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. With a recorder they set off in their environment: at home, on the street, in alleys, shops, cafes, with neighbours, acquaintances and strangers ... They came back with a loot of recognizable sounds, mysterious sounds, striking audio fragments or subtle recordings.
Listening to the Papegaai neighbourhood
In 2017 we sent the residents of the Papegaaiwij on the road in their neighborhood with a recording device. In 2018 and 2019 we expanded the project by also asking people from outside the neighborhood how they listen to the neighborhood.
- A number of newcomers explored the area with a recorder. Do they listen with a different social and cultural perspective?
- We went audiohacking with students from the secondary school KTA MoBi .
- We spoke with elderly people from, among others, the retirement home De Refuge about sounds that carry memories with them.
- We organized De Klinkt Als Quiz: an original, accessible and witty family quiz full of facts and anecdotes about sound and the neighbourhood.
- 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.).
- 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.
Looking back at some of the projects that were part of Phonorama
Local residents on sound hunt
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.
A composition by Mouhanad, Syrian newcomer in Ghent, made with sounds he recorded in the Papegaaiwijk
in collaboration with vzw De Papegay