Soundscape Hopping with a Carousel Slide Projector

Soundscape Hopping Apr 24, 2023

This is part of Cities and Memories' Obsolete Sounds preservation project.


A gif from the AMC show MadMen
The Carousel scene from Mad Men.

For this project, I mixed my 're-imagined' sound of a Carousel slide projector with a Soundscape Hopping exercise.

It goes backwards, forwards. It takes us to a place where we ache to go again… It lets us travel the way a child travels.” - Don Draper

A Carousel slide projector
Kodak Carousel Projector & Case; photo by Doug Wilkowske.

The intent of Soundscape Hopping is very much like the slide projector - to flit between scenes and evoke memories, thoughts, emotions, and play up nostalgia and imagined worlds through sound. Each slide in this imagined projector (playlist above) presents a glimpse into a distinct audio environment.

This is a style of audio-workout that I began in 2020 as a creative escape. It has been highly rewarding and led me to get serious about field recording and capturing original source. 💾📈🏞️🌳🌲🌵


The track begins with the unedited sound of the Carousel projector, I then modified the sound to progressively catch and stutter. Independent layers of environmental ambience were developed as a foundation for each "slide" and later music, Sfx, the speeches, and other bits and bobs were mixed in.

All Music and Sfx in this piece are original productions, with the exception of 6 audio samples - most notably: the click of the Carousel; President John F. Kennedy speaking at Rice University on Sept. 12, 1962; Franklin D. Roosevelt’s June 5, 1944 Fireside Chat; and rocket thrust from an STS-131 engine... along with a clip from Buffy and a Panda Express comedy meme.

Field recordings of storms, cicadas, etc., and prop recordings were made with an H4N Pro. Music and some Sfx were created with a Hydrasynth. The project was mixed in Ableton and cleaned with iZotope RX.

The Speeches

The Kennedy and FDR Fireside segments reflect significant snapshots of history which remain today as relevant, yet dusty, largely forgotten slides in our ever compressed collective memory.

FDR's Fireside chats were the focus of my first lessons in school about the social influence of radio and his talk about the Fall of Rome is a personal favorite. The clip is also a callback to my first audio-art project where I explored conquest, peace, and exploration through audio recordings of historic moments. While that project is on indefinite hold, I enjoy revisiting the samples from time to time.

About The Obsolete Sounds Project:

"From buzzing modems and the whir of old VHS and cassette tapes to the changing soundscapes of our urban, cultural, industrial and natural worlds, the project documents the sounds we’ve already lost – and those that we’re in danger of losing.

The sounds of the world are changing faster now than at any stage in human history and the lifespan of sounds is shorter than it’s ever been before – sounds that only came into existence a few years ago are already disappearing.

Obsolete Sounds is designed to draw attention to the world’s disappearing soundscapes, to highlight those sounds that are worth preserving because they form part of our collective cultural heritage – and to help us think about how to save those sounds before it’s too late." -