The Chubasco Channel

Check out a short sample of what the Chubasco Channel will offer.

Chubasco Channel and Monsoon Memories 

Tucson Water and artist Alex! Jimenez are asking you to join their community wide participatory audio project.  

This summer, capture the sounds of a Tucson monsoon/chubasco and contribute to an audio archive of the unique tropical storms that visit us each year. A chubasco is a particularly violent storm with thunder and lightning that drops water in a deluge. Pause from your busy life and record a 3 minute sample of the chubasco speaking. Audio submitted will be collected into a Chubasco Channel on YouTube.  There, the public can listen to Tucson monsoon sounds at their leisure. To hear a sample recording click here (this will open a new window).

As a community we can share in our experience of a storm, even if all your neighborhood experiences is the wind and thunder of a storm that passes you by, or the full on shower of a chubasco downpour.  All qualities of the monsoon are encouraged to be captured. In between the cracks of thunder you might capture traffic, birds, dogs barking, car alarms and a whole host of urban sounds that our brains tune out.  This community wide project encourages Tucsonans to relate to water through our experience of a monsoon. It furthers the concept of “one water”, that the rain pattering on our roof becomes a part of our watershed through stormwater recapture or by simply sustaining the life of a tree in the yard.  We are connected by our experience of the rain.  This archive will serve as a record of the rain activity in Tucson as heard by the community.  By archiving the sounds of the monsoons we must consider the historical changes in the frequency and intensity of our seasonal rains. Due to climate change and the effects of urban heat, Tucson rains have changed significantly in the past thirty years. The Chubasco Channel will not only serve to archive the monsoon activities, but it will allow Tucsonans to experience a rainshower in our dry months.  

If you’d like to engage with this project in another way, we are also asking the public to share their monsoon memories. Maybe your memory is playing in the water after a storm passes, or getting caught in a downpour with someone you love.  These shared stories will be used by the artist to create public art during the duration of her time with Tucson Water.   

Tips for Recording Monsoon Sounds with a Phone: 

Place your phone on a flat surface, preferably on top of a sound dampener, like a towel. Or use a tripod to hold the phone off of a surface.  Do not move the phone during recording. If there is wind, angle the phone so the wind is not blowing directly into the mic.  Experiment with where you record: on the porch, through a house window, inside a car. Rain drops will create many sounds as they hit various surfaces, notice the diversity of sound the water makes as it falls.  

If you are tech savvy, adjust your recording settings to record as a .wav audio file.  

Suggested App to Record: 

You can use a voice recorder app on your phone like Voice Memos on the iphone 

Or download: Voice Record Pro (iphone) or Titanium Recorder (Android) 

Where to Send and Info to Include: 

Send an email with the 3 minute audio recording or 250 word Monsoon Memory to: along with: Name, Age, Date and Time Audio was Recorded and Where sound was recorded (major cross streets).

Or you can use this form: