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Time to start listening

There is an entertaining and intriguing review in yesterday’s Observer of a book called Sonic Wonderland: A scientific odyssey of sound.

There is an entertaining and intriguing review in yesterday’s Observer of a book called Sonic Wonderland: A scientific odyssey of sound. The author of the book undertook some strange and often unappealing experiences in order to understand more about sounds, how we perceive them and how they affect us. This is an important and often neglected area for architecture. AT the extreme, there is evidence that some blind people can navigate by echo-location. But for all us, sound in buildings is important if little discussed. Whether it is the clunk of a nicely heavy piece of door furniture, the sound of our feet on the floor or simply the amount of echo in the space, it has an important effect on our perceptions of a building.

There is a fascinating glimpse into how paint pictures when sound is all you have in this studio tour of Radio 4’s long-running soap The Archers. Not only are there the expected sound effects, but also a studio with a reverberant end and a sound-suppressing end.

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