About - Sounding the City

There is a musicality to the sounds of a city: the lingering resonance of a church bell, the subterranean rumble of an approaching train, the cacophony of cyclists, cars, trucks and trains in transit, and the gentle, pulsating drone that emanates from streetlights, power lines and ventilation ducts. These sounds create a meditative counterpoint to the intermittent rhythms of the urban soundscape.

Sounding the City is an online exhibition dedicated to capturing specific urban environments and re-imagining their soundscapes through site-specific installations and acoustic interventions. These installations emerge from their surroundings and occur in the environments themselves. They invite our ears to focus on the music of the places we find ourselves in, and draw our gaze towards characteristics of urban environments that might otherwise go unnoticed. These interventions aim to transcend our everyday experience of space by blurring the perceptual lines between what is natural and what has been introduced into the environment.

On our walks through the city we discovered places that are undergoing significant change. Most are neglected or in-between spaces, and they may vanish in the near future. As we direct our attention to their uniqueness, their sounds and their resonances with past and future are transformed into memorable experiences. In a sense, our work is a living archive where these spaces can live on in our collective memory, even as they disappear from sight.


Jen Reimer (CAN) & Max Stein (USA) are sound artists based in Montréal. Their work explores the resonances of urban and rural sonic environments through in-situ performances, installations and spatial recordings.

Since 2008 they have created a series of performances and installations in abandoned and public spaces in Montréal and abroad including Wellington Tunnel, St Urbain Underpass, Bain St-Michel (Montréal), Mãe D’ Água (Lisboa, PT), Tunnel Bénedit-Jobin (Marseille, FR), Rotonda Besana (Milan IT), Vapaan Taiteen Tila (Helsinki, FI) and Sottopassaggio di Porta Vescovo (Verona, IT). Their performances combine live and processed horn and field recordings with the inherent sonic environment to create an immersive and physical experience of sound and space.


001 - MONTRÉAL—2015-16

Project by Jen Reimer & Max Stein

Design by LOKI

Photography for Champ des Possibles & Chemin des Carriéres (Installation) by Ralitsa Doncheva
Chemin des Carriéres Installation presented as part of Les Inaudibles curated by Eric Mattson, 24 May 2016
Outremont Wasteland presented as part of Le Virage curated by Laboratoire sur les récits du soi mobile, 28 September 2016

Supported by matralab - lab for research-creation in the performing arts at Concordia University
We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts. Nous remercions le Conseil des arts du Canada de son soutien.

002 - SÃO MIGUEL—2017

Project by Jen Reimer & Max Stein

Completed during the Invisible Places 2017 artistic residency in April 2017

Posto de Transformação Nº 511 Installation presented as part of Invisible Places 2017, 8 April 2017
Rua de São Miguel 41 Installation presented as part of Invisible Places 2017, 9 April 2017

Supported by matralab - lab for research-creation in the performing arts at Concordia University

003 - GUELPH—2018

Project by Jen Reimer & Max Stein

Completed as part of IICSI and Musagetes Improvisers in Residence program between February-September 2018.