A small group of SUNY ESF students marked Earth Day by using their ears. WAER tagged along with a microphone to gather what they heard during their "soundwalk."
"We decided to take a more unorthodox approach to this already unorthodox project to say, well, there's the idea of the soundscape as a place, and the soundscape is sort of like the sonic equivalent to what a landscape to your eyes, at a given place at a given time."
"I actually really enjoyed it because I'm from New York City, so it's a sound that felt really homey to me. That sound is more calming than the sound of the brook, which would be really weird to most people at this school."
"A lot of people don't really realize that there's a hum that's always there from 81 no matter where you walk. When we were doing this yesterday, we were walking through the cemetery. It didn't matter where you were in the cemetery...all you heard was the highway, which is sort of a very sad thing because it's a very natural place and you would expect to hear natural sounds and all you hear something that is so clearly man made."
The soundwalk also made her appreciate her sense of hearing, and wonders what so many others might be missing.
"A lot of people walk around with headphones, and they're completely ignoring everything going on. It just blocks out all the noises."
"It is sort of a sad thing because we have this great sense that we don't necessarily rely on as much. We rely on our sense of sight a lot more. When our group surveyed a bunch of people here, most people unsurprisingly said that their lives had been shaped more by their sense of sight than their sense of hearing."