Skip to content

Sounds of the Year 2021

This album compiles some of the highlights of the Cities and Memory project in 2021 – to explore more than 5,000 sounds from more than 100 countries and territories, as imagined by more than 1,000 different artists, visit

Cities and Memory is one of the world’s largest sound projects, with the aim of remixing the world, one sound at a time.

Encompassing field recording, sound art and sound mapping, every location on the Cities and Memory sound map features two sounds: the original field recording of that place, and a reimagined sound that presents that place and time as somewhere else, somewhere new.

The listener can explore places through their actual sounds, to explore reimagined versions of what those places could be – or to flip between the two different sound worlds at leisure.

There are currently more than 5,000 sounds featured on the sound map, spread over more than 100 countries and territories. The sounds cover parts of the world as diverse as the hubbub of Grand Central station, traditional fishing songs on Lake Turkana, the sound of computer data centres in Birmingham, spiritual temple chanting in New Taipei City or the hum of the vaporetto engines in Venice. The sonic reimaginings or reinterpretations can take any form, and include musical versions, recomposed ambient music, rhythm-driven electronica tracks, vocal cut-ups, abstract compositions and much more.


released December 14, 2021

Cover photograph and artwork by Giulia Biasibetti. All recordings and compositions by Cities and Memory except as indicated.