Sonic City: An A-Z Of London Sounds

By Silvia Baretta Last edited 39 months ago
Sonic City: An A-Z Of London Sounds
The Thames plastered in sound.
The Thames plastered in sound.
A second map of sound takes shape. Note the Thames, shaped like a sound wave.
A second map of sound takes shape. Note the Thames, shaped like a sound wave.
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Londonist Silvia.
Londonist Silvia.
One of the more creative suggestions.
One of the more creative suggestions.
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What noises do you hear around London?

Last Friday, we attended a Late event at Museum of London Docklands. Dubbed Sonic City, this was an evening themed around the sounds of London. In fact, we did more than attend. In cahoots with the museum, we set up a couple of map boards in the corner of the main atrium to tease out the audio experiences of visitors. We asked them to think of a noise associated with London, write it on a bit of card, then pin it to our growing map of noise.

So inventive were the museum's visitors that we managed to elicit responses for every letter of the alphabet. Here, then, is a complete A-Z of London sounds. Some are pretty obvious, some are real head-scratchers, but all were suggested by the Great London Public.

A — Anticipation
B — Buskers
C — Clicks of photo cameras
D — Dystopian silence (on Greenwich Peninsula)
E — Echo
F — Foxes (having sex)
G — Glasses clanging
H — Honking goose
I — Iron railings
J — Jula
K — Kids on buses
L — Laughter
M — Mind the gap
N — Noses
O — Oink (Mudchute Farm)
P — Plip Plop
Q — Quaggy Babble
R — Raindrops
S — Seagulls
T — Traffic
U — Umbrellas Opening
V — Vomit
W — Wind
X — XXX
Y — Yawning/Yapping little dog
Z — Zippiest

Suggest your own London noises below.

Last Updated 08 September 2014

claptout

E for Evening Standard. The sound of my commute home. The vendor (give-awayer?) still calls it out at Moorgate station. I'm amazed it has survived the paper's transition to free-sheet. I wonder if it will survive CrossRail