Aural Postcard: The Reef

This is the ambience of a quite noisy restaurant in Vancouver with excellent Caribbean food. I have always noted how incredibly loud it is inside…we literally could barely hear each other, and in fact, I dare you to find any foreground voices in the recording…it just all got swallowed up in one big standing wave of voices and sounds.

Annotation: It was around 10pm, and the place was quite busy. I believe near us was a big birthday party group. I recorded with the iPhone just laying on the table.

Narrative: Well, not much to say except, it was loud. I believe despite the fact I don’t trust “dB”, these readings above are fairly accurate. The overall ambience felt akin to a nightclub situation with the music cranked up high and all the voices competing to be heard over it. Once my companion realized what I was doing, we had a bit of a conversation and my take on it is, as I said, that it’s a vicious circle. Patrons raise their voices because they need to be heard over the music, and over waitresses’ voices. But waiting staff raise their voices because of everything else. Whispering is impossible at normal sitting distances. You know you’re in a nightclub when you have to whisper right in someone’s ear so they can hear you, and that’s exactly what we had to do!…

I remember certain moments when the weariness of the day caught up with me and I felt momentarily weak and relaxed and each time, I was jolted back to reality by the soundscape as it all of a sudden seemed to increase in amplitude. It’s a funny phenomenon, I know it didn’t really, but my auditory impression was that it became louder. I think it might have been moments of thresholds of habituation that my ears went through. I don’t feel even drama queen-y saying it was painfully loud.

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