In some corners of the city we can hear all of the sounds reaching our ears clearly. They do not obscure one another. Most often this happens in places close to nature: by a river, in a meadow or in a park. We can hear there buzzing insects, chirping birds and the sound of the wind. These places help both us and our ears get some rest.
I called this kind of nice soundscape ‘hi-fi’ (high fidelity). That is, a soundscape which consists of high-quality sounds.
You can hear it in this recording:
Many parts of the city, however, are noisy. Noise is caused mostly by cars and other vehicles such as planes or heavy equipment. It is often the case that the sound of the chirping birds is drowned out by a passing car. The noise can be even so loud that we cannot hear our own footsteps or conversations. It is as if a wall has been built around us – a wall made of sounds instead of bricks. If we want our ears to pierce through it, we have to put a lot of effort into it. That is why we tend to feel tired very quickly in such a surrounding.
A soundscape made of such exhausting sounds is called ‘lo-fi’ (low fidelity). It is very typical of contemporary cities.
Listen to the recording and you’ll know what I’m talking about.