Through Sight and Sound
by Eamon Kelly and Jade Schweitzer
Re-PLACE-ing Philadelphia is building an expanded archive of cultural memory that includes multiple histories, re-place-ing the established with new narratives and understandings. Notes consider place via the street, sound, food, trees, and other portals.
In partnership with educator Joshua Block, students from Philadelphia's Science Leadership Academy are creating and publishing their Philadelphia Field Notes. Eamon Kelly and Jade Schweitzer share music they have made from the sounds of the city.
Both of us have lived in Philadelphia our whole lives. We live in two different areas of the city from Mount Airy to Fairmount Avenue, but moving through our lives we experience the same things everyday across the city through both sound and sight.
The first thing that we always experience in the city of Philadelphia is sound. A lot of people do not yet realize that sound is an interesting yet powerful way to tell a story. From our perspective, we are very good at identifying people, places, objects or ideas using sound. Everybody relates to this in some way, whether it’s recognizing a piece of music, quotes from a movie or TV show, or just remembering old conversations. As someone living in Philly, you can usually hear the same sounds that are produced in the city like, car horns, busy streets, construction, and numerous other sounds that we can all equate to being the sounds of the city. Some of which are entirely annoying, but we’ve gotten used to it. Taking these sounds and coupling them with a striking visual component is our way of recreating a miniature version of a walk through the city. From walking around downtown, to catching the bus and sitting in the back waiting for your stop to get off, we aimed to give everyone who’d watch, even people who’ve never been around the city a little taste of Philly.
The music was made after different sounds were recorded from around the city, and edited together into a cohesive song. Some of the recorded sounds included car horns, buses driving, bells in fast food restaurants, and other readily available sounds from a short walk around the city. While we were out gathering sounds we also took pictures of some of the places we went during the walk. As a whole this entire project was created using daily images and sounds you would easily find throughout a day walking around the city.