Disquiet Junto Project 0436: Planetary Headspace

Hello, heres my contribution:

Process: recorded the inner yard of the building I live in, which is a classic Berlin style building with many apartments, a front house, two side houses and a garden house that are around a yard, featuring a tree and stuff. Therefore I hear many noises of my neighbors, when they are on the phone, having guests, having loud music, baby cries, etc. The part I recorded is that time of the day one of my neighbors is playing on their piano. Although I am easily annoyed by noises, the piano playing usually doesn’t annoy me. I found the ending of the recording also interesting, because someone is whistling the last recognized melody and the birds seem to be on it, too.
Earlier I was indoors doing something but all windows were open, I was listening to the other tracks and it was really interesting to have one kind of birdsong-backyard recording out of my speakers and the other one coming from the yard. So this kind of already fulfilled the collaborating artist’s aim I guess :slight_smile:


I’ve been spending time in the garden every day since the lockdown started, and always get between 5 to 30m on my recorder. This is from back in April, when there was a week I recorded every day at 5PM, except for this day - I slept poorly and was out at 5AM.

Recorded in central London, this is the raw file from the recorder.


Hey so there is almost nothing of interest in this 9 minutes of soundscape I recorded this afternoon in my yard. I live in a pretty bird-heavy spot, but for whatever’s reason they kept their voices down while I was out there. Which only served to make the low drone of distant highway traffic all the more prominent.

Later, I got distracted by some dead branches dangling from a nearby tree. That’s about as interesting as it gets these day, am I right??

Recorded on a Sony minidisc recorder using a stereo condenser mic set to 120° (consult the cover image of my track).

I will just add that there’s something interesting about the simple act of “augmenting” reality by listening to the ambience directly around me through headphones with the volume up a bit and a slightly stronger stereo image.


I recorded a ride I took across a rattly wooden boardwalk at Neary Lagoon in Santa Cruz, CA. I rode my bike along the boardwalk. I like the mechanical delay involved with the wheels going over the loose boards. Bump bump, clack clack. Then there’s a creaky section, and then arriving at a spot, surrounded by water, distant traffic at a quiet dock in the lagoon. Then go again, only to stop suddenly.

Recorded binaurally with Sennheiser Ambeo headset mics on iPhone at 48/24. Minimal edits and EQ.



Hi, everybody. Here’s a rather urban Dawn Chorus from a few weeks back.

The COVID-19 lockdown in early March caught me in the city of Burgos,
Northern Spain. Aside from all the inevitable psychological reactions,
it was hard of me not to think about the implications of this state of
affairs for my usual practice: listening and field recording. Partly,
there was the immediate practical implications of the quarantine (so
long to the “field” in “field recording”), but there were also the
more general implications: what’s the point of listening practice
under these circumstances? Who’s going to give a damn about the
soundscape or acoustic ecology in these circumstances? Is there
anything “essential” about this practice that might be useful in the
midst of a pandemic?

Meanwhile, I was making do with what I had at hand. Even in the very
first days of confinement, it was obvious that the soundscape in the
city had changed. I could no longer hear the children playing in the
backyard. But I could also suddenly hear sounds which had been
previously silenced. The elevator machinery working, for example.
Voices and conversations from across the street. Footsteps of people
walking down the street 300 metres away. The lockdown had made the
usual city rumble (mainly traffic) abate. Also, psychologically, the
feeling of being confined made the listening experience more intense,
and attention more focused.

Soundwalking, my usual way of interacting with city spaces and
soundscapes, was out of the question, but my weekly outings to the
grocery stores became a kind of soundwalk in themselves. I also took
up a regular “listening post” at my balcony, figuring out the new
rhythms of urban sounds available to me.

One of these sounds was the Dawn Chorus. I had been making plans for a
soundcamp as part of this year’s Reveil2020 event, but I was now
limited to listening to the Dawn Chorus in an urban setting. What’s
more, the change to Summer Daylight Saving time in Spain meant that,
as the Dawn Chorus was building up, so where the first sounds of
traffic from those industries that were still operational.

Still, I decided to take this Dawn Chorus as what it was - a rather
bizarre mix of bird vocalizations with the occasional car or truck
roaring by. At that present moment - the first week of April - this
was all the Dawn Chorus I was going to get.


A recording that I made this week on my mum’s property near the township of Yankalilla. This area has featured prominently on the Fleurieu & Kangaroo Island Sound Map since 2017.


Following recent rains, Carrickalinga Creek is flowing again. Thanks to the higher-than-usual rainfall for Autumn (esp. compared to preceding years) the flow is occurring much earlier than usual.

To emphasise just how much rain has fallen, just three weeks ago I could walk lengths of the dry sandy creek bed! At that point in time, localised birdlife had been subdued and was largely dominated by the avian thugs that are Little Ravens. Jump ahead three weeks and the equilibrium is restored with a flurry of jubilant, diverse activity in-situ with the flowing creek and its beautifully melodic cascade. Enjoy!

Recorded with two Line Audio CM3 condensor mics shielded with Rycote balls, to Sound Devices Mix-Pre3 (1).


I was listening to Marc’s interview on the Art + Music + Technology podcast where he talks about this series and I have been doing a project since lockdown began here in the UK taking daily field recordings in my garden for 5 minutes so it felt like a serendipitous project to start with.

This longer recording was taken in the garden of my flat in Hackney, east London, in the early evening of Friday 8 May, which was a public holiday in the UK. I live on a large housing estate just off what is normally a relatively busy road. The recording was taken using the internal microphone of a Zoom H4N.


The sounds from my window during my lunch break. My studio space has been repurposed as office space for the past six weeks, up in a converted loft here in York…

Interesting that this chimes in with something I’ve been doing recently anyway: hanging a microphone out of the window for many of my recent tracks (I have a 52weeksofsound project running over on bandcamp), using the ambient sounds as a bit of interest in otherwise fairly static/droney tracks.

(and also for some reason since lockdown I’ve stopped visiting lines; I don’t know why :frowning:)


This morning I did the “hybrid soundscape mashup” technique suggested in the project description as I puttered around the yard while and few flakes of late-spring snow were falling. I hadn’t read your description yet, but I knew there was some kind of warning siren that would come into play at some point. I was not prepared for what turned out to be (at least in the context of my blended sonic state) quite peaceful and musical.


I made two field recordings, one inside and one outside and combined them:

  • Outside: I recorded this on my phone while walking home through downtown Minneapolis. I liked the sound of the walk signals.
  • Inside: I practice the piano an hour a day and decided a recording of me practicing would be representative of the ambiance of my apartment. Note that I’m practicing, not playing. Hence the sound of the metronome and the fact that I’m only playing the left-hand part at a slow tempo. I put my computer, which was doing the recording, near an open window. I actually wanted to hear what the practicing sounded like on the street below, but didn’t want to bother with all the work of that.

I’ve never been in town during the test. I’m sure the sirens and voice announcements are much louder and more ominous. From far away, as you say they’re almost peaceful.


I’ve recorded the galahs that nest in a park at the end of my street.

Their chatter is a sound I associate with the town of Leeton and hearing them helps me recognise first light when I’m at home.


recording of the wind through the bamboo in my neighbor’s yard–the bamboo has been the source of some controversy. Recorded on my phone using Sennheiser binaural recording headphones.


This is a recording of the sounds of the backyard, which is coming to life gradually as the weather improves and since it is the main chunk of our outside time. I wasn’t aware of there being so many sounds until I was editing the file. Of course I heard the birds, but I could not hear the kids inside the house, barely a neighbor, much less the sound of somebody working or the dog in the distance… all of that I became aware after the fact. I recorded with a h2zoom and then added a little EQ and compression for clarity (I apologize because I totally underestimated the breeze and later I tried to clean, but there are still big blurry chunks in the mid frequencies).


Hey folks, just came across this topical article recently published here in Canada discussing the growing interest in soundscapes around the world. My favorite sentence relates to Rome: "The chirping of birds, she added, is ‘almost too loud.’”

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this is ¶radio hummingbird’s contribution to this week’s disquiet junto with the serial number 0436. in short, the requirement for this contribution was to provide a recent fieldrecording reflecting the changes to our sonic environments inflicted by the arrival of the corona virus pandemic.

location of recording: cologne, germany - inner city/barbarossaplatz
day of recording: may 09, 2020
time of recording: approx. 05:50 am

context: in the early morning of may 09th i recorded a little more than four continuous hours of the sonic urban environment from my balcony in the middle of a big german city. i live close to the centre along a busy thoroughfare and junction where a few main roads as well as a number of tram lines meet. furthermore, my area is lined with bars and clubs which usually makes for a rather noisy environment (if not exciting at times). however, due to the arrival of the global corona pandemic this changed significantly and i am now, for the first time, able to hear bird songs when out in the street. and surprisingly, there is quite a variety of unexpected species to be heard: peregrines, the flyover of ducks and geese, parakeets (yes, this city has a large amount of “wild” parakeets roaming the air), swifts and swallows, jackdaws and many many more…

choosing a representative section of my lengthy recording has, however been a challenge. the recording started with a beautiful dawn chorus of black birds and some other species joining in later, however, i had a pile of people drinking and chatting down on the road the whole night just until about 5:30 am which i found just a little too disruptive of the actual dawn chorus. you might wonder now: people drinking in groups out in the streets? indeed, the lock-down is significantly eased here already and this is now seemingly possible without any repercussions. traffic noticeably increased during the last two weeks as well and with it the noise levels.

so instead, i have opted to chose a snippet of the recording just after the the people loitering dispersed. the dawn chorus receded significantly by this point but you will still be able to hear the odd bird chirping on against the increasing traffic noise.
a significant portion of this recording clip does, however, pick up a person (homeless, disadvantaged or otherwise unable to sustain themselves) collecting all the leftover beer bottles to trade their deposit in for cash later in the day. i thought this is an important reminder of the people most affected by this crisis: vulnerable and, for whatever reason, disadvantaged humans had seen their means of survival disappear over night with no public social life taking place outdoors and nowhere safe and sustaining to go to. and this is something which should never be happening anyway, corona pandemic or not.

i gave the recording a light treatment with a compressor but otherwise did not apply any modifications other than fade ins and outs.
please enjoy what you hear………


I made these recordings on the Friday evening & Saturday afternoon by walking around the town I live in (Crécy-la-Chapelle, Île-de-France) during the 1hr permitted exercise per day. The government plan to begin easing the quarantine starts on the 11th of May, tomorrow.
Compared to a month or two ago the signs of life are already very much creeping back in. It no longer feels like a ghost town when venturing outside and you can feel that people are slowly easing back towards some kind of normalcy.

I went out both times hoping to capture the sounds of a relatively-small town gradually coming back to life, but actually was a bit disappointed each time that I didn’t quite capture what I was looking for.

Some of the things you can hear

  • Lots of birds
  • A river
  • My footsteps along an old secluded cobble path
  • My feet trampling some old dead leaves
  • @Elisa-room237 talking with some neighbours at around 8pm
  • Wind (regrettably - though I filtered out everything below about 190Hz)
  • Sounds of a small local supermarket; beeps of items being scanned, children running around with waterpistols, music from the radio
  • Car engines in the main square
  • People preparing for an afternoon BBQ
  • Some kind of hammering
  • Very faintly a man operating a sewing machine

The last two points are what I had hoped to capture more of - the re-emergence of the sounds of human industry. I was walking along my street and noticed that this tailor / fabric shop had its front door open and a man working inside, which I was quite happy about, but otherwise didn’t find much more like that. Perhaps an evening / weekend is not the best time for that kind of thing.

There was a small local market happening this morning which I had hoped to capture, but it was raining… and I woke up too late :sweat_smile: So perhaps just imagine what that would sound like.



The two metal working businesses near my office are still in operation. The buildings face each other, with a narrow parking lot in between. One of the buildings is backed by a dense forest populated by birds and, I am sure, many other creatures. I’ve spotted a swan in the nearby pond now and then. This is a field recording made between these buildings while on my daily walk. There is a reverberation between the metal buildings with the sound of the bird population in mid day activity that accompanies the sounds of industry.


Backyard, Brooklyn. The third attempt, after catching the noise of the family in the house, and the quiet of my basement office on a Sunday morning. Instead, the sound of birds, wind, rustling trees, and traffic from an expressway. Recorded using Easy Voice Recorder on a Google Pixel 3.


Forest lot of approximately a hectare outside of Boulder Creek, California. This was recorded at about 10:00 in the morning in our back yard, about 6m from a wasp nest. You can hear my wife exercising indoors in the background, and our neighbors up the road.

We’re lucky it was this quiet today; yesterday when I went out, the neighbor was running a wood chipper.

Recorded with a Sony PCM-M10.

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