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About My Project

Idea: It’s been said that a picture can tell a thousand words, but what about the other four senses?  What about all those things that not even words can express?  I’ve been living in Seoul since August 2008 and, a year later, I began to collect sounds, in an attempt to capture what is uniquely and distinctly Korea and Seoul.

Sounds: Every entry can be heard by clicking the play button on the audio player below each picture.  You can also download the sounds by right-clicking on the title at the end of each post and selecting ‘Download Linked File.’

Equipment: All the sounds posted have been recorded using my Olympus LS-10 handheld Linear PCM Recorder, edited with ProTools, and compressed down to MP3 format, in the interest of network space.  If anyone wants/needs higher-quality versions of the samples, feel free to contact me any time.

Creative Commons: All content has been registered under the Creative Commons licensing in the US.  Therefore, you are allowed to copy and use any sounds that I’ve posted, as long as you give credit where credit is due.

15 Comments leave one →
  1. August 15, 2010 5:37 pm

    Hi Steve,

    Brilliant blog concept! I definitely forget to give my sense of hearing the proper attention most of the time. My favorite posts of yours are the ones with a picture and a sound clip. Great imagination exercise 🙂
    I’ll be headed to Anyang next month and I’ll definitely keep reading.


    • August 17, 2010 12:13 am

      Thanks, Lana. I’m glad you like it! I hope you keep reading, and good luck with your move to Korea! Anyang is a really nice town.

  2. Dina permalink
    August 21, 2010 12:30 pm

    hi steve :-)! i saw you being interviewed on the arirang broadcast! it was lots of fun haha, so i stopped by your website. your blog is really inspiring and you put up very beautiful pictures, and as a korean myself, im happy to see someone appreciating korea’s nature and stuff XD. thanks for showing people the sounds of seoul keep it up!

  3. `monica permalink
    November 12, 2010 10:01 pm

    You’re really creative and unique! I really liked your posts & I think your posts of sound recordings gives another ‘image’ towards Korea. I honestly think it’s a brilliant idea; recording sounds and sharing it 🙂 Thanks for sharing! 😀

    • November 19, 2010 11:13 am

      Thanks, Monica! I’m really glad to hear that you are enjoying the posts and that I can give you a better image of life in Korea. I hope everything goes well, so that you can move here someday, too. Good luck, and thanks for reading!

  4. `monica permalink
    November 12, 2010 10:10 pm

    Also, I was just wondering.. I’m planning on moving to Korea sometime later, probably 2-3 years from now. Is it hard to learn the Korean language? Like, how long would it usually take to learn it? 😀 Sorry for asking you such a random question but I reeeeally want to move to Korea. I really admire everything about Korea!♥

    • November 19, 2010 11:16 am

      That’s great! If you come to Korea, you can easily study the language and pick up a few things quickly. It is hard for native English speakers, but like anything else, if you work hard and study, you’ll be fine. I’m not so great at it myself, but I do try. Also, if you come to Seoul, you really don’t need to use Korean too much, since most people can speak some amount of English. I know plenty of people who have lived here and don’t speak any Korean, so it is possible, though I wouldn’t recommend it.

  5. November 30, 2010 1:23 am

    What an interesting idea for a blog. I found you here from arirang TV’s Today’s Blog. I just made an episode with them yesterday. Boy it was stressful, but def a fun experience. Today’s blog is a good way to find some cool and interesting new blogs I never expected!

    • December 2, 2010 9:30 am

      Thanks, Jo-Anna! I’m glad you had a good time with the Arirang crew. It was stressful for me, too, but I’m definitely glad I did it. Hope your episode turns out well. I’d like to see it when it’s all done.

  6. July 25, 2011 6:59 am

    Love the blog! Keep it up! On another note, have you had any luck finding blogs that specialize in older Korean music, particularly from the 1980s and prior? I haven’t been able to find much of anything outside of a few vinyl salespeople in the underground malls of Seoul. Thanks.

    • August 7, 2011 11:12 pm

      Thanks for the comment, teamberlin! Unfortunately, I don’t. To be honest, I’ve been living here for awhile, and I still have little idea what was happening then. I do know that South Korea was basically a military dictatorship between the end of the war and the Olympics in 1988. With all the restrictions that were placed on the people and the nightly curfews, I wouldn’t be too surprised if most of the music of that time has been lost. I recently discovered, though, that there was a go-go phase in that time that was met with with a lot of government involvement. Also, if you do a search on Youtube, you can find some old 1950’s-era 트로트 (‘Trot’) music that I think is much better than the modern fare. Other than that, and of course traditional music, I really have no clue. Sorry I can’t be of more help. Let me know what you can discover, though.

  7. June 22, 2013 8:23 pm

    hi Steve,
    I came across your blog when I was looking for korean metro announcement music samples to use in my new music! Your blog is such an inspiration. It’s a great way to record memories when travelling! And i reckon Korea is really the perfect place to do the sampling, they have fun music jingles everywhere…too bad i only realize the potential of all those samples when i finished my trip in Korea….

    • July 4, 2013 3:42 am

      Thanks so much for your comment! I’m glad to hear that you liked the blog. By the way, if you’d like to have higher-quality versions of any of my samples for your music, let me know. I have to compress all the sounds pretty hard to fit them on the site, so I have better ones if you want them. I’d love to share.

  8. July 4, 2013 11:49 pm

    Hey Steve.. so i managed to get this track done using some of the original metro samples (amazing how i found all the clips on the seoul metro company website..i hope they don’t sue me haaa) ! Have a listen!!


  1. Seoul Sounds « Waiguoren's Weblog

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