We do not always realise it, but sounds have a deep impact on our perceptions of a place. Some noises we seek out: we put on a piece of music, or turn on the radio. Some noises intrude: the howl of a siren, a neighbour doing D-I-Y. Some noises are part of the background, and we barely notice them in our daily routine: wind rustling the trees, birds chirping, people chatting in the distance.
The sounds of Essex characterise the county as much as what we see. Which sounds are distinctively Essex? How have those sounds changed over the years?
On our Essex Sounds audio comparison map, we have pulled together historic sounds of the county preserved in the Essex Sound and Video Archive, with new recordings of what similar places and events sound like today, captured by Sound Recordist Stuart Bowditch.
We have now finished the You Are Hear project, but you can still explore the map and contribute your own recordings. Please help us make our audio map truly representative of life and culture in Essex.
The map is also available as an app from the Google Play store or the Apple app store. Try downloading the content so you can listen to the recordings while on the road exploring the county.