Assignment 0: Nina Yang

I am on a bus Route 30 from Collegetown to north campus. The bus is a giant beast running in the snow; it squeaks softly in a very high pitch as it brakes on the slippery road. When the road becomes bumpy, its whole body trembles, and the windows shake heavily inside the frames, making sounds of a broken drum. Deep below that, the engine continuously roars like a satisfied big cat, which also gasps occasionally as if it has a runny nose. Humans and machines all talk inside the bus. Before each stop, a female voice says “stop requested” following a gentle beep. A passenger next to me is talking on his phone, and the driver is connecting to someone over the intercom. Sounds from their speakers were somewhat altered and missing a specific range, so they have a signature “machine-altered human voice.” Beyond that, I can hear female and male voices talking in different languages, and I am fascinated by how human have made all sounds they make meaningful.

Assignment 0: Teddy Rashkover

I took a moment to listen to and record some sound near the plant science building, near the ag quad. I was walking back from Bartels to North Campus at night, and there was little traffic around. For a couple minutes of my walk, the only things I heard loudly were my footsteps and a mechanical whir coming from a nearby building. The whir sounded like it had a whistling tone which fluctuated in pitch along with a deep, growling sound, which reminded me of the overdriven bass on Metallica’s Orion. The two sounds seemed to move around in pitch in unison, although they didn’t sound like they made a very clean interval, but it was close to 3 (maybe only 2) octaves apart. My phone’s camera is broken, so I didn’t take a picture.

Assignment 0: Faris Aziz


As I sit comfortably in Duffield, you can imagine the multitude of sounds that you may encounter. Of course, as campus is not as busy, the sounds are similar but with less intensity. I hear the jingle of keys and the soft dinging of an elevator. There’s varying levels of voices that can be found, from soft whispers in the distance to cheerful chatter and laughter. A laptop roughly closes followed by the jingling of a backpack. Through all this, the constant footsteps pass me, like echoing taps on the hard floor. The occasional sliding of feet also can be heard. A door creaks somewhere, and another door closes. The soft yet harsh ventilation system also can be heard alongside with something that sounds like a vacuum.

Plant Science Building Boiler Room

I spent ten minutes sitting, listening on the stairwell within the multi-level boiler room within the Plant Science building.  I was intrigued by the sheer presence of mechanical noise there — it’s loud but not harsh, and the many running boilers, pipes, and other machines whir collectively, each contributing another layer of sound to the room’s ambience.  While focusing on ‘deep listening,’ I found it difficult to truly discern where one layer of sound began and another ended — I believe this was because many running machines were two stories or more below where I sat; also, the metal pipes running over my head resonated and echoed the rumbling room, which served to further obscure the sounds’ origins.  Occasionally, some distant boiler would hiss out some steam, or another machine would whir to life — these sounds eventually blended in with everything else as my ears acclimated to them.  A very deep frequency provided a grounding and encompassing sense of weight and presence that made me feel small and somewhat out-of-place in a room whose purpose is so functional and without superfluity, as I sat, hidden, on the rusty stairwell.

Assignment 0: Zack Bellido

I chose to listen in the entrance tunnel to my apartment complex in Ithaca. This setting possessed a certain liminal quality to it. The first thing that I noticed when walking in was the general ambience amplified by the archway’s walls. Bird song, wind, and the sound of heaters were broken up by the cars traveling up and down the hill. I felt I could hear the noise of the upcoming cars earlier than I would’ve normally, and the Doppler effect presented itself powerfully every time. People occasionally walked through, whispering incoherently to one another and never staying too long.

Assignment 0: wds67

(I thought I took a picture last night when I did this activity, but I couldn’t find it in my camera roll.)

I am standing on Ho Plaza, just below McGraw tower. The main sound I hear is some sort of pitched drone, likely noise emitting from a building. Past that, I can hear cars driving far below. They sound like sweeps of white noise, and scatter in every direction. I can hear footsteps behind me, passing from my right ear to my left. Some faint conversation can be heard in front of me and to my right.

Assignment 0: Alex Peng

Sitting in my room, I notice the whirring of the refrigerator, not loud but amidst the silence it is definitely the most standout sound. I listen carefully and I hear the heater start up with a hum, much softer than the fridge but almost complementary in tone. As I fidget around my seat creaks a bit and my clothes shift around. A muted squeak happens somewhere in the distance, and I figure it must be the door to my building as people rush in from the cold. The fridge stops humming and I’m just left alone in near silence, with the only sound being the nearly imperceptible blowing of my computer’s fans.

Assignment 0: Paul Casavant

I did my listening assignment in Barton Hall. The most prevalent noise was the pipes and the fans. Its just a constant hum noise that muffles almost everything. Everything seems muffled and echoey. Its a big building and sounds bounce around everywhere. There’s a track coach talking with an athlete and you can hear their voices but no words. And only part of what they are saying is audible, but when you can hear it it echoes. Someone walked in to the door and the door shut and echoed through the whole building. Because of the space, all of the quiet sounds are muffled in the white noise and all of the loud sounds echo. Everything gets lost in the hum.

Assignment 0 – Maya Behl

I decided to stop and listen to my current soundscape in the midst of my afternoon walk in Logan Square, a neighborhood in Chicago. Because I decided to listen to a soundscape in the middle of a street,  the most prominent sound I heard was the hum of the cars passing by.  While I’d usually perceive this as noise pollution, I tried to take a deeper listen into the intricacies of the car sounds. I heard the whooshing noise of the air when cars drove by very fast and the slushing of the snow being crushed by cars parking up and down the street. The street wasn’t super populated so I was able to very clearly hear the conversations of people who passed by. I made out small segments of conversation between a group of young women who had just grabbed coffee. Their chatter was light, and they were wearing healed boots that made a clacking sound against the pavement. Next, a mother walked by carrying her baby who seemed to be just a few months old. She was making gentle cooing noises in order to soothe her child. I loved listening to this soundscape because there was nothing sonically constant even though I had been standing in the same place, which kept me very interested.

Assignment 0: Sarah Rubin


Standing on the bridge of Cascadilla Creek, I am surrounded by the serenity of the gorge. I hear my boots scuffling on the snow as I walk across the bridge. As the water whistles, its echo fills my ears. Closing my eyes, I am transported to a beach, listening to the sounds of the ocean waves. A slight buzzing above me becomes louder – a truck driving on the nearby road. The birds start cooing. I hear the crackling of icicles on the branches of the leafless trees. As time passes, these sounds converge into one harmonious sequence. The eeriness of its unity surprisingly puts me at ease.

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