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Memoryphones by Cities and Memory.
Memoryphones by Cities and Memory.

As part of a collaboration with Oxford Contemporary Music, Cities and Memory presented a five-location sound installation across the city of Oxford in November 2015.

Memoryphones examined the relationship between sound and place across five locations in Oxford.

The installation used Mythophones, solar-powered, sound-storing sculptures that enable passers-by to interact with sounds in an immersive, direct experience. By placing their head inside the Mythophone’s loudspeaker funnel, listeners will be enveloped in a new world of sound that complements and contrasts the existing soundscape.

Each Mythophone explored a different area of city soundscapes by presenting, in sequence, sounds from around the world that relate to the same location in Oxford, and then reimagined interpretations of those sounds.

The five locations were:

  • Outside the Weston Library, Broad Street (sounds from museums and libraries)
  • Said Business School, Frideswide Square (sounds of travel from stations and airports)
  • Oxford Castle (sounds of river and water)
  • Museum of the History of Science, Broad Street (sounds of crowds and political protests)
  • St. Michael at the North Gate, Cornmarket (sounds of churches and cathedrals)

You can explore the sounds and locations from the installation on the map below.

The sound collages are presented in full in the playlist below, allowing listeners to experience a similar sonic journey as those who interacted with the installation.


The locations represented at each part of the installation are as follows – you can find the full field recording and reimagined sound for each location over on the sound map:

Weston Library, Broad Street: Museums and libraries

  1. Bodleian Library – Radcliffe Camera, Oxford
  2. Turner Contemporary, Margate
  3. Indian Museum, Calcutta
  4. British Museum (clocks room), London
  5. Times Square, New York (Max Neuhaus installation)
  6. Saskatoon public library, Canada
  7. Royal College of Surgeons, London
  8. Palazzo Grassi, Venice

Oxford Castle: Water sounds

  1. Botany Bay, Margate, England
  2. Otuk Unije blowhole, Croatia
  3. Regina, Canada
  4. Caddesbostan beach, Istanbul, Turkey
  5. Strawberry Creek, California, USA
  6. Casa de Pilatos, Seville, Spain
  7. Hayling Island, England
  8. Lake Michigan, USA
  9. Schuykill River, Philadelphia, USA
  10. Mala Panew, Poland
  11. Sandbanks beach, Poole, England
  12. Kilpisjarvi Lake, Finland

Said Business School: Stations and airports

  1. Sheremetyevo airport, Moscow, Russia
  2. Ferry station, San Francisco, USA
  3. Hauptbahnhof, Hamburg, Germany
  4. Railway station, Bath, England
  5. Bristol airport, Bristol, England
  6. Hamburg airport, Germany
  7. Old Souq marine station, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  8. Rodby, Denmark
  9. Ohlsdorf S-bahn station, Hamburg, Germany
  10. Streetcar tunnel, The Hague, The Netherlands
  11. Zug Bahnhof, Switzerland
  12. Reeperbahn S-bahn station, Hamburg, Germany

Museum of the History of Science, Broad Street: Crowds and protests

  1. Steintorplatz, Hamburg, Germany
  2. Magdalen Bridge, Oxford
  3. Ripa di Porta Ticinese, Milan, Italy
  4. Burton Albion vs. Northampton Town, Burton, England
  5. Oxford Union protest, Oxford
  6. Cardiff Castle, Cardiff, Wales
  7. Arsenal vs. Anderlecht, London, England
  8. Altona, Hamburg, Germany
  9. Cowley Road, Oxford
  10. Bath, England

St. Michael at the North Gate, Cornmarket: Churches and bells

  1. Asiago, Italy
  2. Dakar, Senegal
  3. Basilica della Santa Annunziata, Florence, Italy
  4. St. Michaelis, Hamburg, Germany
  5. Campanile di Giotto, Florence, Italy
  6. Meknes, Morocco
  7. Seville Cathedral, Spain
  8. St. Mark’s Square, Venice, Italy
  9. Walcot Chapel, Bath, England
  10. Corpus Christi parade, Seville, Spain
  11. Chilliwack, Canada
  12. Southwark Cathedral, London

The following artists’ field recordings and reimagined pieces are represented:

Cities and Memory, Moumita Roy, Gad Whip, Tod Emel, Eric Powell, Andy Lyon, Kim Rueger, Katie McMurran, Drombeg, Eric Leonardson, Michael McDermott, Shawn Jimmerson, Lee Clift, Benjamin Pothier, Axel Ganz, Robert van Riel, Rand Lo, Eric Boivin, Daniel Williams, Amber-Zoe Cheesman, AJ Born, Alan Bleay, Liz Huff, Joe Barone, Mark Taylor, Lee Barry, Jase Warner, Drombeg, Tim Waterfield, Lemonodo, Stanislav Nikolov, Luke Henrion, Martin Dixon, Alex Hehir, Alexander McHattie,  Nick St. George, Geoff Edwards.

The Mythophones themselves were devised and created by Dan Fox and Dave Young – find out more about them here.

A mythophone
A mythophone
Oxford Contemporary Music
Oxford Contemporary Music