Monday, 19 February 2007

Sounds of Sunday

This post title sounds a bit like a Radio 2 Sunday evening show with Reverend Roger Royle: it's not. Yesterday I sat in the garden and, as an exercise, listed the sounds I could hear as a way of contemplating what the day consisted of. I've been thinking about soundscapes recently; thinking about the sounds that create the backdrop for our lives. Sound has always played a big part in my life, not least because music has always been important; but birdsong too is important; and I think I am more likely to be able to remember and describe the sound of something than its appearance . I'm struck by how many blogs are highly visual; in fact I doubt I'd do a post without a photograph to catch the eye. I guess that's the nature of our computers: the screen is a purely visual interface between us and cyberspace.

So, what did a Sunday in suburban Oldham sound like? Here are the sounds of Sunday:
  • Birdsong- building up to the breeding season many birds are warming up their syrinxes to impress potential mates; particularly, there was a young Mistle Thrush who is learning the song of his species but hasn't got it quite right yet.
  • Ice cream van with an electronic chime of Colonel Bogey that sounded like a bad mobile phone ring-tone
  • The sound of gardening: this was a nice sound, a trowel crunching in earth as V. weeded out ornemental grass that has germinated inappropriately over the winter (this sound is accompanied by the lovely smell of freshly turned earth)
  • Jet aircraft banking overhead on the incoming flight path to Manchester Airport
  • Off-road motorcycles in the distance, over at the disused Springhead quarry I guess, better there than on the nearby bridal paths that they sometimes go on, annoying we dog walkers
  • Pressure washer nearby - a neighbour washing his car; the washer is not the run of the mill DIY size washer but is a substantial professional affair; one that gives sufficient potency to the pressure lance to match the symbol of virility it is washing (even though the car is gleaming already)
  • Lawn raking: the sound of a neighbour who, like me, is a little incredulous at having to start thinking about the lawn this early in the year
  • The rustle of Eucalyptus leaves in the breeze - a neighbour's tree that I always wish was a native one
I found this process quite relaxing but was also surprised at how much it made me think about the distinction between noise and sound; I guess noise is simply unwelcome sound but it also defines a view of life too: I found the power washer intrusive, but perhaps my neighbour hates being woken early by birdsong.

What sounds define your life?

1 comment:

the 13th apostol said...

Hey, thanks for stopping by. I suck at comments. If Jonathan weren't such a raging codependent...I'd still be trolling him:)

Like the blog, your views, insights, your a feeler.

We need more damn feelers in this world.

Thanks again.