Category Archives: Sonic Postcard

Sonic Postcard – Production and Editing

The cities shopping centre is a bustling and noisy place, so we headed there to get some audio recordings. We would walk about with the recorder in action and just pick us noises of everyday life and people going about their business. We also got a lot of conversation as well. We decided to stop for a moment and take in the sounds and noises around us. To do this we closed our eyes and focused on listening (as the lack of one sense is normally compensated by another over sensitive one). There were certain sounds we decided we liked and wished to record.

The first was of people selling newspapers. The Big Issue and Telegraph were ones we picked out. We got both women and men saying these newspaper names in their own way. We also heard the sound of escalators and tried to record them, though the microphone didn’t pick it up too well and we scraped that idea. We did however follow the escalators into the shopping centre’s centre where we noticed a lift with a woman’s voice saying ‘Doors Opening/Closing’. We though this could sound amazing during the final piece so it got recorded.

We sat down for lunch and whipped out our grub and the Marataz 660s. As we were in a large canteen, there was so much noise which consisted of eating noises (jangling cutlery etc), conversation, laughter and other such things.

We passed a convenience store and managed to obtain audio of trollies rattling along the cobbled streets. Someone in the group is a smoker and we noticed that the striking, grating noise of their lighters (as they struck the flint) was particularly interesting and so that got recorded also.

So with our bags of sound we headed into the editing suit. Without going in to precise detail of every audio sound, we managed to section different select sounds and noises in our audio. These were taken out, some combined or overlapped, others were played as bridges in the audio. There were some sounds that we put together which had a slight beat to them so we used that to create a rhythmic tempo in the piece.

We had a crazy idea of playing the audio file we had created backwards. At first we assumed it would sound tacky and horrible although it turned out the sounds worked well into feeding into each other and so we kept it in.

Certain sounds fitted well together and therefore we decided to make them into a motif. This would be played at different times during the whole audio piece. An audience will recognise the motif every time it gets played. We felt as a whole that the motif actually had quite a catchy beat so we hope that the audiences pick up on this and immerse themselves in the audio.

We decided to keep the length of the sonic postcard relatively short. This was a result of the styles and types of audio that we included. Had it been a more musical piece aesthetically, we may have made it longer. It is however, a series of sounds which we felt, if played for too long, may loose the audiences interest.


Sonic Postcard – Research and Planning

A Sonic Postcard appears to be a piece of audio track that is played in relation to anything the creator wants it to be. We were shown a number of these in our lecture
I particularly loved the wood falling although I think more could have been done with it to say make it more musical. I then looked at the links on the blog and learnt more about what sonic postcards entail. Also, it was interesting what people have interpreted a sonic postcard as for themselves.

Different people from different social backgrounds have created completely different styles of sonic postcards. On the website I sampled clips from children playing and the communication between them and adults (I presume to be parents or teachers). I also found people creating music from sounds in the street. The possibilities and combination of styles is vastly diverse.

My Glasses Crew group got together and immediately had tonnes of idea about what we could do for our project. One strong idea was recording people saying emotive words in different manners, in different tones and pitches and creating them, in terms of musicality, in to some sort of tune. However, we deciding against this as the brief was about what our world sounded like. We thought clips from situations we find ourselves in every day would be more appropriate. We would collect a great number of these, then choose out interesting sounds that occurred, then put them together to create some sort of melodic structure.