What sounds make up the symphony of city? How does our sense of place rely on the sounds we hear every day? Berlin-based German artist, Udo Noll created the interactive website Aporee as a collective soundbank of field recordings captured by mobile phones. For the last few years, Aporee maps has collected a menagerie of sound culled from people across the continents. When used in conjunction with Google Maps, the recordings become a sonic portrait of street corners, outdoor markets and public spaces around the world. The seemingly mundane sounds of traffic at the River Thames, kids on the playground in Munich, or maybe men arguing over chess at Union Square then become pieces of art, or possibly artifacts, framed by some unknown person captivated by the beauty of a particular moment.

Mission statement:

Apogee Maps is an open project about the creation and exploration of public soundscapes. it collects and organizes recordings of daily surroundings and other sonic habitats from all over the world. the sounds are organized within a mashup system of mapping software, databases, telephone networks and the Internet. sites and sounds can also be explored and accessed in situ by recent GPS-enabled mobile devices.

the project reflects on actual changes and developments in mobile computing and so called locative media, which we assume to be crucial to the way we experience our near future daily life, where media and markets will emerge at the precise position of our body. whether and how we can create and keep unoccupied spaces aside from predetermined functions and fictions, is an important question to the project.

What sounds do you think are the quintessential sounds of Los Angeles?

Leaf blowers, cafe small talk, paparazzi shutters?

(kudos to Josh Kun for the tip)

LA Weekly