The EU are currently deciding what sound an electric car should make. I used to think the fact that the cars of the future would be silent was a Good Thing, based mostly on living for two years in a flat on Kingsland High Street, overlooking the busy A10.
But now the lack of noise has been found to be pretty unsafe, what with us all using our ears to cross the road. But what to replace it with?
Creating synthetic sounds has been part of the digital revolution since its early days. Ringtones are a multi billion pound business. Brian Eno was paid a pretty penny for the Microsoft sound.
Aside from the obvious then, it seems there are a few places where life can be made a bit handier by a bit of sound design. I was in a school in south London a couple of years ago recording an interview when we were interrupted by Bob Marley. The class got up to leave: this was their school bell. Apparently the staff choose a selection of songs and the students vote for their favourite for that week.
Of course, like a school assembly that is required to namecheck the bible somewhere near the end of a seemingly unrelated story, this all brings me back to Hackney Hear. In particular, how we score the journeys audiences take – should we predetermine the mood of participants? Or could it be selected from your own music library? Now that would be a truly personal experience.