Sound Taxi aims to 'make the city sound better'
While wheezing buses, car horns and the rumble of the Underground System are as much part of London’s DNA as its skyline and landmarks, many people look less favourably on the cacophony of noise as they do St Paul’s Cathedral, perhaps.
But what if we could take those noises, and turn them into more ear-friendly tones?
Sound designer Yuri Suzuki has done just that, in creating the rather bizarre-looking Sound Taxi. Despite its gramophone-covered, antiquated-looking exterior, it’s a very clever little vehicle.
As it drives around the streets of London, the sounds of the city are taken in through microphones attached to the car. These sounds are then converted into music in real-time using in-built software; and these new sounds are then transmitted back onto the street using 67 speakers built into the car body and the Indian horns mounted on top of the taxi¹s roof.
The project forms part of a promotional campaign for AIAIAI headphones company’s Capital headphones. Suzuki says, ‘The brief was about making the city sound better. I really like the noise of London but sometimes it gets a bit too much – then I thought, “what if we can transfer the noise into a beautiful sound?”’
The taxi will be driving round London for just two days this week, though the website will be live-streaming the taxi’s journey, wit the recordings create from the sounds of the city available to hear. You can also win a ride in the cab through the site.
Suzuki says, ‘The noises in London don’t have any order at all – it’s quite random and noisy, so we tried to make some order into it and make it sound like “normal” instruments.’
Suzuki and AIAIAI are currently unsure what’s going to happen to the Sound Taxi after its two-day adventure, so if anyone’s looking for a sound-emitting, horn-covered black cab, get in touch.
The Sound Taxi will be accepting passengers in the Covent Garden area of London on 20 and 21 September. For more information visit www.facebook.com/aiaiaibook