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Cover image of Cities and Memory - remixing the world

Cities and Memory - remixing the world

Cities and Memory remixes the world, one sound at a time - a global collaboration between artists and sound recordists all over the world.The project presents an amazingly-diverse array of field recordings from all over the world, but also reimagined, recomposed versions of those recordings as we go on a mission to remix the world.What you'll hear in the podcast are our latest sounds - either a field recording from somewhere in the world, or a remixed new composition based solely on those sounds. Each podcast description tells you more about what you're hearing, and where it came from.There are more than 5,000 sounds featured on our sound map, spread over more than 100 countries and territories. The sounds cover parts of the world as diverse as the hubbub of San Francisco’s main station, traditional fishing women’s songs at Lake Turkana, the sound of computer data centres in Birmingham, spiritual temple chanting in New Taipei City or the hum of the vaporetto engines in Venice. You can explore the project in full at http://www.citiesandmemory.com

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The wolves

Waves on Flat Holm Island reimagined by Listing Ships. The waves sloshing under the jetty where boats arrive onto Flat Holm Island in Cardiff Bay is the central sound underpinning "The Wolves" by the band Listing Ships (featuring Cities and Memory creator Stuart Fowkes). This piece was built around the field recording of waves, and was originally released as part of the album The Flat Holm Island Sessions - it now takes its place in the Cities and Memory project as a testament to this recording session on the island. Musicians: Mike Bingham, James Pamphlion and Stuart Fowkes.

5mins

10 Nov 2021

Rank #1

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Black waves choking

"I laid down the radio sample and broke it into two parts, having it bookend the piece. Then I started a drone produced through synthesizers on a 4 track cassette recording device. Over this main bed I added heavy low end synthesizers and a couple of layers of sparse noises with plenty of reverb. I meant to get a dark and intimidating sound to it. I wrapped the piece by mastering it through an analog mid-side compressor." Composition by Valmor Pedretti Jr.  Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

3mins

10 Nov 2021

Rank #2

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Rawhide

"The original shortwave radio transmissions contain a number of reports on the attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan, by various US reporters. I used a selection of samples and put them in chronological order, to retell the event. Musically, my piece complements the drama of the event as told by the reporters, using synths and sampled drums with sporadic, soft guitar and piano parts. "Rawhide", is the codename for Reagan used by the US secret service." Composition by Things Being Various.  Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

2mins

10 Nov 2021

Rank #3

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Squatters and unwanted insects of the Malayan Revolution

"Working with this recording inspired me to learn some of the history of the Malayan Revolution. I like to work with audio collage and cut-ups, so I chose a technique where I could incorporate audio samples from old British movie reals about their efforts in Malaya, along with bits from a documentary. I also used contemporary field recordings made of rainstorms in Singapore.  I thought the music used by the Voice of Malaya would work well with some military drums so I layered those in at the beginning along with static and other sounds recorded off of shortwave radio.  Mixed into that was explosions and artillery and sounds of war. It starts off chaotic and goes into a disorienting cut-up piece, where fragmentary voices talk about the time period juxtaposed against the movie reel pieces. Bamboo flute textures were also used to convey a jungle feeling. For a short piece I can't convey the complexity of the situation, but could convey the chaos of it, with the aim of sounding as if a person were briefly tuning into this period of time." Composition by Justin Patrick Moore. Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

7mins

10 Nov 2021

Rank #4

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Radio Moscow - Soyuz 26

As a space flight nut, I have many recordings from the 1970s from Radio Moscow. They used to broadcast on the medium wave, and I used to record the news bulletins during some of the space flights. In particular, there was a period between December 1977 and March 1978 when Soviet cosmonauts first lived aboard the Salyut 6 space station. I recorded each days' news reports on the flights, and also some additional items about them.  Recorded by Colin Anderton, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive. Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

1min

10 Nov 2021

Rank #5

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President Reagan assassination attempt

VOA (Tuesday March 31,1981) Voice of America (shortwave) 9670khz. 0600 GMT. Recorded by Ian Holder, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive. Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

7mins

10 Nov 2021

Rank #6

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Voice of the Malayan Revolution

Broadcaster: Voice of the Malayan Revolution Date of recording: 1979 Starting time: 0930 Frequency: 15.790 RX location: Singapore Receiver and antenna: Sony ICF-5900W, random wire. Recorded by Nigel Thornbury, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive. Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

3mins

10 Nov 2021

Rank #7

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The fall of Saigon

"The incident in Vietnam on 30 April 1975 is known as the Fall of Saigon or the Liberation of Saigon. It depends on which side you support. This historical event unquestionably clarified the end of old-style colonialism. I prefer the former for the title because we still live in the cycle of fall and rise." Composition by Keisuke Oki. Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

6mins

10 Nov 2021

Rank #8

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Fierce fighting in substantial numbers: ships damaged

"In this story from the BBC World Service, news of the British invasion of the Falkland Islands begins with, as is customary, an announcement of the fighting and loss of ships and other large equipment.  Only after this cataloging does the story move to the loss of human lives, both potential and actual.   While this does place the loss of ships and helicopters--literally--before the human cost of the invasion, I reread this news story as working in the way that a sonnet can, even if that wasn't the BBC's original intent.  One form of the sonnet builds an argument in its first eight lines, then a shift occurs in the argument in the remaining six.  The initial argument can be reversed in the volta or the turn in the latter section of the poem. Thus, I distilled the language of the news story into a sonnet.   The loss of equipment sets up the tragedy of the lost lives, the heavier cost of war.  I wanted to turn the idea of privileging metal over men as the news story seems to do into one that concludes something quite different.  For the recording of my text, I left in artefacts of breath and pauses to mirror those of the news reader in the broadcast.  I also distorted my voice and laid the static and pops of the received transmission over the poem, as I wanted my voice to be both of the language of the news story and of its reception over shortwave radio." Composition by T.D. Walker. Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

3mins

10 Nov 2021

Rank #9

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Fall of Saigon

Shortwave coverage of the fall of Saigon as heard on Radio South Africa (RSA), Radio Nederland, Radio Japan and Radio Moscow on April 30, 1975.  Recorded by Tom Gavaras, courtesy of the Shortwave Radio Archive. Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave

16mins

10 Nov 2021

Rank #10