Balancing between the audio archive and the time machine London Sound Survey is a pioneering project.
Ian Rawes is the man behind it and he builds an extensive collection of quality indoor and outdoor recordings from the UK’s capital. LSS also features literary excerpts recalling the sonic habitat of the days when such a thing as keeping the sounds wasn’t something people might be thinking about.
All that turns London Sound Survey into a fine audio chronicle with hundreds of reasonably short recordings telling lots and lots with only a few minutes of listening.
Ian is innovative in classification of his recordings. Go to the Economic 1 section with “Sounds to get you to buy or part of what you pay for: beggars, market traders and more” description to find sub-sections related to fairgrounds and amusements, hustlers and beggars or market traders.
Or listen to a Villiers street poet reciting verses on the passers-by request, or a man selling Brentford FC fanzine named ‘Thorne in the Side’, or one the last conductors on a London bus, or… It is all very good.
There’s the Sound map – an aerial image of London with a boxed table laid upon. Each cell of the table contains the number of the recordings Ian has made in that area. Clicking the digits reconstructs the ambience of a particular corner of the city. Furthermore, there are night and day versions of the map for you to enjoy.
Audio is fantastic and Ian knows how to make good use of it – both in technical and artistic ways. He witnesses the changes London is going through and it is very likely that his devotion will be appreciated not only by field recordists but by the researchers as well.
Published January 29th, 2010.