Noise Pollution


Is There Anything Sound about Sound Design?

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Blogger Fred Plotkin writes, "There is a euphemism I don’t much care for: Sound Design." Here's why.
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Spain Court Acquits Pianist of 'Noise Pollution'

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

In a widely watched case, a Spanish court has acquitted a 28-year-old concert pianist on charges of causing noise pollution and psychological damage to a neighbor.

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Tell Us: How Do You Block Out Noise?

Monday, April 29, 2013

Joyce Cohen recently wrote on BuzzFeed about living with hyperacusis, a condition which makes soft sounds unbearably loud and painful. After Cohen joined us last week to talk about it, we received some great emails and voicemails from you, with a wide range of feedback. The segment got us talking here in the Soundcheck office, too.

Here's why: Joyce described how she blocks out noise while living amid the sonic chaos of New York.

In my situation, because I know I'm going to be subjected to a lot of loud noise, I always protect my ears. I have industrial-strength earmuffs, so I look like the baggage handler [at an airport].

Even if you don’t have hyperacusis like Cohen, even if you don’t live in New York, you might still take measures --- some of them extreme -- to find peace and quiet.

All this week on the show, we're asking our listeners and in-studio guests: How do you block out noise? Where do you find quiet?

Sam Beam, the singer-songwriter who records as the indie-folk act Iron & Wine, told John Schaefer that he finds peace and quiet while driving, despite the hum of the car interior and the tires on the road.

I've had to make a habit of not turning music on in the car. It used to be where I listened to music, because it was really the only place I had where you were stuck. I feel like it's also a matter of perspective, because I have a bunch of kids. What some people think is quiet is probably different than my idea of quiet. I definitely learned to block a lot of noise out through sheer force of will. So the car feels really quiet to me.

Unlike Beam, the saxophonist Colin Stetson lives in a major city, Montreal. A solo artist who also tours with Bon Iver and Arcade Fire, Stetson finds quiet while running, but what he hears depends on the terrain.

I won't put earbuds in if I'm running in the woods -- trailrunning out in Vermont [...] But when I'm running in the city, I tend to drown out the noise with something that's more aggressive and more powerful than the city's noise, so I listen to a lot of metal. 

What about you? How do you block out noise? How do you create a quiet space? Leave a message for us at 866-939-1612. Or, post your story in the comment section below.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Open Phones: Honk If You...

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

With the DOT planning to remove those "DON'T HONK" signs by the end of the year, we're asking, "Why do you honk?" and does it help? Call us (but not while driving!) at 212-433-WNYC, 212-433-9692 -- or you can leave a comment below.

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The Takeaway

Mapping Noise Pollution to Save Marine Life

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Underwater noise pollution is taking a toll on marine life, and the clamor is entirely human-made. It’s the whine of ship engines, the searing blasts of military exercises, and the thunderous booms of air guns searching for oil and gas. Dr. Leila Hatch, NOAA Ocean Noise Specialist, explains.

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Noise Pollution: Once In Cities, Now In Seas

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Thanks to humans, the world's oceans today are noisier than ever: Submarine sounds created by commercial ships, air guns and torpedoes have become a major issue -- particularly for mammals like whales and dolphins.