Listen to the sounds of the urban landscape on a cold, crisp and snowy winter morning. Birds, roads, power station hum and crunchy snow. Best with headphones!

I recorded this using binaural microphones in my garden in Didcot. I talk about what you can hear when you stop and listen, and why it is important to think about the sound of infrastructure travelling across the land. The impact of infrastructure is much more than the visual.

Transcript

It’s very cold. Snow on the ground, the ground is frozen. The sky is blue, and the sun is up. A lot of birds.

I’m interested in the background noises this morning. So I can hear the traffic going down the main road at the front of the house. As I look towards the back of the garden, which faces north, I can hear a whoosh, a low whoosh, that is the traffic on the A34 that runs up past Harwell village, maybe half a mile from here.

You can also hear a higher pitch hum that comes and goes in volume. That is Didcot B Power Station. In the cold crisp air the noise travels very easily. I reckon that’s maybe one mile from here.

It’s interesting when you think about the impact infrastructure has on the landscape. Often it’s the visual impacts that are discussed and presented. But for me, the Didcot Power Station has always had a very audible sound presence in the landscape that is never recognised.

The grass is wonderfully crisp. The snow has gone kind of melted and icy overnight. It’s a wonderful morning.

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