Currently around the world, life has changed significantly. Due to the Covid-19 virus pandemic, daily life as we knew it has grinded to a near halt. Billions are in quarantine, advised or unallowed to leave their homes except when absolutely necessary. This limited mobility has caused dramatic shifts from limiting pollution to record surges in internet traffic. Discourse around the world has become solely focused on one topic and similarly, although you might not be aware, we are all united around the world as this pandemic has left no corner of our continent untouched sans Antarctica.
Another effect this pandemic has had on the world is how it sounds. Here in The Netherlands, Schiphol Airport has ceased nearly all flights, trains are running more infrequently, car traffic is minimal, tourists are non-existent and mid-day, rush-hour streets are quieter than they are in the early morning hours. Our world sounds different and that’s important to recognize and remember. Therefore, The Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision would like to encourage field recordists whether professional, hobbyist, beginner or experts around The Netherlands to take the time to record the world around them. It could be sounds captured while on walk (while maintaining social distancing), the sounds from your balcony, roof, garden or even just the sounds from inside your home.
Sound and Vision will begin taking in field recordings for preservation purposes over the coming months. We will also encourage that these sounds be made available for free re-use by artists, researchers and more just like our previous online exhibition, The Sound of The Netherlands did. The long-term preservation of these sounds will accompany other Covid-19 related preservation efforts being taken by Sound and Vision so that for years to come we’ll be able to comprehensively and thoroughly present this period to society.
Over the coming weeks we will present a method for users to deliver their sounds in a structured manner.
Sound and Vision will further collaborate on this topic with Rewire Festival and FIBER Festival for artistic presentations of new works related to these sounds as well as Soundtrackcity and members from the University of Amsterdam and Leiden University for matters related to academic research.
If you are a field recordist and would like to get in touch and would consider sharing your collection with the institute please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or begin sharing your sounds via: https://forms.gle/81DmLYVLw4sF2h3s8
Image via Nationaal Archief, CC0