Cities and Memory: Corpus Christi Mysterium in Seville

Cities and Memory is a sound project that attempts to record both the present reality of a place, but also its imagined, alternative counterpart – remixing the world, one sound at at time.

Every faithful field recording document here is accompanied by a reworking, a processing or an interpretation that imagines that place and time as somewhere else, somewhere new. The listener can choose to explore locations through their actual sounds, or explore interpretations of what those places could be – or to flip between the two different sound worlds at leisure.

The project is completely open to submissions from field recorders, musicians or anyone with an interest in exploring sound worldwide.


My contribution to the latest latest project: A Sound Map of Seville

Original field recording by Stuart Fowkes:

A grand procession through the streets of the old town to mark Corpus Christi, led by a powerful brass band and bells echoing through the quiet streets.

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My re-imagining:

All of the audio in my re-imagined version is taken from the original field recording; nothing has been added. Granular synthesis and sampling techniques played a central role in the task – mainly within Native Instrument’s Reaktor.

Various sections of the original recording were extracted and became the basis for the five strands of my remix:

– Woodwind and Brass phrases = opening mysterious chords.
– Everyday background sounds = wind effect.
– The bell ringer = the fragmented church bell like chimes.
– Flute and drum = regular melodic pulse.
– Drums = distorted, percussive loop.”

I’ve always found musical processions to be quite magical, mesmerizing experiences – everything else seems to grind to a halt as they pass by… as if time beyond the parade slows to a crawl.

Combining this thought with the deep symbolism behind the idea of Corpus Christi I decided to try and create something quite mystical, but still with a hint of that pageant passing by the listener.

You can have a listen to both the original recording and my remix here:

Corpus Christi Mysterium in Seville