Day of Sound
On a single February day, recordists around the world turned microphones to their everyday surroundings. Jason Reinier, a San Francisco-based sound designer, gathered the results and wove this sonic portrait of 'everyday.' It stands as a wonderful contrast to the tendency for natural sound CDs to highlight the exotic; it also features some of the most straightforward urban soundscapes put to disc. The ways that Reinier moves easily from 'nature' to 'society' helps to dispell the false dichotomy between the two. And, thanks to the contraints inherent in turning 24 hours of changing sounds into a 74 minute audio disc, we are given enough of each vignette to begin to appreciate it, yet are moved along at a pace that assures we are not stuck in a soundscape we wish would end. Playful sections featuring a baby in the bath and a coffee-maker bring a chuckle, while cicadas, swans, and hawks bring the wild into the mix. Several tracks share nature as we most often hear it: the rumble of a road in the distance while enjoying wetland birds, a toad calling in consort with the ticking of a cooling-down car engine. Adding an especially engaging touch, there are a few segments which feature people being aurally creative with their surroundings, a tunnel singer and several visits to a wave organ being the most striking. Shortly after the initial Day of Sound recordings were made, a shorter version of this piece was featured on NPR's All Things Considered, to celebrate Noise Awareness Day. Now, with this full-length version, the Day of Sound crew offer us an opportunity to reflect on and appreciate the diversity and beauty of our daily soundscapes, whether we live in urban, suburban, or rural areas. The generally equal mix of town and 'nearby nature' is a delightful reminder to open our ears to the many different sonic treasures we all encounter each and every day.