Wednesday, August 8, 2012

City streets

This morning waiting in central Adelaide I listened to the soundscape and it came to me that there is an almost universal experience of the mixture of sounds. With a city scape dominated by tall buildings and narrow streets sounds echo. Somewhere there is jackhammer since buildings are always being constructed or new services laid in the streets. There is the wail of an emergency vehicle, the sound of heels clicking across footpaths and a range of sounds as large packages cling wrapped in plastic are offloaded from a van with the whine of an electrical lift. The city has its own weather as winter winds howl between tall buildings to chill the heart funneling through the maze of streets and in summer the heat is held in all the concrete. Yet winter or summer that characteristic echo of delivery, building, building alarm, police car is present in differing volumes. Yet I could hear much the same in New York or Sydney, or London since every tall building CBD tends to create this soundscape. It's not a very friendly place for humans. These streets must shield the occasional al fresco seating from the weather but most endure and go indoors when they can do so, shadows into shadows. At least in Adelaide open squares are not far away

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