Sounds of Prague

Ah, the creative archive. You know the one – those dusty digital folders diasporing all over the hard drive, treasuring buds of ideas ‘for future reference‘ and marked with inspiring labels such as ‘>random ideas<‘, ‘thoughts!’, ‘future projects??‘ (punctuation compulsory).  

Being on a sort-of/self-employed maternity leave during these few weeks, I’ve found it the ideal time to go back rediscovering the contents of said storage, and I was pleasantly surprised to discover that it actually did fulfil its original purpose. The folders room-serviced me brand new ideas via sounds I liked but had just forgotten, and brought back a ton of memories.

One of the things that emerged was a near-finished self contained piece (in three parts) from my trip to Prague for the ‘Sounds of Europe’ Sound as Space workshop, back in the autumn of 2012 (that long ago?!?).  This had somehow ended up in the ‘complete & bounce at home‘ folder (just kidding, but you get the idea) and promptly forgotten.  Well, no longer.

As part of our assignments on the field we were each dispatched by our tutor to record sounds that inspired us within the city.  We were then made to work collaboratively on combining these personal narratives into a semi-coherent multichannel group performance. This we staged and diffused in the Tranzit Display Gallery on the final night of the workshop.

The sounds I chose to bring to the piece were collected during some time spent in my favourite area- in and around the Conservatory (Na Rejdišti, in the Josefov area just beside the Old Town) and close to the peaceful courtyard of the Maltese church.  I took the recording from across the street, which you can see in this Street view.


No matter where I am I always find myself fascinated by music wafting out of windows, particularly when imperfect, repetitive, and obviously a work in progress, as it just seems to marry beautifully with streetscapes and their random nature.

Here, I was stopped in my tracks by the call to attention of a trumpet rehearsing- yet car doors slamming and tourist chatter seemed strangely oblivious to it.

The perfect companion to these two short Conservatory field recordings later fell into my lap while eavesdropping (mic in hand of course) on a tap dancing rehearsal- this time coming from the windows of the AMU (Academy of Performing Arts and Dance) where we were also staying as a group.


I thoroughly enjoyed going back to these pieces now, with distance and perspective.  Marrying these three recordings/records of POHYB | movement  (musical, physical, my own through the city), I witnessed the soundscape emerging simultaneously actual and fictional, contemporary yet somehow curiously vintage.  City and experience through my own filter.

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