Sounds of August

With this post we will be starting off a monthly feature where I will showcase sounds that I have found interesting from the previous month – from other blogs and websites in cyberspace. The aim is to collect these wonderful recordings in a dedicated space.

I don’t have any sort of pre-requisites – other than an open mind. Nor do I have a fixed theme. Some sounds are interesting because of their peculiarity, others because of the space, time and/or mood they reproduce and some because of their story. As I listened to a variety of recordings over August, there seemed to be quite a few that were related to music and so I decided to have music as the theme for this first post.

Soprano in Laugarneskirkja

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Soprano in Laugarneskirkja on SoundCloud

Recorded by: Magnus Bergsson
Visit his blog: SOUNDIMAGE
Twitter: @Hljodmynd

On 3rd of July 2011 I recorded few songs with Anna Jónsdóttir, a soprano singer in Laugarneskirkja. She began her song study at Nýi tónlistarskólinn, (New Musical School) by Alina Dubik and graduating with a final exam in the spring of 2003.  Next winter, she studied at the Musical University in Bucharest where her main tutor was Maria Slatinaru. Anna completed his degree soloists from the New Musical School in November 2004 under the guidance of Alina Dubik. Anna thought Debut-concert in the fall of 2006 at Hafnarborg where Jonas Sen played with her on piano. In 2008 she released her first CD, Móðurást, containing Icelandic songs where the main theme is motherlove in it’s broadest sense. Past years Anna has been active in the Icelandic music scene with a solo concert and participation in larger projects. Antonia Hevesi is playing on Piano in this two songs.

Recorder: Korg MR1000 w/Sound Devices 552 (DSDIFF 1bit/5,6Mhz)
Mics: SE4400a MS setup (singer) SE1a ORTF (piano)

Chinese Violin – The Erhu

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The Erhu on SoundCloud

Recorded by: Des Coulam
Visit his blog: Soundlandscapes
Twitter: @soundlandscapes

It’s August and Paris is much less busy than usual but, whilst the locals may be away on their summer holidays, there’s no shortage of tourists in town. On Saturday the Beaubourg, the area close to Les Halles, rue Montorgueil and the Marais, with the Centre Georges Pompidou at its heart, was awash with visitors.

The area behind the Pompidou Centre is a magnet for the crowds who come to watch the street entertainers perform. Their talents range from the very professional to the utterly bizarre. Slightly away from the crowds I found this man sitting on a stool looking perfectly content playing his Chinese violin.

The Chinese violin or, to give it its proper name, the Erhu, is a Chinese two-stringed instrument whose roots go back to the Tang dynasty (618-907). It’s one of the huqin family of traditional bowed string instruments used by various ethnic groups of China. A very versatile instrument, the erhu is used in both traditional and contemporary music either as a solo instrument or as part of an orchestra.


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Bandstand on SoundCloud

Recorded/Edited by: La Cosa Preziosa
Visit her website: La Cosa Preziosa
Twitter: @lacosapreziosa

 This track was inspired by my grandfather, nonno Gaspare, who played first trumpet in the village band and – something I only discovered last summer – taught music for free in the village where he was born.  He died when I was a child so I only have a vague memory of his calm, imposing presence, and I wish I could’ve got to know him now as we definitely would have had music in common.

Inspired by the emotional charge that the banda carries for me, this track is based on a field recording in occasion of the Festa di Padre Pio in Noepoli – the intro captures the moment when people are chatting waiting for the music to fill up the piazza.  I played around with just one melody that the Banda is in turn heard playing, whistling and singing.  I then interspersed my responses into the track with my own vocals, castanets, cymbals, a rusty xylophone (that used to belong to my grandmother), our sitting room table & stick, triangle and iPhone piano.

Part sonic diary entry,  part experimental track, this work represents a continuation in the exploration of my own southern Italian acoustic heritage. It was recorded and edited at Palazzo Rinaldi Artist’s Residence this time last year, summer 2010
Photo Credit: Dawn Roe

Street Piano

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Street Piano on SoundCloud

Recorded by: Gervais A Harry
Visit his blog: Sounds & Secrets
Twitter: @gervais_A_harry