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London Sounds

Londinium: Discordant Metropolis

London was formally defined by its sound. Foreign visitors would remark on the duration and volume of the parish bells that pealed out across the city. Sound even defined who could claim to be a Londoner. This was open to everyone born within earshot of the great Bow Bell (at St Mary Le Bow, Cheapside). In the past, before more modern rackets drowned out the bells, this would have included people as far west as Lambeth and east to Rotherhithe, depending on wind direction. Nowadays people in Lambeth are lucky to hear Big Ben situated just across the water at Westminster and over in Rotherhithe and Bermondsey the clattering construction of "riverside loft style apartments" shatters the peace, even when Millwall happen to be playing away.

Londinium Discordant Metropolis

On this CD are many (there is not the space for all) of the annoying sounds that define London today. You won't find cheery singing bus conductors, the bright chat of South London girls or the existential poets of the tube here. That'll come in our next sound salad. Instead this CD contains the cacophony of traffic, grinding trains and their late arrival announcements. Shouty costermongers, pretentious mobile phone (and other) conversations, street preachers and the sheer hell that is Oxford Street. Loosely based on themes of travel, shopping, transport and a night out this CD serves up the background din of the city. Few of these aural delights are unique to London but they acquire a special piquancy here due to their constant overwhelming pervasive presence. This sound collection could be seen as a celebration of the great London racket encompassing many of the sounds that most grate and annoy,  a homeopathic remedy for home use by city dwellers. It is the perfect counterpoint to those 'sounds of the English countryside' relaxation tapes and is ideal for :

*people who have left London and in need of cheering themselves in their dull rural idyll by reminding them of some of the reasons they fled the City in the first place.

*bored teenagers in dull towns might consider it a handy means of giving their area a bit more life by playing it loud.

* parents with children about to leave home and worried that their babies are heading off to the bad metropolis might find it an acceptable alternative to traditional warnings of the dangers of the city.

*anyone fed up with the sound of whale songs keeping them awake of an evening (and there must be some folk in the Hebrides yearning for a bit of urban relaxation).

 All in all a very useful and multi faceted item and all yours for he cost of a weekend travel pass.