Rob Walker Shares a “Sound Shot”

From his New Orleans office

Time passes, and it’s awhile since you’ve seen a friend. And then you get a sense of their life that fills in the gaps a bit. Sure, there’s phone calls, and email, and voice conferencing, not to mention second-hand glimpses of them through their work. But then there’s something special, something unusual: a field recording of what their daily life sounds like — say, for example, what their office sounds like on a Sunday morning. Such a recording was posted by Rob Walker yesterday, a week after it was captured. The brief track, just a minute, is a glimpse of quiet from somewhere else. (He lives in New Orleans. I used to. We both lived there at the same time, then we both moved away, and then he moved back.) The track is tagged “sound shot,” a term that will be familiar to readers of Walker’s book, The Art of Noticing (which included some nice words about some of my work with sound). It’s from a chapter about “sonic journalist” Peter Cusack, and the idea is to record the sound of a place much as one might take a photo of a place: a sound shot, in lieu of a snapshot.

Read more about “sound shots” in Walker’s email newsletter. Track originally posted at

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