Open call – join the Cities and Memory Autumn Project!

It’s that time of year again – the leaves are falling from the trees, the evenings are getting shorter, and the Cities and Memory Autumn Project is open for artists!

This is your last chance to get involved with Cities and Memory in 2023, so if you’re up for a creative challenge and you’d like to help us remix the world, one sound at a time – now is your chance.

Here’s how it works – twice every year, we open up our sound database for you to choose from and compose from, offering up the very best recordings the Cities and Memory community have submitted from all over the world throughout 2023, as well as many we’ve recorded ourselves.

You can select any sound that speaks to you, and then create a composition based on that field recording to be part of our global sound map.

This Autumn, we’ve got more than 100 incredible recordings for you to choose from across 33 countries, including the following highlights:

  • On-court action from the world’s most famous tennis tournament, Wimbledon
  • Blessing songs from the Masai Mara in Kenya and chanting monks in Thailand
  • Political protests from the UK and Finland
  • Local markets and traditional shops in Chile, India, South Africa, Spain or Thailand
  • Clanging industrial soundscapes of oil pumping, bamboo cutting and power looms
  • The buzz of entertainment and live music from an international busking festival or the nightlife of New Orleans and Rome
  • Animal soundscapes including howler monkeys, amphibian songs, dawn choruses, curious cows and buzzing insects
  • Atmospheric forests, pounding rain, trickling rivers and peaceful nights in a selection of beautiful recordings from the natural world

Every sound that’s added to the sound map also goes out to thousands of subscribers as a podcast episode on Spotify, Apple Music and all the usual places. Selected compositions will also feature on our annual “best of” compilation, Sounds of the Year (which has been running since 2016), and will be archived by the British Library. Plenty of reasons to get involved!

How it works

1.     Just hit the button below and email us to tell us you’re interested in taking part, and we’ll send over a link to our sound database.

2.     You pick the sound that interests you and – once we’ve confirmed that and allocated it to you – create a composition based on and using that recording. Alternatively if you prefer the element of chance, we can select a recording at random for you.

3.     The deadline for submissions for this year is 12 December, and sounds will be added to Cities and Memory as they are submitted.

Your composition

The only “rules” are as follows:

  • Your composition must contain the original field recording, or some elements of it, either as it is, or effected/processed.
  • It’s one field recording per composition – you may not use multiple sounds from the Cities and Memory database, only one (you can add in your own samples if you want to, however).
  • Your piece must be less than 20 minutes in total length.

Otherwise, it’s a free composition for you to create a piece of music or a soundscape that reflects your response to the source field recording and/or the location or story behind it.

We’re looking forward to hearing from you, and hope you’re up for the challenge of our last sonic callout of the year!