Culture & Travel

10 August 2020
Güncelleme Tarihi: 16 February 2021
Sounds of Istanbul 

Every person who ever visited Istanbul knows what to see or taste in the city. However, we mostly fail to listen to the sound of this city, which is active 24/7. Based on a thesis prepared by the academician Pınar Yelmi, “Soundsslike” project invites us all to listen to the sounds of Istanbul.

With its crowdedness, traffic, and chaotic but unique order, Istanbul has become a huge and extremely loud orchestra in the recent years. We have been so acquainted with the hundreds of noises we hear every time we step outside, or even when we are resting in our homes, we became desensitized to almost all. However, these sounds constitute a rather large part of our intangible cultural heritage. Starting off from this idea, Pınar Yelmi divulged the acoustic texture of Istanbul in her “Sounds of Istanbul” project and wanted to eternalize the sounds that get lost in our daily lives. 

Even though we are not aware of them, these sounds are indispensable parts of our lives and culture and are crucial for our intangible cultural heritage. Unrecordable or unarchivable sounds are regrettably lost forever. For a dynamic city such as Istanbul, in which the lifestyle and thus the sounds of the city changes extremely quickly, preserving the sound symbols of the city is especially important for the sustainability of the cultural memory and cultural identity. 

Explaining that the project stems from her time in Italy for her graduate studies on visual communication design, Yelmi tells how the project started: “During my studies, I discovered the richness Istanbul has in terms of sounds. These sounds are a part of our cultural heritage. They must not be lost or forgotten. I think these sounds, which usually get lost in the rush of our daily lives, must be recorded and awareness towards these values must be increased. So, I decided I wanted to work in this area. We determined Istanbul’s symbolic sounds, we recorded them and created a nice archive.” Within the framework of Sounds of Istanbul project, Istanbul’s symbolic sounds were determined and were recorded for the whole year in 2015 with a technical hardware that will provide the auditory experience closest to actual hearing. 



Karaköy Fish Market

We would like to share an example from website, on which you can follow the sounds of Istanbul categorized by districts and subjects. This recording from the fish market in Karaköy contains the sounds of fishermen, dialogs between the fishermen and customers, ferry announce and the ferry’s engine. 

You can listen to all sounds of Istanbul at The Soundsslike Project


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