Yesterday morning, I tried a new strategy for gathering the sounds of the Sunset neighborhood. I had not yet included very young children in this project, because I knew that they would be limited as to how far they could travel by foot to record soundscapes. So, eventually, I devised an inclusive method that turned out to be tons of fun. Using the sounds that were identified by community members, on our interactive lobby map, I invited the Sunset pre-school students, ages 3-5, to collectively imitate each of these sounds.
Here they are looking adorable as they jump around doing their frog imitations:
And here are the ducks in Memorial Park that the kids imitated, along with their recording.
LISTEN by clicking here: ducks
I recorded all of their inventive homemade sounds for our digital map. And the kids were encouraged to use their voices for sound effects, their body as percussion instruments and various props (cheese grater, chopsticks, whistle, pots, keys) for noise makers. The results turned out to be surprisingly accurate representations of the various soundscapes. And these files will add a truly personal dimension to our map’s data, as they reflect the aural landscape of the Sunset neighborhood, through a child’s mind.
After this session, I wanted to capitalize on the incredible sunshine that this week has been gifting us. So, I continued to cycle around the neighborhood to scout for other sounds that community members had identified on our lobby map. My meandering took me through streets of infinite pink, where I recorded bird songs at the cemetery, traffic noises on 41st and Fraser, and John Oliver High School boys on a training run.
But who knew that we had giant blue herons right in our backyard???