Music Scene #1

In Thoughts on April 20, 2011 at 5:00 pm

Cities have voices. They can yell, moan, whisper. But often we can only hear it with the help of someone else. A translator.

Eric Eberhardt, the creator of You Are Listening To… [], a website that “pairs live streams of police dispatch with vast, ambient music,” is one such person. He favored a tight focus, eschewing the sounds we normally associate with urban areas—layers of human voice, the drone of traffic noise, and the aural glare of sirens—and instead giving us a constant but unheard conversation.

Check it out. If you live in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, or Montreal, you can listen to your own city. But I recommend the last, regardless of where you are, because police chatter in French is fairly mystical to the Anglophone.


Music Scene is a new series of posts concerning themselves with the intersection of Chicago’s built environment and music, sound, or noise. If you’ve noticed something unique about this small convergence, I’d love to hear about it.


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