Spatial Sound

Audition of the Future City (2022)

SONOTOMIA Residency 3.0


November 2022

Spatial Sound Institute
SONOTOMIA: Sound Anatomy of Unique Places investigates sound as a unique artifact of cultural and natural heritage. The SONOTOMIA project unfolds through artist residencies in selected sites of study in Portugal, Spain and Hungary. SONOTOMIA Residency 3.0 took place from May 5 - 15th 2022 in Budapest, Hungary, hosted by the Spatial Sound Institute.

The present soundscape of Budapest can be distinguished by the variety of sounds characteristic of urban environments, such as traffic noises, human sounds and construction work noises. In contrast, the Danube river and many larger green areas intersecting and surrounding the city also generate sounds of nature. Budapest is home to a diverse range of historic and cultural monuments, many of which are designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The city has a strong musical profile, with many important contributions to folk and classical music, among other genres.

During 10 days, 9 participants of the residency worked in intercultural groups to capture the entangled urban and natural areas that identify the city of Budapest as a socio-cultural, geographical and biophysical environment. They investigated the state we are in as a society measured by its sonic imprint, raising questions about how we want our future environments to sound like. Which sounds do we keep, (re-)introduce or abandon? Moving beyond the oversaturation of acoustic and informational noise typical of our present societies, how does it sound like when we imagine a new equilibrium with respect to the integrity of the human and non-human individual and collective being?

The recordings of the city of Budapest were merged with recordings collected from previous residencies in Alentejo, Portugal and Albarracín, Spain to form an inter-local assemblage composed for the bespoke 60-channel 4DSOUND system at the Spatial Sound Institute. By sampling, merging and juxtaposing sonic memes from contrasting and complementing environments and integrating them into one sonic space, an immersive audition of our (non-)urban future was providing.

The results of the residency culminated in a sound exhibition open for the public on May 14-15th at the Spatial Sound Institute, presented in collaboration with Art Quarter Budapest.

This documentary films aims to portray the three different creative teams and follow their process during the residency, merging interviews together with the spatial sound pieces they created a narrative emerges, which tells the story of the 10 days residency and brings up a whole new conversation around the different topics every artist was researching.

A film by: Ana Amorós López
Interviews: Ana Amorós López and Lewis Blakely
Audio recordings: Lewis Blakely
Camera: Ana Amorós López
Editing: Ana Amorós López
Sound Mixing and Mastering: Lewis Blakely
Sound Editing: Ana Amorós López
4DSOUND Recordings and 4DSOUND Technician: Marijn Cinjee
Sound pieces:
Drawn in; József Iszlai [HU], Duarte Eduardo [POR],Rozi Mákó [HU]
Elvágyódás: Jamie Man [UK], André Fonseca [POR], Marijn Cinjee [NL]
Akva: Kim Lyons [ESP], Úrsula Bravo [ESP], Csaba Hajnóczy[HU]

Special thanks to Paul Oomen, the SSI Team, all the artists, the Sonotomia Team and the fantastic cooks.

Produced by: Spatial Sound Institute