City Frequencies original project

City Frequencies was originally a live surround-sound audiovisual performance at the Melbourne Town Hall in the 2000 Next Wave Festival. We aimed to capture a 24-hour snapshot of the Melbourne CBD’s sonic environment and encapsulate this in an experimental music performance, combined with a video and photo collage. We spent several months recording a multitude of sounds from the CBD, including buskers, trams, garbage trucks, office sounds, snatches of conversation, restaurant noises, etc. The performance used a quadraphonic PA system with all sounds sourced from the CBD manipulated and triggered using samplers and software.

I’m still digging up some archival material about this event, but in the meantime here is the original 2000 promotional blurb:

City Frequencies is an audiovisual performance whereby an environment is constructed using the sights and sounds of the Melbourne CBD as source material.

Every sound and image used exists within the city of Melbourne.

Using these sounds and images, we will show the impact of social life within a physical area.

Using modern technology as our tools, we will encourage new insight into relationships between sound, image and our environment.

City Frequencies will feature sonic collages, atmospheres, urban soundtracks and juxtapositions of visual resonance.

The source material will be recordings of you, the people who live, work and thrive within the city of Melbourne. Melbourne’s metropolitan environment has been sampled across the entire audiovisual spectrum.

Sound acts not just as a metaphor for the ways in which people’s actions within the city interact; it is a physical trace of these processes, left on our perceptible environment.

Awake to the possibilities of this urban environment, discover new ways of seeing and hearing the city’s rhythms and gain an awareness of its existence as a social organism.

The City Frequencies project has been coordinated by Nick Wilson and Matt Adair, sound artists active in Melbourne’s electronic and experimental music communities. The visual design will be coordinated by Melbourne photographers Narelle Wilson, Jeremy Dillon and Jane Adair, featuring their work along with the photography of Jane Adair and video from Dianne Janes.

Check out the extensive information about these projects on the official City Frequencies website and the links below.

City Frequencies
Café Voyeur
City Frequencies Discography
City Frequencies Performances

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