⏀  Narrative ︎Soundscapes of Pandemia    ⏀   Narrative︎Soundscapes of Pandemia      

︎Listen here:

Composed by Lili Flores
June 2020


︎ The Color of each  circle corresponds to the icons in the illustration as they relate to sound sources embedded in the Portal 1 Soundscape.

︎︎︎︎Los Angeles, CA
︎San Diego,CA
︎Pasadena, CA
︎︎︎Oakland, CA
︎︎Sao Paulo, Brazil
︎Leipzig, Germany
Portal 1 of Soundscapes of Pandemia is a collaborative multimedia project which mixes sound recordings from various global community members. We asked our extended community to submit recordings which capture memories embedded in their respective cities and intimate dwelling spaces.

The prompt for this was deliberately open ended in order to create a surreal kaleidoscopic portal where we weave a collective memory of our encounters with architecture and living organisms. 

As a result, the collective sonic memory-scape is a form of alchemy–synthesizing the layers of our disparate experiences as they occur during a historic time of global pandemia and civil unrest. What remains to be perceived is how and what  will emerge from this portal as we face large scale and micro scale alterations in our lives. 

Click on the text overlaid on the illustrations to access more contextual info or read below.

Soundscape and Illustration
This soundscape picks up from the soundscape collage created by Adam Boggs (click here). The illustration of the dog taken from the Florentine Codex–has been adapted by Adam to signify the passing of one life into another. In Nahuatl cosmology, the dog is a guardian and guide through the after-life. The mask represents our grappling with the Covid-19 global pandemic. Much like the way Mesoamerican codices are read in a non-linear and iterative fashion, this illustration and interactive webpage represent a hybridization of the ancient codex form while utilizing contemporary graphic design conventions.

Alongside our dog companion and guide, we transition by means of a music composition by ethnomusicologist, Juan Cristobal. The dog enters as a bystander to a casual dialogue about memory and identity between two friends. Thereafter, the dog encounters the sounds of birds and the distinct caws of a crow. The sound of a fire alarm alerts us to the crisis we endure...

The crow–nesting on a windowsill in Leipzig, Germany–is a trickster archetype. Similar to a raven, the crow cleverly navigates various situations. 

A pair of dancing feet adorned with ayoyotl–associated with Aztec style dancers– accentuate the Spanish Catholic prayers and the mariachi melody.

The dog enters an echo chamber sculpted by the architecture of Pinheiros, São Paulo where people shout in protest of the fascist regime led by Bolsonaro. The Pinheiros location is represented with the a map of South America.

Images of protestors holding signs that read “Black Lives Matter,” and “Policing = Violence” are depicted moving through the streets as they meet opposition in the form of police presence signified through the icon of a S.W.A.Ttank

A defaced corporate retail logo has the words “justice for all” spray-painted on top.

The microphone represents the intimate gathering of a family singing karaoke together.

Select Transcriptions:Below are transcriptions and translations submitted by participants on their own accord:.

Pinheiros Archive

These sounds were recorded in São Paulo –
Brazil, from our apartment at the neighborhood of Pinheiros. Its population is a little more educated than average, with several college students and professors, and a more progressive vibe.

I made several little recordings of the same events, and some of them might be cleaner than others. I’ll try to provide some information about each one, transcript and translate what I’m able to, since it can be very noisy. But the idea is to show you what a Brazilian large city soundscape looks (or sounds) like.

Click here to access the transcription, translation, and further context.

Pasadena, CaliforniaE Hō Mai

E hō mai ka ʻike mai luna mai e
0 nā mea huna noʻeau no nā mele e
E hō mai
E hō mai
E hō mai
Oli (Hawaiian Chant)

Grant us the knowledge from above
Concerning the hidden wisdom of songs,

Grant us these things

Thanks to the UCLA Urban Humanities Initiative for your support.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to this project! ︎

For questions, comments or future submissions for Portal 2 of Soundscapes of Pandemia, please  ︎ email uhi.soundscape@gmail.com

Fora, fascistas! NO MORE HATE E Hō Mai