Soundscape of 18thC Paris

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“The musicologist Mylène Pardoen has recreated the background sound environment of central Paris in the 18th century. Her project, presented at an exhibition dedicated to the humanities and social sciences at the Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie, unites the work of historians and specialists in 3D representations…..This urban soundscape was recreated based on documents from the period, including Le Tableau de Paris, published in 1781 by Louis-Sebastien Mercier, and the work of historians like Arlette Farge, a specialist on the 18th century, Alain Corbin, known for his research on the history of the senses, and Youri Carbonnier, an authority on houses built on bridges. The audio tour includes sounds like the cackling of birds in the poultry market, the hum of flies drawn to the fishmongers’ stalls, the sound of the loom at the woollen mill that used to stand at one end of the Pont au Change, that of the scrapers in the tanneries on Rue de la Pelleterie, of typesetting at the print shop on Rue de Gesvres… all overlaid with the incessant cries of the seagulls that came to feed on the city’s heaps of waste. In total, the project incorporates 70 sonic tableaux.”

by: Mylène Pardoen

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  • keywords: sound studies; audio; multimedia; cultural context; interdisciplinary
  • Listing ID: 1928
  • Resource Type: Video/Film
  • Geographic Area: Europe
  • Audience: general
  • Century: 1700-1799 (18thC)