This is an idea I’ve been mulling over for a little while but I’ve not had the time to do much with it as yet, so I thought I’d just put it out there to see what people think of it.
One of the finest pieces of radio I’ve ever heard was when Radio 4 broadcast a ‘A Memorial in Sound’ to the World Trade Center, a beautiful collection of people’s stories, memories and sounds of the towers from before 9/11, created by the Kitchen Sisters. I listened to it totally transfixed – please take the time out to listen to it if you haven’t heard it yet, I can’t recommend it enough.
In recent times, with the growing popularity of very simple podcasting tools like audioboo, I’ve wondered if this sort of ‘sounds of a place’ creation might be possible on a much smaller, simpler and more local scale. The Kitchen Sisters ‘painted a portrait with sound’ and I wondered if this could be done on a hyperlocal level – say a ‘sounds of the neighbourhood’ type creation using audioboo.
You can subscribe via iTunes to audioboos with a certain tag, such as ‘Digbeth’, which I write about on Digbeth is Good. So I now have all these downloaded as MP3 files:
This means I should be able to edit and play with them – edit them together using a simple, free audio editing tool like Audacity to create ‘sounds of Digbeth’. This also means you could create crowdsourced sound projects, getting people to take part by tagging their audioboo appropriately (much like photographers participating in the 4am Project do so by tagging their photos in Flickr ‘4amproject’).
Like I say, this is just a very rough idea that there may very well be obstacles to, but I thought I’d voice it all the same.