Hidden sounds of the modern world

What does this sound remind you of?

http://www.freesound.org/samplesViewSingle.php?id=112757

How does it make you feel?

It sounds quite natural, doesn’t it? Did you notice the plane? How is that natural?…

For me, every time I hear a sound like that, I think about vast, open spaces. I remember when I was little, when we went hiking into high and wild mountains. Where there were no cars, no houses, no cities – just forests, meadows, and peaks. I thought we were so far from civilisation – we’re in the open wild mountains! And I heard this sound. I associate it with wilderness. With a feeling of relative ‘freedom’. With nature.

It is, however, one of the sounds of civilisation. It’s a modern aeroplane, flying high above you. It sometimes reminds me of a distant thunder – the sound of a storm approaching. But it’s not: it’s the sound of an aeroplane.

I wonder if we ever go close enough to nature. I mean, our childhood memories of being in the nature, are actually sounds of aeroplanes. Is the sound of water flowing something we hear in nature? Or is it just the canal in our city? Is that natural?

What does wind sound like? Is it trees and leaves moving, or is it air flowing under our doors, slamming windows and moving chimes around?

What does rain sound like? Is it the sound of waterdrops on your window, dripping on tin roofs and plastic buckets?

What does a storm sound like? Is it the sound of thunder, or more likely the sound of car alarms?

What does a forest sound like? Is it birds and wind in the trees’ leaves, or more likely the sound of distant chainsaws and cars from the road nearby?

We think we’re ‘in the nature’ when there are no houses around. But these sounds are all there.

It used to be easy for me to ignore them. I simply didn’t notice them – I wasn’t paying attention. But ever since I’ve started noticing them, that’s all I can hear. No – the park is not nature: I can hear cars and planes.

Is there a solution? Would we like it?

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