London Street Noises 2020 self-guided geolocated soundwalk

CC-BY-NC: Mattia Cobianchi

– A self-guided soundwalk through historical recordings of London soundscapes in 1928

– Available for the entire month of September

– Accessible through the app “ECHOES interactive sound walks” and in the “Search location” field search for “LSN”

– Cost: FREE

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BACKGROUND

In September of 1928, five locations across central London were recorded by a team from Columbia Records led by Commander Daniel and supported by the Daily Mail. The project was prompted by a pressing concern for the impact on health and wellbeing from traffic noise. As well as traffic sounds of the day accompanied by the occasional busker, on the recordings we hear the voice of Commander Daniel who provides an opinionated commentary on the unnecessary noises of the city.
These recordings are now available as an app based geolocated map at the exact location of where those recordings were originally taken, contextualised with newspaper articles of the time, and a short commentary.

DETAILED INSTRUCTIONS

To access the geolocated map, please install the app “ECHOES interactive sound walks” on your Android (http://bit.ly/AndroidEchoes) or iOS (http://bit.ly/EchoesLSN) device.
Once the app has been installed, switch on your GPS and open the app. Please note that it`s optimized for portrait mode. In the “Search location” field in the top right corner, type “LSN”, you should see within the result list “LSN: London Street Noises”, which will be made available to the public for the entire month of September starting with Sunday the 1st . Please tap on it. Please read through the description, which gives you the historical context of this project, and when ready, tap on “Start”.
The app will ask for confirmation to start the walk in streaming mode, tap again on “Start”. You will now see a map with blue bubbles representing the 5 locations where the recordings were taken in September 1928. You can start with any of them, but you’ll be able to hear the recording only within the area delimited by the bubble. By tapping on a bubble, you will see the name of the location, and by tapping on the name of the location, you can access some background information.
The same background information is available as a read aloud version in an area adjacent to the relative location if you prefer to hear it instead of reading it on your device screen.
A “bubble” along Oxford Street contains some info about the recording technology used at the time.
Once you have listened to the 1928 soundscape, please fill in the anonymous google form linked in the location description.
When the soundwalk is open in map view, you can also tap on the “List” icon in the top right corner to see a list of the locations and their descriptions. By tapping on the items in the list, you will then access the full description.

IF YOU WANT TO SHARE YOUR OWN RECORDINGS OF THE PLACES

If you feel like you want to anonymously share the current soundscape around you, please do so! You can use the HUSH City app which allows for the recordings to be publicly available at https://map.opensourcesoundscapes.org.
Just install the app on Android (http://bit.ly/AndroidHush) or iOS (http://bit.ly/HushLSN), and follow the instructions on screen.
Please listen back to your recording before submitting to check that there aren’t spurious noises like wind noise or handling noise.
There is also a questionnaire to fill in after taking the recording, to contextualize it, and when answering the first question “What prompted you to record this sound?” please reply “LSN”, so that we can identify the recording as part of the London Street Noises project.

Project developed by:
-Aysegul Yildirim, John Drever & Mattia Cobianchi from Goldsmiths University Sound Practice Research Group
-Carmen Rosas Pérez from Heriot-Watt University

Creators
Since 2020
SWS SWS20
Available on
Features
Facebook URL
Twitter @londonnoises
Cost Free
Location London, UK

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