About the project

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The Rhythm of a Stride: Sonic Essays is a continuously evolving digital experience. The project follows a personal interest of mine to physically explore and sense urban spaces: to walk, listen, observe, and record as ways to understand places, and their potential transformation. It is a multimodal project informed by sound: it recognises sound perception as being intimately connected to, and enhanced by, all other senses.

To walk, listen, and observe are practices with a long tradition. We can think of the survivalist need to physically connect to the environment or the aesthetics of navigating a city (as practiced by the Situationists), or how digital technologies and locative media have changed our relationship with the surrounding environment.

The materials captured by field recordists present only glimpses of the environment. However, these dialogues and negotiations between the recordist and the surrounding space are fundamental for a grounding experience of place. The decision-making and physical experiences inherent in walking, listening, observing, and recording often remind me that I am part of these rhythms. It is through the reflexive process of recording and going back to the recorded moments, that I encounter and articulate place.

This project documents some of these experiences. It is a place of experimentation and reflection. It will evolve to include some of the moments I capture over time in the rhythm of a stride.

I use extended phonographies — sound, photography, and text — each type of recording complementing the others. The quality of the recordings varies, and so does the approach to the recorded place. They depend on what the place suggests or permits, the equipment available to me at the time, and aesthetic decisions.

I hope you will enjoy these journeys,

Matilde Meireles

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Under the hood

The project is developed as a Progressive Web App (PWA) designed to be experienced through headphones and on a smartphone or a tablet.

A PWA is a website and a web app. It works on a desktop computer, but it can also be downloaded to a smartphone or a tablet for an offline experience (fully functional on Android, and functioning with limitations on iOS).

If you are curious to know more about the PWA platform, please read the following articles Attila Vágó has written, Will the Real Web Developer Please Stand Up? (Aug 2017) and The Rhythm of a Stride—Progressive Web App Case Study (Feb 2018).

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Thank you!

Attila Vágó, Conor McCafferty, Gascia Ouzounian, Queen's University Belfast, Diogo Alvim, Pedro Rebelo.