WASHINGTON, DC [April 20, 2016] – The Sounds of the City Project was funded by a grant from the DC Office of Planning. The project called for DC residents to record sound from around the city that reminded them of DC. (insert website link) Over the course of 3 weeks we collected sound bites and recordings from DC residents and Wards all over the city. Once the sounds were captured we asked Grammy Nominated Local Artist Kokayi to take the sound and incorporate them into a song. To read more about the project click (add link to Bandwidth Article)
To listen and find out more about the individual tracks see below...
Soawesome - SE
Sounds: NewRecording 5 - 2008 5th Street Band Practice – Farragut Walk
William McKenna - Courtyard Birds - Summer Bells - CopterPass
Inspiration: The vocal sample is being manipulated to say that "this is a test of a city". I wanted to illustrate how SE has always received negative media coverage without people actually knowing the tony estates of Hillcrest and that the underlying tone is that the city is going through changes.
SolidGold Waterfront - SW
Sounds: Walking and singing, Motorcycle, William McKenna-Walk home to shaw 1, 7th and U, 8th and U, Demolition on 15th, Kelli Anderson-Anacostia, Birds, Bus
Inspiration: I was thinking about the waterfront that is being built and how crazy it will be after development and how that would effect the landscape in the same manner that the Navy Yard development has in both positive and negative ways. I heard the motorcycle sound and processed it through a couple of effects units and it made a cool moombahton rhythm, Dave Nada the genre's creator is from here. So it's an homage to Dave and that movement in a way.
Gentry & the Ebon Road - NW
Sounds: Go-go Beats Florida and 7th, Bach, Violin Player at McPhereson, Greg Svitil-House Flipping, William McKenna Walk home to Shaw 2 and 3, 17th street Diners, Foreigners.
Inspiration: Black Broadway (the Ebon Road). The song begins with the sound from the corner of 7th and U and slowly distorts as a representation of the reconstruction and gentrification of U Street.. The sounds meld into street conversations; a father and daughter speaking and then move into chaotic counter melodies and distorted sounds to represent the disenfranchisement of the legacy of U street. In the distance there is the pulsating sound of what was labeled" house flipping" in the submitted sounds it's a 15 minute file. I felt that it was all to apropos. The song also speaks to the hope that out of this melange comes new lives and new energies.
Sounds: Elvert Barns – Drum Circle Meridian Hill, Deanwood Nature, William McKenna – Walk to Auntie Beeb 03.
Inspiration: The recent crimes at Deanwood Metro starkly contrast the peace of nature that exists
in Deanwood. I thought about the mosque on Kenilworth Ave and the green space, the birds, lilies and wildlife at the Aquatic Garden, the traffic of Eastern Avenue all adding to the pulse of life that exists in that area and the loss of life that happened there. I wanted this song to reflect the resiliency of a neighborhood that intent on peace and making life peaceful. This is reflected in the heart monitor sound and the increase of its rhythm throughout.
WAMU Bandwidth's take on the Sounds of the City project: What Does D.C. Sound Like? Listen To Kokayi’s Washington Soundscape