Sound is a precious gift. It enables us to communicate quickly over long distances, helps keep us safe in our daily lives. Enhances the cinema and listening to a sad song can make us cry like a baby. There is nothing else in the human experience that has as profound an effect on our lives as the sounds we hear. Even the words you are reading at this moment are just a poor shadow to the sounds that these symbols we call letters to represent.
Sound goes way beyond mere communication though. Even without a spoken word, they can convey messages and elicit such a deep reaction from us that it has to be buried somewhere deep in our DNA. Keep reading and see if you can’t be transported far away by the sounds merely described here.
You hear a rustling over your head. There is a slight buzzing all around you. As you walk, there is a soft thudding sound coming from your feet. A short distance away, you can barely detect a soft murmuring. As you walk, there is a course grating sound as something brushes against your trouser legs, and with each stride, the sound of your steps grows softer. A little further down the path, you begin to hear squawking in the distance, and the murmur grows to become a low roar and swishing sound. All at once, the air explodes. Fluttering fills the air, and angry squawks assault your ears. There is music in the air now. The welcoming laughter of children at play brightens your mood.
Can you guess where this walk was taken? If you thought a stroll through the dunes to the beach. You would be exactly right. Let’s try again.
You awaken in darkness. There is a deafening roar that rises and falls but never completely diminishes. Within the rumbling, you hear clattering against the building like a child throwing handfuls of pebbles at a window. There is a high whining whistle coming from all sides and then all at once, boom. A cannonade erupts and then slowly rolls into the distance.
Have you awoken in the middle of a cyclone at night? It is a terrifying feeling.
I defy anyone to not smile and chuckle at the sound of a baby giggling. Or, feel a moment of hesitation and apprehension when a dog lets out a low throaty growl. People shed tears listening to “La Boheme” even if they don’t understand a single word. It is just the sounds that make them cry.
The power of sound is truly magical…
More about hearing and the magic of Sound here