to resonate beneath the string lines, and there’s a brief rhythmic interlude where we’ve created a hats/claps pattern from the brief spattering of hand clapping in the original field recording.

Memory version by Cities and Memory: 

The second field recording is a busy sample from the Oxford Circus underpass system.

City version – Oxford Circus underpass:

The first reimagined version is by Andy Rae of Ithaca Audio, who simply writes: “This remix was about doing the opposite. We tried to make order out of chaos – to add space to something very crowded.”

Memory version by Andy Rae:

Pietro Bardini took on the same sound, and he describes his approach like this: “My intention was to distillate the main tone of Oxford Circus from the chaotic sounds of the station.

“To do this I created a series of 6 convolution reverbs, each reverb had as impulse response the whole recording itself. This technique created a sort of feedback reverb on the main harmonics of the sounds.”

Memory version by Pietro Bardini: 

The final version is by Tony Shrimplin:

“Oxford Circus tube station is the busiest in England. My inspiration came from this fact. I thought it would be interesting to project it into an alternative future London where only a few people now survive but the public service announcements still continue.

“The soundscape is set in a post Crossrail, post apocalyptic West End.

“Oxford Circus is now overgrown with vegetation but the subterranean tunnels are still used and the last remaining tube ferries the dispossessed to Epping!”

Memory version by Tony Shrimplin: