Put The Needle On The Record #27: Barcelona 07022020

Barcelona Street Image with Scroll

This is a visual representation of the field recording I made on the streets of Barcelona while dragging my luggage-bag-as-stylus across them.

Barcelona street field recording

Sound diary: The Barcelona streets were made of ornate and patterned tiles, the most beautiful pavement material I have seen so far. In contrast with the huge concrete slabs of Detroit for example, this was like some Romantic masterpiece with aging Catalan Gothic / Medieval buildings, a vibrant street life, muted oranges, reds, yellows all around; while the grooves in the thousands of tiles I ran over gave out an incessant, vibrant street rhythm.

Put The Needle On The Record #2 : Chicago : Riot Festival 15092019

The histories of architecture in the city are ‘scrolls’ waiting to be discovered and ‘read’ (Calvino, 1972). While investigating these scrolls through the practice of walking the streets of the city accompanied by wheeled luggage, I have found a ‘stylus’ for reading the pavement topography, the skin of the city. The wheels of the luggage bag connect directly with the built environment, rather like putting the needle on a record: a record that is city-sized and can be played in any direction. This practice presents a way of recording, mapping, and sonifying the streets of the city. 

Put The Needle On The Record was created by Loz Colbert. Find out more about the project here.

From my sound diary 15092019:

“The sound of the buggy as I got moved around, the distant sounds of festival music, bassy, incoherent. Walking through the crowd, and the man shouting at the top of his voice literally to people to back off. The difference between side of stage and in front of stage. The different mixes and sounds of the bands playing as I moved around of course.”

Riot Festival took place at Douglas Park, Chicago on 15th Sept 2019. Below is the shortest sound clip in this series, but it is the first taste of the luggage bag on American soil – and not. The ‘soil’ of an outdoor festival is usually covered with metal grids or ‘ground mats’ in the busiest areas such as walkways for crew and professionals working backstage. I managed to capture some of this, while in transit.