Chinatown Sound Map

Angela Ho (2016)

How might sound shape the way we experience and navigate through a place? What role can our particular interpretations of sound play in helping us locate our relationship to a place? In featuring the myriad of soundscapes that exists within Chinatown, this project aims to provide a platform for users to consider the contested nature of place. The Chinatown Sound Map operates on the traditional and unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) First Nations. It is generously supported by the UBC Asian Canadian Asian Migration Studies Program, hua foundation and Chinatown Today.

The Chinatown Sound Map is a collaborative, community based platform for listening to and sharing experiences in and around Vancouver’s Chinatown. By showcasing the ordinary hustle and bustle of the neighbourhood, this project encourages users to engage with the sounds around them with a critical mind and curious heart.

Volumetric Brooklyn

Max Ritts (2016)

An attempt to evoke ‘volumetric’ space – i.e. space produced by the enclosure of solid surfaces. How might sound allow us to explore interconnected urban strata – such as the roadways, sewers, subway networks, and effervescent sounds that characterize Brooklyn’s Bedford Stuyvesant neighbourhood?

In this composition, I use a combination of looped and discrete passages to explore sections of Brooklyn, NYC. I begin with the rich musical life and dense automotive activity that defines Fulton Ave, Bed-Stuy’s main thoroughfare. A recent ice melt gave me the opportunity to explore perforations in the street and follow water down into sewer grates and off buildings. Underground, New Yorks’ multi-tiered subway system invites us to ask how different layers of echo and delay might interpenetrate with the water sounds above as well as more ‘machinic’ sounds (wheel screeches, compressed air release) that define the subway space.

The last part of the piece moves back to street level. The intense digging and earth-moving I was able to capture proposed not only a commentary on the changing volumetric of urban form (e.g. the filling in and filling out of solids), but an aural signifier of gentrification’s ‘hollowing out’ effect too… relentless condo building and road improvement I ear-witnessed proposes important shifts not only in the materiality but the very the idea of “Bed-Stuy” too.

Each of these 32 recordings was recorded in Bedford- Stuyvesant (Brooklyn, NY) over several days, in December, 2016. All sounds were recorded on an omnidirectional microphone on Zoom H6 recorder. I then imported the files onto my computer and did some editing and arranging on Reaper, cutting up each of my recordings and arranging them sequentially according to my intended effect.

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