Excerpts from a recording made in Chelmsford city centre in October 2015. The recording features the background noise of traffic; sounds of shops and cafés in the Meadows indoor shopping centre; the voices of pedestrians walking along the high street; a busker playing jazz music; a bus pulling up to a bus stop to let on passengers; an emergency vehicle siren; and footsteps on the paved road and walking through a tunnel. On a windy day, without a wind break to cover the microphone, nature also makes itself heard in this urban scene – evident also in the sound of leaves crunching underfoot and of waterfowl on the river. What other noises can you pick out?
How representative are these sounds of other high streets across Essex? And how does this compare with high streets across Britain or the world? What continuities are there with the sounds that would have been heard in Chelmsford High Street in the fourteenth century?