Dossier: Soundscapes - Observatori del Paisatge

in the Net

PaisatgesonorUB del Laboratori d'Art Sonor of the University of Barcelona

Photography captures and represents images of a landscape, documents its values and enables us to interpret it; likewise, recording captures moments of the continuous, inexhaustible flow of a soundscape.

The websites in this dossier are ongoing collections of sound fragments associated with the place where they were recorded, usually with a high degree of interaction between the platform and its users. The soundmaps and sound archives disclose the characteristic sonority of a space, but also seek out hybrid sounds, unexpected relationships, and echoes between different places.



Memories, stories, emotions and everyday experiences from Badia del Vallès (Barcelona) are evoked through the voices of its inhabitants and recorded over a map of the town. A collective project initiated by Pau Faus with the support of Radio Badia.

Paisatge sonor de la Patum

This website explores the largely-unresearched sound dimension of the extraordinary Patum festival in Berga (Catalonia). The educational, documentary project is an emotional journey through the different atmospheres of the popular festival, listed by UNESCO in 2005 as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Paisatge sonor del segar i el batre (Avià)

This website belongs to Avià Town Hall (Berguedà) which describes the complete harvesting process just as it was done decades ago with audio files and text explanations.


This website belongs to the Art Grup''s sound project which explores the sounds of Terres de l'Ebre from an artistic perspective. All the recordings are georeferenced via Google Maps. The site identifies the sounds and analyses their morphological qualities.

Collective research set up by Sitesize projects platform in 2002 to investigate the territorial identity of the spaces surrounding the River Ripoll as it flows through Sabadell, a town near Barcelona. Sound is examined by identifying and recording the changing noises making up the soundscape of this stretch of the river.

Sons de Barcelona

Sound database of Barcelona city, where everybody can listen, download and contribute new field recordings. Initiatives, projects and workshops related to the subject are also posted here. Website created by the Music Technology Research Group of the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona.

Sons de Manlleu

This project aims to reproduce the sounds of the town of Manlleu (Osona) georeferenced via Google Maps. The sound files are complemented with a gallery of Instagram images of those same spaces.




A geo-referenced archive by group proposing an immersion into the contrasting landscapes of Galicia, with many different voices expressing the intangible, ephemeral values of the region.


Madrid Soundscape

An approach to the soundscape idiosyncrasies of Madrid and its surrounding area, coming out of a collaborative public workshop led by group in 2008.


Soinumapa: mapa sonoro del País Basc

The changing vibrations of different places are pinpointed on a map with a cluster of markers, inviting us on unusual journeys of discovery through the sensorial landscapes of the Basque Country.





The symphony of a great city. Downloadable recordings suggest an original way of hearing and understanding the sounds, the harmonies and the dissonances of Berlin, through the everyday experience of public space.

Soundmap of Cologne

Ongoing sound archive capturing the rhythm, nuances and soundprints of the city of Cologne (Germany). An original way of understanding change, endurance and evolution over the course of time.


Cinco Cidades

The sounds recorded in five Portuguese cities can be heard singly or in mixes of up to five layers. The result is strange, fascinating compositions throwing up unexpected relationships between different places. Cinco Cidades was created by The Folk Songs Project team.


London Sound Survey

Guide to the everyday sounds of London, with field recordings bearing witness to the lives of its human and animal inhabitants. The site has an efficient icon map showing the main types of sound heard in each part of the city, and a section with descriptions and historical references on how London must have sounded in the past.

Manchester : Peripheral

The Folk Songs Project team aimed to establish connections and come to creative grips with the social and urban fragmentation of four wards in Manchester's metropolitan borough. The constantly evolving compositions of urban sounds, voices and incidental noises celebrate the dialogue and diversity of the city.



European Soundscape Map

This sound map is linked to the European Acoustic Heritage project. It brings together recordings from various countries in the Old Continent as well as the Americas and Asia.

Locustream Map

Interactive world map made by French research group Locus Sonus, offering real-time listening in to soundstreams recorded by microphones located all over the planet.

Macaulay Library

Macaulay Library aims to document the diversity and behaviour of birds around the world. The huge digital archive, compiled by Cornell University Laboratory of Ornithology (Ithaca, NY), contains thousands of recordings of the sounds of birds and other species.

Radio aporee

Internet radio programme exploring contemporary public soundscapes, alternating with recordings submitted to the parallel soundmap project, radio aporee ::: maps.


Archive of geo-referenced recordings that question the identity of city soundscapes from all over the world, their power to evoke memories and experiences, and their ability to differentiate and hybridise in a never-ending flow. Project by British artist Stanza.


Recordings of urban soundwalks which have been synchronised and visualised on a map. This interesting experiment by Turkish architect Gokce Kinayoglu links the distant, static vision of aerial photography with the dynamic, all-embracing perception of soundscape.


Project based on an ongoing participative archive of field recordings which enables users to plan and experience astounding sound journeys through various localities around the world, selecting their departure point, stop-overs and final destination.


Collection of birdsong recordings from around the world, featuring a search engine organised by species, or by musical criteria such as tone, tempo and number of notes.


Stories and experiences from different cities around the world are told by the voices of their inhabitants, which are recorded and collected on this website. Special telephone numbers can be dialled from the exact spot where the story took place.


Sonidos de Rosario

Website exploring the inexhaustible network of relationships between sound and silence, and attempting to define the codes by which the city's inhabitants give meaning to the sound society. Acoustic registers from Rosario (Argentina) are classified by subject, date and place of recording.


Paisajes sonoros de Bolivia

This website belongs to a project attempting to record Bolivia''s acoustic memory since 2005. The main elements are the sound maps of cities such as La Paz, Cochabamba and Santa Cruz.


Montréal Sound Map

Ongoing map for exploring Montreal's sound dimension through the murmurings of the city's collective voice.



Soundmap to discover and explore the different atmospheres of Harbin city in northern China.

Soundscape of China

Evocative collection of Chinese soundscapes recorded by English sound technician Peter Eason, linked to related photographs by cinema director Jonathan Lewis.


Invisible Valley (Medellín)

This is the website of a project which is developing a sound map, initially of just the Colombian city of Medellin but which now aims to include the entire Aburrá Valley in the second phase.


Biblioteca de Sonidos Aves de México

Bird songs and calls from a country with one of the richest birdlife in the world. The library is designed for ornithologists and bird-lovers, but is also interesting for non-experts.



The New York Society for Acoustic Ecology project assembles initiatives and experiments for this map of the sound features of New York, as a historical record and a subjective representation of the city.


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