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31 December 2010

Across the miles

TOWARDS THE END of each year I always think about the sounds of Paris that I have recorded in the year that has passed and the sounds that I might record in the year ahead. I always look back on my year’s work and try to select a “Sound Of The Year”. It’s always a difficult task since there are so many sounds to choose from.

During 2010 I have recorded many sounds in this wonderful city. I have recorded the magnificent church organs of Saint-Sulpice, Notre Dame and the delightful church of Saint-Médard, a Franco-Russian wedding and street musicians in the Jardin du Luxembourg, the rue Mouffetard and in Saint-Germain-des-Prés. I have recorded the sounds of railway stations – the Gare du Nord, the Gare de Lyon and even London St Pancras, as well as the sounds of the streets of Paris.

I have recorded the huge street demonstrations in Paris about the pension reforms all of which were lively and provided exciting, but often chilling, raw, sounds. And there have been many more recording too.

It is often said that less is more – and after much consideration, this year I have selected a Parisian sound from 2010 which I would like to share with you as my “Sound of the Year”.

Paris Christmas market by Des Coulam

It is a simple recording – the sound of a man with a little street organ in the Marché Noël in my quartier of Paris.

And why is it my “Sound Of The Year”?

First, it is undoubtedly French – a man, surrounded by children from the local Ecole Maternelle, singing a favourite French children’s Christmas song, Le Petit Garçon.

Second, the children add an air of innocence and complete unrestrained joy to the recording and . . .

Third, thanks to the internet, this recording from my quartier of Paris has flown across the miles and was broadcast on an Australian radio station in Sydney on Christmas Eve.

I hope you enjoy this recording as much as I do and I wish Ian and all of you all a very Happy New Year.

Des Coulam has a passion for recording and preserving our sonic environment. He writes and records the Soundlandscapes blog at