Comments for Sounds of the Suburbs

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Produced by Trent Wolbe

Other pieces by Trent Wolbe

Summary: Audio illustration of the suburbs

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Review of Sounds of the Suburbs

This is literally just a bunch of sound recordings from your local suburb – or MY local suburb as the case may be.

I live in Richardson Texas; so, I can attest to the authenticity of the sounds. One night, I tried to record some crickets outside my apartment and was maddened by how dominant the freeway sounds were. I live under a major overpass where US Highway 70 intersects the George W. Bush Turnpike. Those crickets could have been recorded outside my place.

My favorite sounds were from the sports practices. I also love the way the outdoor sounds go quiet as we get into the car. I love that effect. I can’t tell you the times I’ve slipped into my car with a sigh of relief… quiet. I wonder if city dwellers get that effect too.

I agree with the previous reviewer, the whole thing is a bit long. I would prefer about 3 minutes. If the piece were compressed a bit, I think it could be molded into a better rhythm and pace. In a shorter form, it might stand alone.

In its current form the only use I can think of is background to a story set in or about the burbs.

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Review of Sounds of the Suburbs

This soundscape could serve as "Exhibit A" for those in favor of the suburbanization of America. Kids run around unfettered by adult supervision, someone slices wood with a saw, a car door opens and one hears the sound of a friendly beep, a shopper visits a grocery store ("Would you like paper or plastic?") and the piece concludes, just as it opens, with the sounds of crickets in the quiet night. Only the hum of faraway Interstate traffic can be hear in the distant background.

In short, I liked it!

However, about three minutes in, I found myself looking at the clock wondering how much longer the piece would run. Some impatient listeners (and program/news directors) might prefer a shorter piece or multiple, shorter pieces focused on specific activities (kids playing, grocery shopping, etc.)

Having said that, I'm going to recommend the piece to the producers of a documentary/soundscape show I host on my local community radio station.