Hong Kong Sounds

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Hong Kong is a noisy city. Part of it comes from the usual bustle of a large metropolis—roaring buses, roadwork, shops blasting music to attract customers—but part of it comes from a higher tolerance for noise than you would encounter in most of Europe or North America.

For instance, every crosswalk in Hong Kong makes a beeping sound to let blind pedestrians know whether it is safe to cross or not. With streetlights on nearly every corner, this means that the beeping is constant and ubiquitous. (Audible crosswalks in other cities don’t seem to be nearly as loud.) Video screens are another example: while they are common throughout the world, they are usually muted, but not in Asia, which means that newscasts, commercials and music videos are always being blasted at full volume on busy commercial streets.

I recorded these videos as part of a somewhat haphazard attempt to capture a bit of this soundscape. The first one was taken at a crosswalk next to Statue Square in Central; the second is a block-long walk down Sai Yeung Choi Street in Mongkok on a relatively quiet Monday night.

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This entry was written by Christopher DeWolf , posted on Monday April 07 2008at 10:04 am , filed under Asia Pacific, Video and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink . Post a comment below or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

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