The London Sound Survey collects the sounds of everyday public life throughout London and compiles past accounts to show how the sound environment has changed. This page explains more about the site's purpose.
WHY THE LONDON SOUND SURVEY?
I HOPE YOU enjoy listening to these field recordings made in and around London, and find interest in the historical accounts of how the city sounded in past times. If this website helps encourage someone to make field recordings or start a line of research of their own, that'd be even better. Drop me a line if you do.
Amongst the daily urban hubbub there's information about who lives here, what they get up to, how they enjoy themselves and what they believe in. Sounds come in fashions from singing canaries and windchimes to car horns that play Old Dixie. They announce developments in technology, the city's growth, and social and demographic change. They tell us of shifts in the make-up and scattering of London's wildlife.
Stereo sound recording and playback was the first immersive electronic medium and it's still the only really practical one. Listening to a recording of the sounds of a place or event gets the imagination working and recreates some of the sense of being there. It feels like a worthwhile end in itself simply to share those experiences with whoever's willing to listen.
The London Sound Survey is a hobby which I fund out of my own pocket. It's time-consuming but it doesn't cost all that much to run. I hope the results will eventually be archived in a durable form so that someone decades hence might make use of them.
To that future listener, greetings.
IMPORTANT NOTES ON LICENSING
NEARLY ALL THE recordings on the London Sound Survey are under a form of copyright called Creative Commons, except where stated otherwise. It allows you to use or redistribute them within the limits set down by the particular licence in effect here, which is a Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial 3.0 Unported, or CC BY-NC 3.0 for short.
The attribution part means if you're going to use or redistribute the London Sound Survey's recordings, then you must state they're the work of the London Sound Survey. Also, provide a link to this site's home page or, if that's not possible, display its URL. Finally, link to the licence's own Creative Commons URL or display the licence type.
A correct online attribution combining these three elements would look like: Street market recording by the London Sound Survey, licensed under Creative Commons.
The other important part of the licence is that it permits use and redistribution of the recordings for non-commercial purposes only, without exception.
It's very rewarding to learn of the sounds here cropping up in educational settings, music which is freely distributed, and much else. Let me you know what you do with them.
IM Rawes, London