Listening Meditation: Name That Sound

By Jenni Schine and Jennifer Moss. Posted on July 3, 2018 in Creativity

When’s the last time you took a moment to really listen?

So often we focus on the visual details and ignore the sonic tapestry of our lives. But sound has the power to tell a truly intimate story, portraying nuances of personality and place that cannot be conveyed in any other way. Understanding sound is the key to good audio storytelling. By being attentive to the rich soundscapes that surround us, we learn to appreciate the moment, and “set the scene” in a different way.

Acoustic ethnographer Jenni Schine has provided these curious sounds recorded in various locations on Canada’s west coast for your consideration. Take a moment and listen. Can you determine anything about them without reading the descriptions? Enjoy!

Soundscape #1

Hint: Did you ever have a summer job at a marina? Or perhaps have a nautical person in your life who liked to keep you busy on weekends? If so, you may recognize this sound.

Soundscape #2

Hint: Step into any beachside cave on Canada’s west coast at low tide and you’re likely to hear these rock-like organisms singing.

Soundscape #3

Hint: You can hear the subdued excitement and the truly unique echoing sounds in the background. Are you on an alien planet? Where are you?

Soundscape #4

Hint: This might just be the coziest sound in the world. Kind of makes you want to go back to bed.

Soundscape #5

Hint: These big boys take up a lot of space on a rock at sea. You can almost smell them from here.

Soundscape #6

Hint: The whir of wheels, the hum of metal, the echo of waves. Where could this be?

Ready to know the answers?

Are you sure?

Hover over the image to find out!

Soundscape #1

Scraping Barnacles off a boat bottom

Image by Jim Roberts

Soundscape #2

Barnacles making their signature sucking sound, low tide, Bamfield, BC

Image by Jenni Schine

Soundscape #3

OrcaLab Scientists on BC’s Hanson Island, listening to whales

Image by Mack Bartlett

Soundscape #4

Rain on the Roof at the Salmon Coast Field Station, BC

Image: https://flic.kr/p/8d5Ufz

Soundscape #5

Long-time coastal resident Billy Proctor reacts to sea lion colony, Broughton Archipelago, BC

Image by Mack Bartlett

Soundscape #6

Standing on the famous Johnstone Street Bridge (aka: the Blue Bridge) in Victoria, BC

Image: https://flic.kr/p/Ry81U

Join Jenni Schine with co-presenter Jennifer Moss for The Story from Hear: Place-Based Podcasts on Cortes Island, August 24-29, 2018