Subject: Re: Travel Sounds
Hi Lucy,

I understand exactly what you mean about the evocative nature of sounds. Your mention of city sounds being able to whisk you away from your own city and deposit you in a European city, no matter how fleeting, is a joy to be treasured. And the sound of loons transporting you back to the country...who among us isn't similarly transported by a particular bird call. Every morning in my neighborhood a flock of wild parrots (offspring of escapees that have managed to thrive here in the mild climate) flies overhead on their daily search for food. Their raucous calls lift me away from my menial tasks and I find myself walking along the streets of Barcelona which has a huge population of similarly escaped birds. Or my memories might lead me to Palermo Park in Buenos Aires where the parrots are wild (not escaped pets) and seem to prefer the dense crowns of the palm trees.

I'm fortunate, also, in that from my backyard I can hear the foghorns' mournful wail from the harbor here in San Diego. Despite the fact that these foghorns are not uncommon at certain times of the year their tune still deposits me in San Francisco for a few choice seconds.

I found the following quote from one of the field recorders, civyiu kkliu, on the Quiet American website http://www.quietamerican.org/vacation_1.html :

"one makes field recordings as one makes photographs of anything one understands as fleeting, regrettably. thus field recording is an attempt to fix time. the reason more persons desire to fix time as images (as, most commonly, photographs) than sounds has only to do with the fact that humans' primary sense is sight. if it were not, field recordings would be as common as picture postcards. (of course field recordings do in fact fix images, but only so connotatively, that is, indirectly."

This really speaks to me. I find the whole idea extremely intriguing. The videography method has been mentioned. But, somehow, the notion of a sound recording absent images I find to be more intriguing. I think it preferable to let the aural memory be more fleeting, encompassing a longer span of time memory than could be captured on film or video. Thereby the sound is not fixed to a short span of time.

I'm going to look into the equipment necessary to start making audio "snapshots" of my vacations. Hopefully, I can be ready for our trip to Australia and New Zealand in Nov. and Dec.

Any Travelziners out there who have dabbled in this esoteric hobby?

John in San Diego