Listening to, recording & making music with the sounds around you.

#RIO: Mercado Popular de Uruguaiana

This market is found right at the heart of the commercial business district in central Rio. On the Tuesday lunchtime we visit, its bedlam: there are people everywhere.

The soundwalk heads down one of the main market alleyways. Not only do the shops play loud music to attract your attention, most also have sellers shouting streams of special offers into microphones. Additionally, there are loudspeakers strung up above the narrow streets, which play a constant barrage of yet more adverts.

It's like walking inside a TV shop where all the sets play different commercial breaks at once.

Even as we reach the main road and the recording ends, we still have on last trader's call ringing in our ears...

#RIO: Em Obras // Under Construction

A percussive building site sounds hard at work to renovate a residential block looking onto Ipanema beach.

I imagine that this rhythm of renewal is one the Cariocas will have been getting used to throughout the city for some time, as Rio gears up for its part in the 2014 World Cup, and then to host the 2016 Olympic Games.

Also, check out the ironic "5*" graffiti on the block in the photo.

#RIO: The Birds From Ipanema

At the headland between Copacabana and Ipanema beaches there is a small area of forest. Once you're inside there, the sounds of the masses of people crowding the two beaches and the slow Sunday traffic all disappear.

We're left with the sea acting as a sound-bed for exotic bird calls. I wish I knew what type of birds they all were. All I can vouch is that the scenery really is as idyllic as the recording might suggest.

#RIO: Saturday Night Lights in Santa Teresa

Santa Teresa is a hilltop neighbourhood above the centre of Rio, a favoured spot for artists, and on the night that we visited, a laid-back Saturday night bar-crowd looking for some cooler air and a quieter night out.

Warm and fuzzy after a few Caipirinhas, we climb to the upper areas of the district. The views over the city at night are stunning.

The recording highlights "noise" that would normally be part and parcel of a night-time cityscape. With a bed of crickets in the dense forests above, rattling traffic appears as singular, solo voices in an otherwise peaceful scene.

Towards the end, a lovely sound-combination occurs when a guy with a plaster-cast on his leg ably hops behind me on crutches to open his squeaky front gate.

#RIO: Urca Sunset

Urca is a great example of Rio being the most unlikely metropolis I've ever experienced. An enormous, heaving city is situated in and around stunningly beautiful bays and mountains.

Urca is like a tiny Mediterranean fishing village. A small beach, waves lapping against the rocks, bird calls from the trees... but combined with heavy traffic and high-rise blocks on the horizon.

#RIO: Urban Jungle

A cloudy Saturday afternoon in Copacabana.

My first impressions of Rio are the juxtaposition between areas of towering urban development punctuated by large, sheer-sided mountains covered in jungle.

This recording captures that to some extent: the omnipresent hum of the city combined with the circling birds overhead and in the trees.

#SeoulSounds: Maypole Groove

A street festival in Ansan, a "suburb city" of Seoul. The assembled crowd is led to perform a Maypole dance by a very enthusiastic MC, who controls the action admirably. The musical accompaniment is by a traditional Samul-Nori Korean percussion group.

Listening to the soundscape out of context, I focus much more on the groove and her vocal part without understanding the words or seeing her visual gestures. I love it, she got the flow, they got tha funk.

#SeoulSounds - Market Voices

A warm, sunny lunchtime in Seoul's most famous market: Namdaemun. Over 10,000 stalls and between 300,000 - 400,00 daily customers (not including up to 70,00 daily tourists). It strikes me that most market soundscapes probably appear quite similar, but what makes each one distinct? For me, its the voices. Here's a selection: I particularly love the three men at the end, singing their wares together in an unconscious chorus. My jet-lagged drawl sounds very out of place in comparison.