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The fake buskers of Ben Arous

Join us in Ben Arous, Tunisia today, for this soundwalk recorded by Mohsen Ben Hadj Salem, who notes it as “a soundwalk in the courtyards and plots of my residence, spying on neighbours by walking slowly to next to their windows.”

City version:

“In the original field recording, we’re following a soundwalk around a local neighbourhood in Ben Arous, and there’s an intriguing snippet of local musicians performing – I really wanted the recorder to move closer and take in more of the music, but it frustratingly walks on by.

“So for the reimagined piece, I’ve created my own fake musicians, and slotted their performance into the soundscape. I loaded a cleaned-up snippet of the original into an audio to MIDI converter – I love how unreliable these things are, and how they generate melodic chaos by a happy accident, with piles of extra notes on top of the original melody.

“These MIDI lines are then fed into a range of instruments like djembe, sitar, guitar and harmonium, creating a fake lineup of musicians whose chaotic jamming accompanies us on our hyper-real soundwalk through Ben Arous.”

Memory version: