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Hear The First Field Recording Ever Made

A German filmmaker recorded Berlin’s streets around 1929.

In the 1970s, records that featured only the sounds of nature and the world became popular commodities. But the genre of field recording actually started decades earlier, when technology allowed for people to record their surroundings. Sources cite German filmmaker Walter Ruttmann as the creator of the first field recording, an 11-minute mish-mash of voices, trolley cars and other miscellaneous sounds from the Berlin streets. Titled “Wochenende”, or “weekend”, it was recorded in the late 1920s and presented at the second Congress Of Independent Film in Brussels. In 1994 it received an official CD release, and, as is the way of the world, it is now available to stream on YouTube.


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Read more: The weird story of how field recordings became pop culture.