Nyanga Yethu youth making sound maps

Map your hood

Can you map your neighborhood with sound? Yes!
This was exactly what a group of aspiring musicians did in the streets of Nyanga the past month. They told their hood’s story through music — showcasing their heritage and rich culture.
Kyla-rose collaborates with Chris Marianetti

Freshly Ground superstar Kyla-rose Smith started this innovative creative arts initiative with New York City based Found Sound Nation.

The Cape Town violinist’s partnership with Found Sound Nation was cemented thanks to the Department of State’s 2014 OneBeat Music exchange program. Smith’s project is called ‘Hear be Dragons’.

A soundmap of Nyanga
‘Hear be dragons’ plays on the term “Here be dragons” used on ancient maps to denote unchartered territory where dragons may lurk.
The project gives young artists in Nyanga a platform to express themselves by investigating, recording, and remixing the everyday sounds in their lives.
It guides youth in Cape Town’s Nyanga township and New York City’s Brooklyn borough through a sound mapping and recording exercise.

Elena Moon Park and Chris Marianetti of Found Sound Nation completed a two-week workshop with Kyla-rose and Cape Town-based Hannah Loewenthal (of Culture_Now) in April.

Youth from the Nyanga Yethu project at the Zolani Community Centre in Nyanga participated in the project. They recorded ordinary sounds and turned it into extrodinary music. Like this…

The project culminates with the transcontinental peers in Cape Town and New York linking up with each other as “sonic pen-pals” and sharing their recordings and remixes.

Listen to the finished product here: http://www.hearbedragons.org/sounds-1/

Smith and Marianetti also participated in the #OpenStreets project organized by the Cape Town Partnership. They encouraged people walking along St George’s Mall to record sounds, music, rap and poetry. This was incorporated in music Marianetti played back to bystanders.

Follow us on Twitter at @USConsCapeTown to read more about exchange programs like this. Or visit our website