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"Messages sonores" is an on-going project directed by Peter Maybury, collecting recordings from specific locations and various travels sounds from the street, birds, footsteps or domestic sounds conversation, pouring water, sweeping the floor. These sounds are collated using simple editing techniques and sequenced/composed to suggest movement through space and the passing of time.

From the late 1960s BASF (and other companies) marketed the "Tape Letter" or "Message Sonore" (and similar 1/4 inch tapes predating cassette tapes) for consumer open-reel recorders. People would make recordings generally conversations in their homes and then send the tape on to friends/family who would listen to, re-use and return the tape.

In "Messages sonores" the recordings transport the sounds of one environment to another. A key interest is that the sounds are not unique to the person who records them but are intended simply to offer a glimpse of the sounds of another place; perhaps sounds that often go unnoticed or ignored. When the recordings are played back (a stereo, portable audio device etc.) they mix with the sounds of the place in which they are being played, where birds, traffic, telephones etc. will all have an effect on the listening experience.

Messages sonores (08-1), Lisbon (192kbps MP3, 7.4MB)
Messages sonores (09-1), Sligo (192kbps MP3, 10.4MB)
Messages sonores (09-2), National Botanic Gardens (192kbps MP3, 14.3MB)

Peter Maybury
Messages sonores