Sound City presents an acoustic and visual monologue of a city’s identity. Every town, city and place has its own sound influenced by its industry, culture and people. But in a society immersed with immediacy, the surrounding sound environment is dismissed into the background. As a consequence we may hear a city’s acoustic presence, but how often do we listen to its individuality?
Rather than document, Sound City aims to re-engage the listener with their acoustic environment through tangible interaction. Sound is subjective, and everyone’s sensitivity, interpretation and awareness of sound is unique. Composer John Cage states sound is a very personal experience and it can be said it only lives in the mind of the listener.
This project therefore aims to stimulate the audience to listen to their surroundings and think about the sounds that define the city’s acoustic identity. This is achieved through encouraging the public to submit recordings and photos of personal city sounds by using the city’s hashtag, such as ‘#soundcitysheffield’. The photos and sounds will be displayed in a city centre gallery that will continually update to create an ambisonic city atmosphere. At the end of the exhibition the recordings and photos will be distilled to create a limited edition artefact capturing the sound identity of the city by using materials and branding specific to the city’s individual heritage.