- "In the sound object I listen to, there is always more to be heard."
Pierre Schaeffer (1966)
- "For a growing number of people, the major sound landscape is the sound of the city."
Robert Murray Schafer (1979)
The Noise And The City was born during the summer of 2003. The roots of the project are to be found in a fascination for urban zones, as places of concentrated architecture, population, exchange and life : exciting and creative spaces. On the other hand, creative processes have always been at stake for us, and the following interrogation in particular : through what ways does a piece come to life ?
The starting idea was to bind those questionings in order to think about the connexions between environment and creation in the scope of the city and electronic music.
Through the platform that is net label Autres Directions In Music, we suggested musicians from all over the world to revisit their daily environment (urban and sound) : record sounds inside their city, then reprocess the material as much as they like (without adding any kind of rhythm or music), in order to compose a personal piece that should also remind of their original discography.
In order to make it more of a play process, and to materialize the idea of a journey through music, we imagined a route through the world, a return journey around Nantes (France), where our label is based : a wandering throughout various countries with naturally diverse urban environments. We thus contacted numbers of artists that we like, beyond the frontiers of our old Europe.
They also enriched their aerial computer work on melodies and rhythm with a picture (of a space in their city that they like for its acoustic value) and a text (on the genesis of their piece).
When we invited Alejandra & Aeron, we got to know the project/exhibition Invisible Cities lead by the label Fällt : "field recordings" of various cities, presented to the public as an exhibition and put at disposal as mp3’s on the Irish website www.fallt.com/invisiblecities
. The contributors (designers, musicians, producers, media...) Works, which are different from those of the noise and the city (the purpose was different), also need attention. Our lack of knowledge of these kinds of projects induces us to indicate that many more must have been carried out with more or less common fields with ours must have been done. In fact, adding urban sounds to music is not a new idea. Here, everything we can hear comes from cities, though we might sometimes not notice it when we listening.
Apart from the tracks, a complete artwork is free to download (the creation of a package, a gathering of all the texts and photos and also a sound map of the journey).
As different cities as Brest, Reykjavik, Tallinn, Moscow, Daqing, Santiago, Buenos Aires, Vancouver, Barcelona... Are scheduled on this resolutely urban musical trip.
The musicians involved here followed the concept and the rules written higher. They offered their talent for free, thus guaranteeing a little more the whole work’s universality. We wish to thank them all once again here for their creativity and kindness.
At last we wish to show our sympathy to the musicians who, for diverse reasons wished to take part but couldn’t. Thanks to Kazumasa Hashimoto, Casino Vs Japan, Murcof, Flim, Sk/um, Clue To Kalo, Sybarite & Lackluster.
I also want to thank Atone, David Bideau, Gilles Bouvaist, Matthieu Descamps, Guillermo Escudero, Matthieu Eveno, Morgane Isilt Haulot & Ronan Rowley for their help.