The city urban space is, like most European territorial spaces, subject to profound transformation processes that operate at multiple levels, which very generally can be categorized into cases of “gain” and processes of loss. The city takes on new forms of reappropriation of public space, the city is gaining ground in rural areas far or proto-urban, the city loses the sense of community, the city loses the sense of specificity.
These transformations form a complex mesh and overlapping realities. There is a before and after. The old ways of living the city coexist with new uses of the urban area, with new activities and priorities, many of them linked to one dimension idle.
A reality that encompasses all dimensions of the city is the acoustics. What are the sounds that incorporates our city? How many of them have disappeared irretrievably? We are accustomed to looking at the world around us, but how long we are dedicated to listening to “music” of the city? What can we learn about the specific communities of a city (spatial communities – neighborhoods, communities, professionals, etc.). Through sound dimension?
Today there is a growing awareness of the need to protect, study and document the sound heritage, so that there are sound ecological studies and some geographic areas (such as the Spanish region of Galicia) include sound dimension in its heritage autochthonous immaterial.
The dimension of sound, works as a powerful metaphor for the discovery of an intimate and personal place. By connecting territory and sound values ??are clearly the context within which a given sound is captured, escaping a purely acoustic, the “sound-in-itself.” We believe that this emphasis on subjectivity and context is necessary because of the sound (and the practice of “field recordings” in particular) carry a burden of ‘objectivity’, the actual documentation, and the subjectivity inherent in the collection (choice of ‘point of listening and the technological means to capture) is not likely to alleviate this burden.
Sound City is an educational project of sound mapping of Portuguese cities. Guided by instructors, a group of participants from the social context / geographic subject of documentation which will record the sounds according to the very best characterize the area, noting the geographical coordinates of each sound, along with other information that is contextualized and photographic records.
The project seeks to highlight the specific acoustics of each city, despite the increasing homogenization of contemporary urban spaces. The project is structured to stimulate both the attention to small details like the city of acoustic inter-generational contact the voices of the city’s memory of other times can take a leading role.
This connection of the project to local participants and their memory of the city is the crucial aspect of the project. That is, it is proposed to fundamentally provide insight and technological tools to reconnect communities to their habitats, to trigger memories of sound, perhaps to add some sparks of self-esteem to those seen irreversible changes in the city.
The final activity will be the collective creation of a catalog of sounds mapped on a digital map and its public presentation to the city / neighborhood.