Sound Waves by Cities & Memory

Sound Waves is a project by Cities and Memory that forms part of World Listening Day 2015. It will celebrate and build on this year’s World Listening Day theme of water by presenting a collective reimagining of the sounds of water around the world and the role it plays in our lives.
My submitted field recording captures the sound of a leaking water pipe steadily dripping onto a redundant plastic container near our house. Interestingly the container very subtly amplified the sound of the water so it was slightly louder than expected whilst recording. It was recorded early in the morning so listeners will may also hear a continuous alarm clock beeping, nearby traffic and chatter from neighbours.

For the reimagined version a more unusual and hardware-based approach was taken. The original field recording was first transferred onto a compact audio cassette and samples of water were collected from the leaking pipe. In my studio the collected water was carefully dripped (the the aid of a pipette) directly onto the exposed circuit of a battery powered cassette player running the recording. The water droplets created new and momentary connections on the circuit causing the player to produce bursts of erratic noise and alterations in the playing speed. A delay pedal was utilised at various points primarily to enhance and play with the sonic textures of the water sound. Not only was the sound of water recorded but my intention was to use it as an instruments or sorts when reimagining the original field recording.

Cities and Memory will use the reimagined version and other contributions from artists and edit them into one longer, mixed sound piece incorporating many of the sounds in a new context. Both tracks are also featured on a special Sound Waves sound map.

For further information on this exciting project visit:

Check out the Sound Map:



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