We, the citizens

@ Future Places 2013 / Sonoscopia

30 Oct 2013

We, the citizens is an installation / performance that uses the data obtained from the analysis of various soundscapes of Porto. The data is compiled by the system URB ( The public presentation will be in charge of various sound artists closely related to Sonoscopia. The performances and sound installations that occurred in several spaces of Sonoscopia will be used in order to highlight the importance of acoustic ecology in the development of modern societies.

Control and unpredictability nº1 - Sound Installation

Eduardo Magalhães and Gustavo Costa

The act of listening is always subjected to objective physical parameters and, on the other hand, to the subjective interpretation of the listener. Soundscapes, embedded in their own particular geographical and social references, are peculiar examples of how the same sound can result in so many different interpretations,

For this version of the piece, we opted to use sounds of our most familiar extracting and transforming objective data (pitch, amplitude and centroid values ) into an abstract and imaginary sound portrait of the city ( generation of melodic content and distortion of natural soundscapes), we are forced to re-think and increase our awareness of our daily sound environment.

We, the citizens - Sound Installation

Carlos Guedes

We, the citizens is a sound art piece with the manipulation of Gustavo Costa e Eduardo Magalhães sound intervention joining Abu Dhabi sound ambient captured by myself and also manipulated. Without other purpose then provide a pleasurable background sound,, approaches and mixes, in a way that only music can, overlapping and combining in harmony sounds of different religious cults, distinct urban soundscapes and sonification of data on urban noise. Let yourself go.

Rascunho - Music Piece

Filipe Lopes

Using the data provided by the URB system in conjunction with the software PORTOphone, this improvisation aims the modulation / modification / reinterpretation of the work Different Shapes, Same Rhythm.

Audio File

(25/04/2013) x 2 - Music Piece

Palmer Eldritch

(25/04/2013) x 2 is a real time manipulation of the data provided by the URB system captured on the April 25th of 2013  using two analog synthesizer.

Audio File

Urban sonic impressions - Sound Installation

Rui Dias and Gilberto Bernardes

Inspired by the URB system, Urban Sonic Impressions creates moving sound textures using sounds from the Porto Sonoro sound bank. The evolution and characteristics of sound are controlled dynamically by the URB system, which captures and analyze sound features from four different location in Porto. The EarGram software by Gilberto Bernardes was used to analyze and re-combine samples of four collections of sounds according to their specific audio features. Using these new recombined sound banks, the main program, in Max / MSP, retrieves the data from URB and controls the live playing and processing of the sounds.


...URB to B… - Music Piece for 2 Percussionists (timpani, vibraphone, and multi-percussion set)

Nuno Peixoto

The composed work was commissioned by the Portuguese group Talea et Alaia ( Formed by the percussionists Rui Sul Gomes and Nuno Aroso ) to be premiered in a Brazilian tour on January 2014. This provided the perfect setting for the composer to create a piece entirely related and inspired by the characteristic Portuguese sounds. Envisioning this, Peixoto decided to accomplish it through a representation of Porto city. To do so, URB software became the essential tool that granted the necessary data for the elaboration of ...URB to B..., allowing the transition of urban sound to the musical piece.

The entire musical material used on this piece derives from the extraction of data provided by URB software. This tool is used by the composer not only at a structural level, but also in pitched notes and rhythmic sequences. Through the arrangement of all these elements, Peixoto intends to capture the particularities of each listening point that will characterize and describe the different times of the day in Porto city.

Full score:


Re-Interpretação Urbana - 40 hours Sound Installation

José Alberto Gomes and Filipe Lopes

Re-interpretação Urbana (Urban Re-interpretation) is a sound installation which inhabited the chapel during the Serralves em Festa 2014. This work was commissioned by the Serralves em Festa 2014 Festival, the biggest contemporary artistic expression festival in Portugal and one of the largest in Europe, and the Sonoscopia Associação Cultural.

This sound installation marks one year of the first Urb’s listening point installation allowing for the first time an approach with a time window of one year.

The context of this festival is very particular. Although it is a festival with a contemporary and experimental aesthetic is an 40 hours non stop event with a major impact on the general public, being visited by thousands of people in a very small amount of time. The space chosen for the intervention was a big white room in the second floor of the Serralves chapel illuminated by a huge round window.

According to the physical and symbolic space the authors decided to develop a contemplative sound experience, promoted through an immersive soundscape that mirrors the sonic complexity of the city, particularly their behaviors and patterns, also exploring the room acoustics.

Being an event with big impact in the city, thus creating a specific soundscape on those days, it seemed promising to use the material of the exactly same days of the festival of the year before. The public experienced an artistic sonification of the city from exactly the same time of the previous year. The process used was exactly the same used in the music piece L’abre des Songes . Although in L’abre des Songes  all the information was compressed to 6 minute, in this case the time lapse was fully respected, which represents a significant difference . As used in the original piece, i.e. L’abre des Songes, the pitch sound feature information was used to control a simple oscillator. The resulting soundtrack was chosen to be the background sound of the installation. Additionally we used a very basic random midi note generator with only three variables: low limit, high limit and note density. The notes range was controlled by a combination of the centroid and the spread features (providing us the spectral center and its limits), and the loudness feature controlled note density.

The system consists of two loudspeakers, close to the height of a person, front to front, creating a hot spot aligned with the center of the round window, thus creating a perfect harmony between the sound and the space.

This reworked soundscape was occasionally interrupted, 4 times a day for 15 minutes, with a sound composition by Filipe Lopes.  The intervention focused on exploring the acoustics of the room (especially the resonance frequencies) to expand "sound everywhere," as opposed to a sound concentrated at the center.

video by Miguel C. Tavares