Transforming Noise into Music with Urban Remix

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This Saturday, June 26, artists and visitors to Atlanta’s Art on the Beltline will participate in a public exhibition that takes the sounds we hear every day and transforms them into music. The show, titled Urban Remix, allows the public to record sounds from all along Atlanta’s newest public place using their iPhone or Android device and upload them to the show’s website. Once there, the sounds will be remixed into a concert by local musician Recompas.

“It’s about pausing and thinking about the sounds that make up our environment and how those sounds are special from one neighborhood to another,” said Carl DiSalvo, assistant professor in the Digital Media program at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Urban Remix is a project devised by Georgia Tech professors Jason Freeman of the Center for Music Technology in the College of Architecture, Michael Nitsche of the Digital Media program in the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts and DiSalvo.

“We’re exploring how new media lets people participate in art in new ways,” added DiSalvo.

Earlier this month DiSalvo, Freeman and graduate student Stephen Garrett took Urban Remix to the City Centered Festival in San Francisco, where they brought visitors to record sounds from the city’s Tenderloin neighborhood. After uploading them to the project’s website, San Francisco musician Ken Ueno mixed them into a performance piece.

This weekend, they’ll be taking their show to Atlanta’s Art on the Beltline exhibition, an ongoing event through October, designed to entice people to experience this 22-mile loop of rail that aims to revitalize city life.

In a few weeks, middle school students from the Atlanta Public School district will be using Urban Remix as well as another musical iPhone app created at Georgia Tech’s Center for Music Technology, ZOOZBeat, at the Woodruff Arts Center.  In addition to learning how to use the sounds in their environment with Urban Remix, they’ll also use ZOOZBeat to create music. In addition, they’ll learn about DJ and VJ cultural practices and receive other lessons on music and listening.

“Through Urban Remix, we want to encourage people to listen to the sounds around them, to discover the hidden music in our neighborhoods, and to collaborate to shape and share that music,” said Freeman.

To experience Urban Remix, visit:

To hear an Urban Remix concert from San Francisco’s City Centered Festival, visit:

To see a map of where sounds were recorded at San Francisco’s City Centered Festival, visit:


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