Aural Transit: Soundscapes of Urban Movement is a side project that Eriks Bredovskis began in Summer 2017 after becoming interested in the use of sound in undermining or asserting relationships of power in public transit. Inspired by The Acoustic City, Matthew Gandy, Benny Nilsen (eds.), he decided to produce his own recordings of Toronto’s urban life.

At the start of this project, Eriks decided that a stereo microphone is necessary as urbanites experience the city in stereo, therefore he uses a Zoom’s iQ6 stereo microphone attached to his iPhone. He then uploads the recording (AAC at 160kbps) to Soundcloud. The file name contains the location (or movement) of the recording, followed by the time and date. The description includes any additional information to further contextualize the soundscape.

Understanding where these sounds happened in the city is important. Currently Aural Transit uses a basic Google Map of with each city’s soundscapes on a separate layer (as of July 2017, only Toronto has been recorded). Static recordings are marked with a pin, while recordings involving movement are marked with a line (again, sadly, Google Maps does not permit directionality for lines and the Directions option don’t allow for additional data).

Once we have a larger collection, Aural Transit plans to switch to a more stable and comprehensive mapping platform, where we can add additional filters (especially the time of day).

We look forward to building a more comprehensive archive of urban soundscapes over the next year. Don’t hesitate to contact us with comments and suggestions as to where we should record.

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