There is a magical moment, on Summer evenings when the swimming public have been ushered out of Plymouths Iconic Tinside Lido.The fountain is still turned on, but there are no swimmers in the water,no bystanders sat on the walls. All the staff are out of view, stacking sun loungers and deck chairs against walls far below us. For a moment the fountains sounds are not masked by squealing swimmers and all you can hear is splashing water . Then, just like that, an unseen hand flicks a switch and the splashing water of the fountain is silenced. A funny pocket of silence occurs before all the normal,environmental, sounds of a busy seafront road take over as the sun sets on another day. Why does splashing water sound so good?
I listened to a radio programme the other day about a charity that makes requested soundscape tapes for prisoners on death row in the United States. Even in completely land locked States the requests often included some sort of watery sounds. I’m still pondering what my sounds would be, were I to find myself in that somewhat niche environment.