Phonorama is a long-term project in the Ghent Papegaai district. We want to capture the neighbourhood in sounds and guard some of those recordings in a time capsule for 20 years. How do residents listen to their neighbourhood? Do outsiders listen differently to the neighbourhood? And will the neighbourhood still sound the same in 20 years?
In the autumn of 2017, aifoon sent a number of neighbourhood residents from the Ghent Papegaai district on a sound hunt. In 2018 and 2019 we expanded the project by also asking people from outside the neighborhood how they listen to the neighborhood. In 2020 we rounded off the project by sending 20 sound recordings on a trip to the year 2040.
This is an overview of all the projects, big and small, that Phonorama Papegaaiwijk consisted of...
How do people listen to their environment?
In the fall of 2017, aifoon, together with the Papegaai neighborhood association, sent some neighborhood residents from the Papegaaiwijk on a sound hunt. With their own recorder or with an 'egg-phone' - a recording device in the shape of a wooden egg with an antenna - they set off in their environment: at home, on the street, in alleys, shops, cafes, with neighbors, acquaintances and strangers ... They came back with a loot of recognizable sounds, mysterious sounds, striking audio fragments or subtle recordings.
- Installations: echo's of the Papegaai
In December 2017 you could experience the result of the sound hunt in the empty little houses of Cité Melchior, which came back to life thanks to a sound collage. You could go on a discovery tour through a rich panorama of sounds. Small and large sounds, which we often no longer notice in our daily life, came together in a composition that tells the story of the neighbourhood.
- Concert: cinema for the ear
Sound artist Stijn Demeulenaere started working with the recordings of the local residents. Stijn regularly travels to the farthest corners of the world with his recorder. During three short concerts he mixed the sounds of Ghent with sound clips that he recorded in South Africa and Iceland. A world tour for your ears in the beautiful setting of the Monasterium Poortackere.
We spoke with elderly people from, among others, the retirement home De Refuge about sounds that carry memories with them.
A number of newcomers explored the area with a recorder. Do they listen with a different social and cultural perspective? Listen to the composition of Mouhanad, Syrian newcomer in Ghent, made with sounds he recorded in the Papegaaiwijk.
We went audiohacking with students from the secondary school KTA MoBi .
We let the students from the 4th year of electricity from the technical education HTISA introduce the neighborhood to the sounds behind the school walls. Two classes challenged each other with a beauty competition of the most beautiful machine sound. The students used all kinds of microphones (contact microphone, pickup coil, hydrophone, etc.).
We organized De Klinkt Als Quiz: an original, accessible and witty family quiz full of facts and anecdotes about sound and the neighbourhood.
With the blind and visually impaired people of the Sint-Rafaël Rehabilitation Center we are investigating whether we can capture sounds in words and thus make an atlas of sounds.
Make your own soundtrack of the city
We put the sounds of the Ghent Papegaaiwijk in our Citymixer! Get your DJ skills going and make your own soundtrack of the city.
Phonorama, the podcast: Listen to the city like it's the first time
What do sounds tell you about a neighborhood and its residents? Can you capture a neighborhood in sound? And will the neighborhood sound the same in 20 years' time? In six podcasts participants tell how they experienced the project. Do they listen to the city differently now? And what sounds do they want to preserve for the future?
Listen via Soundcloud (in Dutch, episode 4 partly in English):
Or via other podcast players:
20 sounds on a time travel into the future
During 'Phonorama Papegaaiwijk' some 200 people recorded more than 800 sounds in the Papegaaiwijk in Ghent. From all those recordings, we've selected 20 sounds for the future by means of a poll.
On 6 June 2020 those 20 sounds left on a time travel to the year 2040. Then we will dig them up and listen to them again.
in collaboration with vzw De Papegay