Usually, when I go to the mountain, I really enjoy hearing the sounds of the nature and being far away from the city and its noises. Here, the experience was quite awkward because, for the whole ascension of the mountain, you could hear permanently the sound of the road. It never stopped and was sometimes so loud that you even could not hear birds or insects anymore.
But, this mix between the sound of the road and the one of the nature was the purpose of this trip. So, even if at the beginning, it was hard for me to not try to ignore the traffic, steps by steps, I began to listen carefully to the variations of both of these sounds.
At the beginning of the trip, we left the MRT station toward a garden. The sound of the traffic was quite noisy in the main road but after only 3 minutes of walk, it already calmed down and we could start hearing birds and insects. The atmosphere of this place was really peaceful: families come here to play with their children and to enjoy a peaceful moment. The sound of our group walking on small pebbles mixed with laughs of children remembered me gardens in Paris on Sunday afternoon when the sun shines: every families desire to enjoy the few rays of sunlight in the parks, far away their sordid and small apartments.
Yannick stopped our group near a huge bamboo tree and asked us to listen carefully for five minutes in order to draw our listen map. It was the first time I did such an exercise. It really helps you to concentrate on one sound in particular instead on just trying to perceive a whole atmosphere. I heard two kinds of traffic noises: the sound of the scooters driving on the street just behind the garden. This sound was really clear and you could attribute it to specific vehicles. The other sound was the sound of the huge highway that we saw later. The sound was barely perceptible but you could imagine that near this garden, a huge road was empty of cars and trucks.
Then came the ascension of the hill. The trip permitted to surround the road and so to hear the sound of the huge road in many different places: from the bottom to the top (as we climbed the hill) but also from very far (the garden) to very near (just above it). Each time, the sound of the road was different: sometimes very clear, sometimes just like a hubbub, sometimes very wide, sometimes really restricted. What struck me was the sound of birds and insects: it varies in the opposite way of the road sound. It was as if, birds and insects had decided to fill the rest of the available ‘sound space’ with their voices. Therefore, at the top of the hill, the sound of the road was so wide and so loud, that we could not hear birds and insects anymore. Finally I know now, thanks to this trip, why I hate so much the sound of the road: it destroys the peaceful and grateful sounds of the nature.