There are three things that might be suggested to be of particular value in the future – food/water, information and silence with the latter becoming more and more valuable every day.
I’ve been tracing this ever-elusive phenomenon – the samples of silence that used to be found in everyday situations in Sergiyev Posad, Russia on World Listening Day 2010.
Seven locations were planned before the soundwalk. They were put on the map, general direction is South to North, starting at 8.40 am. Recorded “as is” with a few or no outtakes or alternative attempts made in order to retain the sense of everyday life to the sounds.
Semkhoz field, 8.40 am.
This field was sowed with wheat once, now its all thistle and chamomile with a few wheat ears in between. Normally pretty quiet with sporadic railroad noises, it is now approached by the new cottages, some are in the process of construction. Traffic, trains, bees, grasshoppers, birds, disk saws.
Temp Stadium, 10.22 am
When not in use the lane is occupied by the local parents strolling with prams. There a few of them on a Sunday morning, the football ground is vacant. Helicopters up in the sky, loud radio from across the field.
Zvezdochka bench, 12.21 noon
Zvezdochka was known as one of the quietest corners of Sergiyev Posad. Except for the large block of flats, little has appeared there since, only a few minor shops and beauty salons. Also, this is the only area of Sergiyev Posad covered by CCTV. A small public garden with only three benches. A small lorry, swallows, unidentified sounds.
Chitay-Gorod bookshop, 12.57 noon
Located at the city centre this bookshop (like many others) normally provides an alternative to the bustling Karl Marx Street sounds. Traffic noise, the door being opened, shop assistant talking over the mobile phone, moderate volume disco music, doors and traffic again, footsteps. Conversation partially muted/faded.
Trinity-Sergius Monastery, 1.30 pm
Not exactly the quietest location but is really worth exploring. People prefer to speak in a low voice while being there allowing other sounds to show up. Distant voices, hand cart over the pavement stones, chimes.
Art Gallery, 1.50 pm
The art gallery (Shlyakova st, 2a) was expected to be the quietest place within this soundwalk. The silence was affected by traffic noises from the open window and the inspector’s steps. No visitors in the hall.
Deserted building site, 2.28 pm
Abandoned building, no works in progress. White brick tower-block, suspended for many months. Wind, car alarm, traffic, loose doors and windows.
Recorded July 18th, 2010
Published July 20th, 2010