Hear What Artists See: Cities and Memory Presents Sound Photography

Sometimes the best artwork doesn’t come from one person, but two collaborating in a unique project. Over at citiesandmemory.com, they’re asking a valuable question: “What is the relationship between photography and sound?” Incorporating sound to visuals is an age-old aspect of art (see: movies, tv, music videos, happenings), but it still is ripe for interpretation, particularly when the project involves uniquely talented photographers and equally unique composers.

Sound Photography is the wonderful result. It is the largest worldwide project of its kind, connecting photographers and sound smiths in 34 different countries and six continents. Each photographer has selected a photograph for a musician to compose its reaction to, and the results are majestic.

Photographs in the project cover everywhere from Djibouti and Botswana to India, Vietnam and Australia, and include:

– Iconic locations such as Tiananmen Square, the Empire State Building and Copacabana Beach;
– Political protests, social commentary and photojournalistic stories;
– Environmental studies and nature photography;
– Some of the world’s most beautiful cities, including Paris, Venice, Kyoto and Chefchaouen (Morocco’s “blue city”).

The sounds created in response demonstrate an extraordinary breadth of creative approaches including:

– Recordings of melting ice, floating driftwood, electromagnetic fields or words translated into 20 languages;
– Using the raw data from a photograph to construct brand new sounds;
– Using elements of the image as musical notation from which to build new melodies;
– Collections of historical sound recordings from the location of the photograph to bring its past to life;
– Sonic fairy tales assembled from legendary fictional tales through the ages.

At citiesandmemory.com, you can check out the global map to see each work and read reflections from each project. It’s well worth the time spent so check it out today.

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