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Future Soundscapes Lindholmen

When residents are asked what kind of neighbourhood they want to live in they often say they want a quiet neighbourhood. But by quiet, they do not mean silent! Residents want to hear the sounds of children playing, birds in the trees, and glasses clinking at cafés but may not want to hear sounds of traffic, construction, or planes overhead. This project engaged local residents in Lindholmen SE to record (on their phones) sounds they want to hear more of and sounds they want to hear less of. The sounds were collected, categorized, and a soundscape of the future neighbourhood was co-created with the collaborative inputs of local residents.

In partnership with Centre for Sustainable Urban Futures at Chalmers University, the Gothenburg Centre for Sustainable Development, and Göteborgs Stad, researcher and sound artist Steve Williams / drusnoise will led a public workshop where participants recorded sounds they want to hear more of and sounds they want to hear less of. The soundscape was then performed live at Teater Aftonstjärnans followed by a second workshop to "backcast" from the desired future from where we are today. 

Watch the live performance, listen to the different future soundscapes, read about the project history, and download an academic paper about the project. Let us know if you want to co-create a future soundscape in your city!

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Workshop 1 Future
Workshop 2 Future
Live performance

Project History

How the soundscapes came to life


Berlin Pilot Workshop - 16.03.2024

First, a pilot workshop designed to test the overall flow and content of the workshop, test technical elements of field recording, and group editing. Participants started the afternoon learning about sound fundamentals then spent 90 minutes recording in the Friedrichshain neighbourhood in Berlin. On return, each group shared their rationale for choosing recordings to work with. Then spent time editing their selections on iPad TouchOSC interfaces. We then listened back to the soundscape and discussed the result along with the process.


Recording Workshop - 05.04.2024

The workshop at Lindholmen Science Park started with an introduction to the project and to the history and future of the neighbourhood followed by discussion about sound and hearing. We introduced concepts of soundscapes and ‘colours’ of sound. We then went out to record sounds. After coming back to the workshop room, participants split into groups to decide which of the recordings they wanted to work with. Each group chose four of their own recordings along with one from the Karlatornet recorded by me. Then each group collectively edited their recordings through simplified iPad or laptop-based interfaces and listened to our co-created future.


Live Performance - 21.05.2024

A live public performance at Teater Aftonstjärnans featuring archival sounds from the Lindholmen shipyards, field recordings of the present-day neighbourhood, and a soundscape of the future. Performed live by drusnoise. The future was co-created with Gothenburg residents who recorded sounds they wanted to hear more of and less of in the future.


City Planning - Upcoming

Coming soon will be a presentation to the planning department of Göteborgs Stad. This is another experiment to see what happens when planners are presented with a soundscape instead of maps and architectural drawings.



Backcasting Workshop - 22.05.2024

The goal of the Backcasting workshop at Radiomuseet was to 'backcast' from the co-produced desired soundscape. In other words, how do we get from here to there? Participants added 'missing' sounds like children laughing and sounds of water and created a new soundscape. Then talked about how the city could compose that new future.


What's next?

Future Soundscapes Utrecht coming up in August 2024 in partnership with Culture Moves Europe, Acid Solder Club, and Creative Coding Utrecht. More info soon!

November 2024 will bring Future Soundscapes Berlin. More cities coming and let us know if you want to co-create a future soundscape in your city.

Rolf Nordlinder, Martin Björkman, Matts Brunnegård. Fredrik Hagstedt, Pelle Bolander Barbara Ekström, Clara Saglietti, Juan Ocampo, Thomas Tichai, Julia Schwerdtfeger, Gereon Plättner, Alena Trapp

Technical Details

Workshop 1
Sound recording – participant mobile phones
Sound arrangement and processing – Ableton Live
Group work – separate groups of audio tracks routed via Focusrite Scarlett audio interface to Mackie Headphone Amplifier with four outputs, each with their own volume control. Audio clip editing via custom TouchOSC interface sending MIDI over Wi-Fi network to Ableton

Live performance
Audio editing, arrangement, and export – Ableton Live
Audio playback – Elektron Octatrack (recordings); Error Instruments Loopman (cassette tape – Morse code loop; radio – static and live tuning)
Live audio FX – Hologram Electronics Microcosm delay pedal, modular synthesizer – Make Noise Mimeophon & Morphagene, Mutable Instruments Clouds/Monsoon, low frequency oscillators, plant connected to Instruo Scion generating modulation control voltages
Video editing – Adobe Premiere

Workshop 2
Audio editing, arrangement, and export – Ableton Live
Additional audio files – participant web searches

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