Do you ever just feel like hopping aboard a plane and leaving for destinations unknown to explore? Want to get a feel for the atmosphere of an Irish pub or a Buddhist temple, but can’t afford the air fare? Maybe you should close your eyes and take a sound journey instead.
I heard this really cool thing on NPR today that could be such a great inspiration spring board for writers, musicians, artists of all kinds really, that I just had to share it. Sound Transit is an audio experience where you travel the world through sound. You book a trip, with up to five stops, and it randomly selects your route and the sounds you’ll hear along the way. With over two thousands sounds in its catalog, your trip will be different every time.
You can also use their search feature to look up individual sounds or search for sounds by country. It’s just fascinating.
Here’s a trip I booked:
I departed from Skaftafell, Iceland, and was greeted by the sounds of “A simple mountain stream, nothing more, which flows down a moss-covered hillside, falls into a small rocky hollow and continues on its way to the sea.”
next, via Cabo Ortegal, Galicia, Spain, I experienced a “storm in ‘Cabo Ortegal’, Galicia, Spain. november 2003”.
Tilburg, Netherlands, was next with some urban sounds described only as, “This recording is a part of my Tunnelproject. A noise investigation.”
On to Baracoa, Cuba, where I heard this “insane gathering of crows near a small river, in Alexandro Humbold park on
the lush eastern coast of Cuba, not far from where Cristopher Colombus is
said to have landed in the new world.”
(I love the details given in some of the descriptions. That alone set my imagination wild with ideas.)
At my next stop, halfway around the world in Kefalonia, Greece, there were different birds singing, “A treeful of finches chirp and flap early one morning.”
Finally, I arrived in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, to the sounds of a bustling metropolis, “subway journey underneath copacabana. train drones, whistles, brakes, high pitch, speaker information, automatic doors, ambience. M-Audio microtrack -16bit – 48khz.”
I played around with this for most of the morning and had many different experiences. One was even unsettling, with bomb sounds in Lebanon. Every trip was unique.
Have fun with it! Be inspired!