Take a closer listen

I stumbled across a blog post this morning – Sound As Experience – which looks at a project exploring people’s favourite sounds.

Most of them were familiar, even if the happenings they herald are relatively uncommon, and the words instantly gave me the sounds they describe in my head – for example:

* snow lightly hitting a glass window

* rain falling on a tent’s roof

* walking on gravel

* footsteps in a museum

* mail falling on a doormat

* ropes clanging against a mast

So, I thought I’d like to add some more of my own…

suck and bubble of air as I breathe underwater when scuba diving

mac ‘Empty Trash’ sound of virtual paper being scrunched

pages turning

heavy rolling rasp of an old sash window opening

swirling a watercolour brush in a glass jar of water to clean off the paint

teeth on juicy corn cob

walking in a pine forest on a carpet of dry needles

mopping flagstones

What about you?

[*From Take a Closer Listen, designed and edited by Rutger Zuydervelt].

This entry was posted in oh I don't know, just stuff and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Take a closer listen

  1. Interesting post. I found it fascinating that one person’s favorite sound “constant traffic on a distant road” is actually one of the sounds that I find annoying and grating in the extreme! Just proves how diverse people are, and how our experineces form us.

    Some of my favorite sounds:


    the sound of Jim’s heartbeat and breath when I lay my head on his shoulder

    the wren singing up the sun

    wind in tall grass

    coffee dripping into the carafe

    • Norwichrocks says:

      yes, I agree – a sound which is music to one person seems to be annoying noise to another.

      I like your list.

  2. sledpress says:

    I don’t know about favorite sounds — I’d have to think a long time about that — but I’m immediately put in mind of the sounds that I stay attuned to every day to tell me what is happening around my house:

    The four-point “thud” of a cat jumping from some higher level to the floor.

    The abrupt beep of those obnoxious digital keychains that tells me someone’s just gotten out of the car in my driveway

    The “reaching escape velocity” sound of my front-loading washer on spin

    The mailman banging the porch door against the railings, making a sound like a muted gong

    The outside hose hissing on and glugging when my witless gardener comes by to water the tomatoes

    The dehumidifier humming like a bass beehive a long way away

  3. I thought of this post this morning as I was out picking cucumbers and the vines were singing a loud bee song to me. Dozens of cucumber blossoms with dozens of bees talking about the sweetness of the nectar, the bounty of the pollen, the warmth of the sun, the health of the hive, the joy of living at The Havens.

    Definitely a favorite sound here — bee song.

  4. Colm says:

    I love the sound of thunder. It’s so rare to hear it here in Ireland. Other sounds I would add to my list:

    The popoing of a pod of Himalayan Balsam. Reminds me of my youth down at my gran’s. Nasty invasive weed by the way, but when you are a kid it’s just a spring loaded bundle of joy.

    The distant hoot of an approaching train. We had a few railway tracks close to our house when I was a child and it was always fantastic seeing these big dangerous engines passing by so close to us.

    The thumping sound of the approaching aliens in Space Invaders. We were easily pleased back then.

    Waves. Particularly on a quiet day, when the sea is serene and quiet. Even the smallest waves seem too much for the sea on days like this. I could never get too tired of that sound.

    Curlews. I moved to an estuarine house a year ago and I was woken up during the night by the strangest bird-sound I had ever heard. Curlews do this whirling sound that has to be heard to be believed.

    • Norwichrocks says:

      Another evocative and indicative list. Its amazing that sounds can say so much about both our lives now and our childhoods and past experiences.

      I’m off to google the sound that curlews make now…

  5. piereth says:

    Water into a pond

    Waves on the rocks


    Gallumphing running sounds plus laughter from the smallest porker

    Bracken rolling in the wind, curlews, distance.

  6. doctordi says:

    I’ve read over this post about five times now, Truce, and always leave before commenting because I am sort of aurally overwhelmed by all the possibilities… but I would have to say the sounds of the ocean are right up there for me. Also the sound of coffee percolating on my stovetop (but that’s associated with the aroma – same for toast pinging out of the toaster). I like the sound of running a hot bath much more than I enjoy baths themselves. And kookaburras let me know I’m home. And there’s a really old-fashioned comforting static noise the record player makes once the stack is exhausted. I like that too.

  7. azahar says:

    · waves
    · cats purring
    · blackbirds
    · fountains
    · the “pop” of a cork from a bottle of cava
    · the “hum of humanity” below my balconies of people laughing and talking while standing outside with their drinks and tapas

    I could definitely “hear” all of yours.

    • Norwichrocks says:

      purring cats cannot be beaten, really, can it? And I love the hum of humanity, too – but only, I think, when its far enough away for me not to be able to make out individual voices or words. Otherwise its just too distracting.

  8. OmbudsBen says:

    I also enjoyed all of your sounds. Last August we adopted a very old cat, orphaned when the owner of her antique store home died, and Molly has gradually melded into our home. She has the quietest little kitty snore. At the end of the night, after everything is turned off and I head up the stairs, I can just hear her, curled up on her corner of the couch, the scratchy inhalations, uhhhhhhh. It’s adorable.

    “Corn cob,” you write. That surprised me. I’d thought corn in England meant wheat, got misappropriated by colonists for maize, and that the English said maize. but maybe I’ve got that wrong?

    • Norwichrocks says:

      Awww, kitty snoring is adorable.

      Nope, we never use ‘maize’, we either say ‘sweetcorn’ or ‘corn on the cob’ (depending on whether its been shucked or not) and ‘corn’ is just the generic UK term for a cereal crop, including wheat. All jolly confusing. 🙂

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