Inspired by a continuous study about a short film Chungkiing Express directed by Kar-wai Wong, I tried to experience Rio de Janeiro in a way under the sense of hearing. To represent Rio's world-famed festival, a new recording of sound was included to better express its unique sensation.

Instructor: Diana Agrest

December, 2016


Rio is famous for its world-wide event on early spring every year: the Rio Carnival. The final champion parade attracted millions of tourists coming and visiting this city, gathering under the arch of Sambadrome led by Oscar Niemeyer. However far before this final event strike on the heart of the city, the effect has reached throughout the east coast of Rio de Janeiro. In order to be selected to the final champion election, hundreds of street parties (called "bloco" in Spanish) are already spread wild into the street.
These blocos are predecessor of the champion parade, as well as cells that arouse the city. Organized by certain musical instruments with a particular beats, it can be well recognized supported by different social gatherings.

Rio Bloco - Sample
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When I look into the specified pattern of such beats, six civilian local instruments,  are particularly involved to gather the rhythm. Each of them played as an indispensable role. The power of transmission in each of the six instruments, which is crucial to have impact around the neighborhoods, differs from one to another. When combined together, its more often occur that the low, rich beats would be heard prior to the main rhythm, along with the rustle sound amplifying the details. It gets more complicated when it's put inside complex urban environments.
To better illustrate how this specified music travels along a certain block in Rio, the "volume of sound" is cut in sections both periodically and diagonally. The sound waves bouncing between each buildings, making the volume changing in shape from time to time. The visualization of sound provides a different perspective into simulations.


Certainly each city has its own topological identity, same as Rio de Janeiro. However when transformed into a sound-involved descriptive way, it show completely different fabrics on the same map. The tracks led by players inside each street parties also form the path of Rio in its unique way. It is an event before the final chapter, but spread widely throughout the city.
The way to look at the existed systems of a certain city may be valued in different way as such. To see a world already existed, to feel a world in another way.