Thursday, September 01, 2005


Public adverts that use sound as well as moving image are becoming more common in developed areas. There's a new cinema screen style advertising board, for example, opposite the Jie Fangbei clocktower broadcasting speech and music as well as cinematic advertisements over the sound of roadworks, traffic, shops blaring their muzak(s) and general city centre hubbub. The overall soundscape is a confusing mixture of human, mechanical and digitally produced sounds mostly connected with the development of the city centre and the selling of goods.

Amazingly enough, these sounds don't seem to travel that far - probably because of all the buildings. (Sound doesn't travel well round corners). Although still audible, their intensity is quickly lost when one escapes the blare of 21st century life by exploring the many twisting lanes for which this city is famous. There the sounds are quieter and connected with home life and independent traders against a backdrop of distant modern city noise.