The project »MyCity, MySounds« developed by the ZKM | Institute for Music and Acoustics and sponsored by the City of Karlsruhe focuses on sounds in all its shapes and forms. To this end an App was developed including the relevant mobile Web applications, with which it is possible to discover and present the city’s spaces. With this project, the acoustic characteristics and meanings of city spaces, which have until now been significantly underrepresented in the visually-oriented World Wide Web and the digital culture have thus now entered the user perception of everyday digital technology.
With the project all those interested are given the opportunity to record – on-site in the city spaces – the sounds, tones, noises and voices with their own Smartphone, and to connect these with the recording locations, the original location of the sound, on a map accessible virtually and online. This results in a huge sounding archive, adding a multifaceted dimension to the identity of one’s own city. Consequently, the city articulates itself in a new way. Everyone is invited to contribute, and so give their own city a very unique identity.
With the concept of geo-localized sound – sounds integrated into the city space – the App and the Web applications offer users wide-ranging possibilities: via the App, citizens, but also artists and all creators of music have the possibility to directly record their pieces and interpretations on-site, or via the Web applications, or upload already complete pieces in the virtual city spaces.
Sounds, noises, voices and tones can be combined with one another on the Web applications. Audiowalks emerge as a result – walks through an acoustic city – whereby the city’s special features which would otherwise probably be lost in everyday noise can be experienced and heard. The Audiowalks are the interactive interface between virtual and actual reality, promising users greater added value. Audiowalks will become available in various modi, making it possible to discover the city and its sounds in a playful way.
Sound artists regularly compose pieces from sounds, tones and voices which are collected in virtual city spaces. These are then presented at the ZKM | Karlsruhe and also made available to users of the App and Web application in various forms in »My City, My Sounds«, but also to visitors to the ZKM.
The App and the Web application are currently in the final phase of development and will be available on the Web and for individual Smartphones by the end of July 2015. The opportunity of a first impression of the App and its possibilities, as well as the area of application was given at the symposium »MyCity, MySounds« (Dec 12−14, 2014).
Over the course of 2015 the App will be presented in various cities along with the various areas of application of geo-localizable audio-formats, such as interactive radio plays, and historical knowledge, »Sound-Geocaching« and urban sound installations with various cooperation partners.