Following Soundscape of Istanbul, we are pleased to introduce our new associate partner: the Research centre on sonic space and urban environment (Cresson).

The research centre on sonic space and urban environment has been founded in 1979 at Grenoble’school of architecture by Jean-François Augoyard (Philosopher) and Jean-Jacques Delétré (Acoustician) with two of their students architects, Olivier Balaÿ et Grégoire Chelkoff. before gradually constitute a real research team including other disciplines like sociology, anthropology, geography etc. and be recognized by several national supervisions (MCC/CNRS).


From an a pluridisciplinary approach including social practices, built space and acoustics, basic methods and concepts have been elaborated, such as sonic effect or acoustic proxemic, aiming at studying the links between space, its practices and the sounds, percieved and produced.

The researches undertaken at CRESSON focus on the sonic dimension from the scale of architectural device, housing, district, to the scale of sonic identity of cities (Lausanne, Bogota, Venise, Canton…). The sound investigations also focused on emblematic spaces such as harbours or stations in the european area. Most of these researches are based on in situ methodologies in which field recordings are an integral part.

The first recordings, since 1982, were made on magnetic tapes and, since 1990’s on digital medias.

The collection is constituted by more than 1000 recordings testifying of sound ambiences from several continents. The region of Grenoble (Rhône-Alpes, France) is particularly well represented, some squares were recorded several times, these recordings offer a historic dimension and thickness.

Our data base allows a research by place, by sound effect, sound source and type of space. The mp3 files are on open access and reusable under the creative commons licences indicated in the metadatas of each recording.

The collection grows permanently. The corpus collected in 2015 and 2016 approached the following themes:

For the new corpuses on-line we use to make un post on our blog accommodated on the Hypotheses platform : Le Cresson Veille et Recherche. So the meeting between sound archive and listener is facilitated!

Since 2013, the sound map Cartophonies offers a new representation of the sound collection, relating the recordings to their geographical context, enriched with a part of their associated metadatas and eventually of visual illustrations (maps, photos). This collaborative tool is open, under certain conditions, to external contributions and will welcome maybe new datas, thanks to Europeana Sounds.

We are very please to make our sound collection be known through Europeana’s portal. We’re greatefull to the MMSH in Aix-en-Provence, which guides us in our archiving practice for more than 10 years, to have sponsored us to become an associated partner with this great project.

by Françoise Acquier and Julien McOisans, Cresson