Call for Sounds


The Call For Sounds continues! Use your cell phone to record outdoor sounds in public spaces. Submissions will be included in the Art Museum’s online map. "High-fidelity” recordings are not necessary, though they are certainly welcome.

Sound submissions should be less than 30 seconds in length, and should be e-mailed to

  • Short description of recorded sounds (15 words max.)
  • Location of recording
  • Date and time of recording
  • Your name!

Sound files exceeding Gmail’s 25 MB size limit for attachments can be sent via Dropbox, Google Drive, or WeTransfer.


Sounds—the tolling of bells, the whoosh of braking buses, and the strains of music that spill out of venues and restaurants—help us to construct a sense of home. Whether constant or intermittent, seasonal or year-round, the sounds of nature, machinery, and human life lend identity to the places in which we live, making them feel familiar, marking them as unique, and weaving together local communities. Living and working within the vision-dominated culture of the present day, we spend much of our time navigating screens and browser windows, images and printed text, and thanks, especially, to our fondness for earbuds, we can sometimes forget to listen consciously to the sounds and noises surrounding us. But these sounds anchor us in place whether we are aware of them or not, and nothing makes this clearer than the sudden absence of a sound we were once used to hearing.

In the Sixties, the composer R. Murray Schafer coined the term “soundscape,” which he defined, simply, as “the sonic environment.” Schafer was a founding member of the Canadian research and education initiative known as the World Soundscape Project (WSP). During the environmentalist fervor of the Seventies, the WSP worked to generate awareness of the sounds of our local habitats, combat growing noise pollution, and “preserve” the distinctive sounds of locations around the world—with the help of tape-recorders and microphones.

The New Bedford Art Museum invites New Bedford residents to submit short recordings of the sounds that make up New Bedford’s unique “soundscape.” What are the sounds that make New Bedford familiar—like home? What sounds anchor you in place? What sounds would you miss if they suddenly went silent? We want to hear what you hear! NBAM will incorporate a selection of these sounds into a collective portrait of New Bedford comprising resident contributions via an online map.