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SoundScapeIssue 02 20The obvious answer to perceptions of tranquillity in the country versus the city points to the differences between hi-fi and -lo-fi aural environments. For example the sound of traffic or wind turbines in a rural area that travels far beyond its source is considered disruptive. Whereas a lo-fi yet still 'man-made' environment, for example the inside of a church, is considered peaceful and restorative. Is it possible, therefore, that our feeling of tranquillity stems from a sense of equality? Not from hi-fi or lo-fi 'man-made' sound environments but from a sense of balance between human and non-human sound? If this is the case, then what is balance and equality in this context? What does it mean to different people? What ratios between human and non-human sound infer this balance? At what point do different people hear what to them is a balance? And how does one go about assessing this?If a consensus as to what this balance is could be reached, I believe that through conscious stipulation of aurally sensitive architecture in town planning, the peace and tranquillity so often associated with being in the countryside could also be achieved in a city environment. Emma Quayle is a sound artist, explore her work or get in contact at emmaquayle.co.uk Do our feelings of tranquillity stem from a sense of equality between human and non-human sound?many people associate the rural aural environment with relaxation and cities with business and stressful living. Emma Quayle asks why and poses some questions of her ownTranquil measures

SoundScapeIssue 02 21Organ of Corti by liminal, winner of the John Connell Innovation Award 2011, is an experimental instrument that recycles noise from the environment. It does not make any sound of its own, but rather it attempts to draw our attention to the sounds already present by framing them in a new way, for instance road traffic or falling water. By recycling surplus sounds from the environment, it challenges expectations of what might constitute a piece of music by adding nothing to the existing soundscape but rather offering new ways of listening to what is already there. To find out more, visit liminal.org.uk