Sound Localities Compilation released!

Downloaded the compilation online for free here: Sound Localities Compilation 2011

Sound Localities is a project that explores sound in the city through field recordings and exchanges from artists in 7 cities in the local, regional and international space around Mons, Belgium. From Ghent, Brussels, London, Madrid, Hong Kong and Seoul, the project seeks to produce a dialogue amongst disparate places and individuals through their localised experiences to explore possibilities of imagining a wider global space.

The process: Individuals from selected art organisations working with sound were interviewed about their work with sound and their relationship as a cultural organisation in their city. The organisations were asked to select artists working with sound in the city to contribute field recordings to share something about the place. The sounds were contributed to an archive that were collected and shared online with all other participants in the project. 

The participating artists were then invited back to create a mix from the collection of sounds from the  cities. The result is a compilation of their mixes – reflecting a crossing of cities and experiences, and perspectives on the World that are reinterpreted and then shared back to each other. The compilation is a the result of a project called Resonant Cities (2010) that connects individuals in different spaces and times in a complex and globalising space of contemporary urban existence. 

Includes mixes by: Julien Poidevin (FR), Will Montgomery (UK), Jiyeon Kim (KR),Sébastien Biset (BE), Edwin Lo (HK), Pauwel De Buck (BE), Yiorgis Sakellariou (GR), Sinyu Tsang (HK), and Martin Clarke (UK). 

Sound Localities is a project initiated by Ashley Wong an artist, curator and researcher based in London, UK during a 3-month residency at Transcultures in Mons, Begium supported by Pépinières européennes pour jeune artistes and partners.   

Madrid metro and various places

Manuel Calurano

Paseo Sonoro Rastro de Madrid

"This is a field recording of the ambient sound of the Madrid subway. In my opinion, it is an environment with a very strong sound quality and at the same time, represents the way of life in the town."

Cafeteria Plaza Lavapies 

"This is a field recording of the sonic ambience in a bar. It is a binaural field recording in a bar in the first hours of the morning." 

Mercado de Lavapies 

"Ratro de Madrid:
This is another binaural soundwalk in one the most emblematic places of the city. in the Shaefer’s terminology this would be a very representative “sound mark” of Madrid.”

Trayecto en metro Bilbao Tribunal

"This is a field recording of the trajectory on the Madrid Metro from Bilbao to Tribunal station."

Manuel Calurano is one of the creators and editors of Madrid Soundscape.

Pescados Alofer and some other noises

José Luis Espejo


"I don’t go to record regularly and I am not used to listening through a recording machine. At first I went to record the fish store on Fencing Street.

See large map

Pescados Alofer, Calle Esgrima


"As I said, I’m interested in noise, but it is very difficult to think about noise because it is a very subjective concept, so it was very difficult to grasp. The fish store turned out to be something quite regular when listening to it in stereo, although in lived experience it is really spectacular.

Then I found a lady playing an barrel organ (organillo) in the street price next to the Plaza del Sol. I couldn’t have found something more typical. When the lady realized that I was recording, I stopped and pretended to order some parts.

Then I thought of recording something. Something about the economic value of noise. 

So I decided to make a little joke about art. A joke about the depoliticization of the art and the misunderstanding of sound. I went for a walk on the 8th of December, the feast of the Immaculate Conception at 16:00. I walked to 4 destinations where there was an anti-noise law or where the neighborhood complained and had to cease activities causing noise.”

Espoz y Mina 20. 16:15

"There, neighbours expressed first to the bar incomodicad Commo."

Espez y Mina Street

Plaza Santa Ana 6. 16:30

"The residents of No. 4 in the Plaza de Santa Ana a few months ago hung a banner reading "Your euros are our noise euros”. It was referring to the consumers of the terraces of that place that were given to street musicians."

Plaza Santa Ana

Plaza del Dos de Mayo S / N 16:45

"One of the examples used by the council to ban drinking in the street was always square. Without doubt the most spectacular altercation occurred on the night of May 2, 2007, when he wanted to leave the square policióa on the day of the celebrations of the city, causing major disturbances."

Plaza 2 de Mayo

Calle Acuerdo 8 17:00

"One of the reasons that helped the evacuation of El Patio Maravillas squat were complaints that can be read here: On the day of their eviction, batucada was organized in San Bernardo Street ended the occupation of the current headquarters of the centre in Pez Street.”

Acuerdo Street

This year the noise law was changed so that it could fine a noisy neighbour or a young man drinking in the street without using a sound level meter. Noise in Madrid is legally subjective.

Noise complaints have risen by 1200% this year, according to journalists. Because of the crisis more people drink in their home and on the street. 

José Luis Espejo studied Art History and Visual Culture at the Universidad Autónoma of Madrid. His final degree project explores  the political uses of sound in art. He has written and spoken publically about these subjects with people. He is part of the independent research group Numax and is co-editor of aural cultures blog Mediateletipos. Lately he is interested in the relationship between sound, politics, religion and other insane deviations of popular culture.

Mediateletipos is an online publication in blog format devoted to the spreading of aural culture, sound art, audiovisual activism and the creation with new media in Spain.

The project is run by several editors, all of them active in different areas of cultural, social and artistic production. The main intention is bringing together any kind of information related with the subjects of the web, but also activating the reflection and the discussion, trying to contribute to the generation of new models of society adapted to the current situation, supporting the open source spirit and questioning the hegemony of the official institutions and corporations. It is a collective and independent investigation far from the main groups of production.

The web works also as a digital media library which offers tools for the critical use of the web, generating a database of actions and practices and putting them at everyone disposal in a open, free and public manner. Culture is a dynamic social construction and one of our aims is to narrate it and record it in real time.

Madrid Metro

Madrid Metro

Pablo Sanz

"One of the strongest sound impressions I have from Madrid are sounds related to transport. The pervasive sounds of traffic, obviously, but I mean also the interiors of trains, buses and specially the underground system which runs below the city. I lived for eight years in a relatively suburban district of the city, and as many people I was a commuter, going across the city almost everyday. Was it to go working or for any kind of leisure activity, I remember having to spend commonly even more than two hours per day in any sort of public transport.

The subway got then my attention as a distinct sonic ecosystem, a network running parallel to the activity above, populated with all sorts of mechanical sounds, crowds, overheard conversations, buskers, announcements, spatial acoustics, effects and so on. Its also curious how alienating, repetitive, even dizzying it can be, but also full of dynamics, narratives, unexpected events and textures, depending of one´s mood and perspective. Now when I get back to the city I find myself rediscovering those once very familiar sounds and listening back to them in fresh and different ways. 

Already in those commuter days I started to record randomly some trips using a pair of discreet binaural microphones attached to my ears, pretending they are headphones. Now I still record snippets of sounds when I am there. This one is from a trip in Line 6, starting at Legazpi, it was recorded on a Friday night in August 2008.”

Pablo Sanz (The Hague/Madrid) is a multidisciplinary explorer fascinated by the phenomenon of sound. He has made forays into photography, djing, sound creation, live video and has worked in a number of editorial and curatorial projects. Lately his interests focusses on the relationships between sound, space and perception, the soundscape and the phonograph. Since 2007 he has been living in the Netherlands, where he studies Arts and Science at the Royal Academy of Art and the Royal Conservatory in The Hague.

Madrid Soundscape

madrid soundscape

Sound Map of Madrid


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