"Travel is vital, especially in the worst of times. I would say that, though, wouldn’t I, as a journalist who runs toward danger, not away from it? But in both good and difficult times alike, traveling & meeting people with different & opposing ideas is as important as finding the most inviting beaches, visiting the best restaurants, and seeing the sights." -Christian Amanpour
Soundscaping: Exploring Crete's Rethymo

Soundscaping: Exploring Crete's Rethymo

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Lately I've been recording soundscapes on my travels. The composer R. Murray Schafer created the term in the 1970s, referring to our "acoustic environment". Traffic, church bells, mopeds whizzing by. Being a musician and fascinated with sounds as it is, it's been an interesting experiment. You begin to "see" a place differently than if you just had your camera.

Which takes us to  this charming seaside town in the south of Crete. Rethymno has just seemed to have woken up from its annual slumber because the locals are busily painting the facades of their shops. Luckily, we arrived here before the high season rush and seem to have the city all to ourselves. We are outsiders, voyeurs, not meant to be in the Mediterranean wearing sweaters and scarves.

Play the sound clip as you scroll down the photos. I was able to capture this town (one of the best preserved old towns in Crete, built almost entirely by the Venetians) in an off-moment: meaning, no tourists! I overheard an old woman sweetly give directions to a young girl. A moped whizzing by. Kids filing out of school. Bird calls in the lemon orchards, hidden behind whited walls and sidewalk gardens. The ancient Fortezza gave a friendly dong! dong! dong! in the middle-distance.

It's amazing when you close your eyes and listen, what images are conjured up. I took photos in a completely different way, being more engaged by sounds rather than what a place looked like. Listen to the sound of life happening around you, while you travel or just in your daily life. What do you hear?

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