Sonic and musical inspiration are never far away, especially with a microphone in hand. For the latest example, Ableton Live meets a local playground.

Jason Richard, aka “bassling,” used field recordings in the park to compose a track. He writes:

I’ve been recording playgrounds and remixing the sounds in Ableton Live to create tracks. To help people understand what they’re hearing, I’ve been making short videos showing some of the process.

It’s an idea I’ve had in mind for a while and the centenary is deadline to work towards. I’m inspired by the Italian Futurists and Alan Lamb, who mentored me in 2006 as part of the Unsound Festival.

The playground is part of a series of videos of local playgrounds, intended to celebrate the 2012 centenary of Leeton in New South Wales, Australia. (That’s southeastern Australia, for the uninitiated.)

More information:

It’s really nice having the video to serve as a guide to the music, I think. So, what field recordings have inspired you? Let us know.

  • The urban environment is full of inspiring noises. I particularly enjoy the mechanical rhythms you hear all round. 

    The rhythmic element of this track is a field recording of escalator I recorded while on a trip to Stockholm.

  • BenAlex

    Huh, if you think this is interesting, then I'm a bit baffled that you're not keeping an eye on Pogo's world remix project.

  • Nice work!

    Here's a track made entirely out of manipulated field recordings taken on Los Angeles freeways (and it was rather scary grabbing some the sounds–if you live and drive in LA you'll know what I mean:)

  • zenzen

    Great stuff (also like the links posted by the above commentors).  But what is it that is being celebrated here? Is it the clever videos? The sampling/audio techniques are as old as the hills, no?  Hey, I'm a fan, not a hater. 🙂

  • Last week I made a video similar to that, too!

  • Jacques

    Cool.  Reminds me of that Ableton Live Pack consisting of nothing but "the sound of skin", but a little less disturbing…

  • Can't really see the point here. Sampling such sounds to make music is obviously nothing new. There is nothing whatsoever in the music that gives us the idea that the sounds come from the playground – in fact the sounds could have come from anywhere as they are quite dull. There is nothing special about the video either. So what is it that makes this so special? What am I missing?

  • leakeg

    these sort of things always sound better when you don't know the sources of the samples. Good advertising though, so I suppose that's the trade off!

  • Fedor

    Matmos did it better

  • Well, first off congratulations on actually making something!! So many people never even get that far! Also, I don't wish to be hater, I truly see the appeal of this kind of work. However, I agree with many of the above comments. I would like to suggest this video, which I feel is very similar but ultimately more accomplished.

  • Thanks for your comments and links, it's great to learn more and see how other people are approaching these ideas, which I link back to Luigi Russolo's Art of Noises.

    Can't believe I'd forgotten about Matmos but I was resisting watching Diego Stocco. Now I have, I can see I'll have to develop a sense of rhythm, a lot more charisma and get a production team!

  • I did this same thing in March this year, but arranged it in FL Studio (I didn't get Ableton until August). I'm planning on doing all the playgrounds in my city. Link above.

  • I dig field recordings and all – but seriously would this music have as much impact without the background/video? Doubtful.

  • Sweet!

    What mic did you use to record the sounds?(bass drum sound for example)

    What clip lip on mic?

    I did it!!