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Why Soundscapes?

Deciphering Sounds

Soundscapes are not limited to the border divisions, in a certain way, the sound envelops both cities; it goes through naturally until reaching its limits. I consider it relevant to move towards the search for an identity voice of the border. On the one hand, because there are many sounds that nowadays it is impossible to record directly in a field recording. It sounds that can only be collected through other people, who at their time were interested in preserving the sounds of things or places over the years. An example of this is the sound of the Rio Bravo. Some remember that several years ago, this river sounded so strongly, that is why it earned the name “Bravo.” Although cartographically known as the Rio Grande, at least on the Juarez-El Paso border, the river no longer sounds as it used to, nor even is it, Grande. But its sound is a heritage that we have lost. It will only remain in the stories of our ancestors and perhaps over time, those stories also vanish like the majestic sound of the Rio Bravo.

To a large extent, this motivation to investigate sound landscapes is due to the possibilities that are opened after exploring this issue from rhetoric — especially considering it as a cross-cutting discipline with intersections with a phenomenological approach in search of answers through the philosophy of sound. Moreover, by understanding that sound studies are presented as an interdiscipline that crosses the humanities and social sciences, with collaborators from the fields of sociology, cultural studies, media studies, anthropology, cultural history, philosophy, urban geography, and musicology, per se, its possibilities are endless. But first, it is convenient to explain in detail what Soundscapes are. Murray (1997) proposes the concept of Soundscape as a combination of Sound and Landscape. According to Murray, a soundscape is composed of the recording or capture of the sounds of an acoustic environment. Murray’s proposal is broad, but not limited exclusively to the production of audios captured from an environment. Part of his research takes as concern the acoustic ecology of the world soundscape. He tells us that the soundscape of the world is changing, that modern man is beginning to inhabit a world with a radically different acoustic environment. In general, this refers to the pollution of sound spaces, to the bustle of different habitable environments. In a certain way, this concern is what leads him to interpret that all sound is a soundscape, that technically every part of the sonic environment is considered as a field of study.