The purpose of this project as action was to create a song that describes a utopic/dystopic memory through sound and timbre. For this soundscape I drew from a utopic experience: When I was in seventh grade, I went to Madrid, Spain for three weeks during the summer and stayed with the Alcocer family. The most distinct memory I have from this experience was one afternoon during lunch on the hottest day of the trip. I had just walked a mile from the city center to the house to make it in time for lunch. We were all eating gazpacho, which is like a cold tomato soup, a custom meal meant to cool you down in hot weather. At the end of the meal everyone in the family brought out their classical guitars and began to play flamenco music– including the mother. I’ve never seen anyone play the guitar in this way– without a pic, beating on the body of it like a drum while picking the strings at the same time. The mother, Marisa, began to sing a spanish song in her deep, throaty voice. It was an ethereal experience.
I used Garageband as an editing tool to create this track. When listening to the track, I think you’ll find it relatively simple to understand what’s going on– I took a pretty literal approach to the entire event except for at the end, when I was faced with the challenge of making my own flamenco sound effects. The issue with this is that I do not know how to play the guitar, let alone flamenco music! So, I decided to create a flamenco-like sound using my voice, beatboxing, whistling, and drumming with forks. In making this soundscape, I wanted to assure that it sounded musical, so I decided to add my own rhythm to the soundscape using materials that were in the room at the time of the memory. I didn’t want the soundscape to be limited to the chronological order of the story, so there were some sounds that I decided to loop and have playing consistently throughout the track. Every sound on this track was created by me– with some help from my peers.