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CUSACK, PETER - Favourite Berlin Sounds

Format: CD
Label & Cat.Number: ReR MegaCorp ReRPC5
Release Year: 2013
Note: an audio book of city-sounds from Berlin with 31 recordings, ranging from city traffic (U-Bahn & S-Bahn stations) over nightly party people crowds to courtyards & animal sounds typical for Berlin, characterizing its aural atmosphere very well... feat. booklet with detailed descriptions of every recording; very nice & cafefully put together
Price (incl. 19% VAT): €14.00

More Info

" What is your favourite sound of Berlin, and why? During 2011/12 many Berliners were asked this seemingly simple question and their responses are as fascinating and varied as the city itself. Almost no one says exactly the same as anyone else, but together they reveal the Berlin of the ear quite different to that of the eye. A myriad of places and experiences, familiar and obscure, are brought to life in these recordings. From SBahn trains at speed to atmospheres inside the citys unique courtyards, waves slapping in the River Spree to memorial bells, bustling markets and midnight nightingales to football matches heard citywide. These are Berlins favourite sounds.

The CD was compiled by Peter Cusack with recordings made by himself and Anna Bogner, Elen Flgge, Thomas Koch, Jasmine Guffond, Klaus Hamlescher, Valeria Merlini and Udo Noll. 31 tracks run for 77min.

Berlin is noticeably quieter than other European capitals such as London or Paris. Why should this be? Most obviously the traffic seems less dominant. Some roads are very busy, but on smaller streets moving vehicles are surprisingly sparse and at night Berlin can be very quiet indeed. The small number of planes is also a factor. Except in areas under the flight path into Tegel airport the city is relatively free of low flying aircraft. Berlins unique Hinterhfe (inner courtyards) add to this impression. They create spaces of genuine calm, even in the liveliest areas. This quietness allows people-sounds to come to the fore: footsteps, conversation, children playing, outdoor caf atmospheres and the buzz of nightlife are ubiquitous. All are mentioned as favourite sounds.

So too are natural sounds and those involving the elements. Berlin is a particularly green city with a considerable area of waterways and lakes. Springtime birds nightingales and the abundant blackbirds - are often mentioned. The Spree is a working river where waves from deep sounding heavy barges, and puttering tourist cruises, slap along the banks.

Berlin also gains a special acoustic personality from sounds that are present citywide. The rising and falling tones of accelerating or decelerating SBahn trains are unique and everywhere. It is no accident that the S-Bahn system contributes the most nominated of favourite Berlin sounds. Church bells sound simultaneously across the city and are also regularly mentioned. They are synchronised to ring daily at 12noon and 6pm except on Sundays when the timing is more varied.

It is almost 25 years since the Berlin wall fell, but sonic remnants from the division still appear amongst Berlins favourite sounds. Tram bells and rumble continue to be associated with the east, whereas the shouts and bustle at Turkish markets, are very much of the west.

The Favourite Sounds Project explores what people find positive in their citys soundscape. It started in London in 1998 and has since taken place in Beijing, Prague, Manchester, Birmingham, Chicago, Brussels and Southend on Sea. http://favouritesounds.org/" [label info]