Automotive Monsoon – Reign or Rain of the Cars?

Jules Frints
November 21st 2012

Try it once. Go stand near a highway, close your eyes and listen carefully. Hear the sound of tires on the asphalt, hear the rhythmic ‘sshhh’, focus on this particular sound. And then, start to imagine you’re in a forest, maybe even a rainforest. Imagine you are standing in the middle of the rain season in a tropical forest. Would the sound of that monsoon be so much different?

As cars spread over the planet, one could speak of the reign of the cars. Most certainly, a lot of people noticed this. But how many noticed the rain of the cars? This sound similarity is particular, and might go even further: Go stand near a highway again, but now find a spot quite near some traffic lights, so a certain rhythm will come over the sound. Again, close your eyes and listen carefully. Again hear the sound of tires on the asphalt, hear the now even more rhythmic ‘sshhh’, again focus on this particular sound. Imagine you’re on a beach, and this rhythmic sound is the sound of the sea. The waves dictate the rhythm, they keep coming and smashing themselves on the beach, fading away as they do.

Car numbers keep increasing. As more cars are fueled with electricity, motor sounds are becoming less common. The sound of tires stays, though. The automotive monsoon stays, and will soon be everywhere. Now, hotels advertize having sea sight, where the sound of the sea has relaxing powers. Will we soon have our holidays with highway sight, for the relaxing rhythm of tire sounds?

Credits for the first part of the movie go to Rudolf Prinsen (YouTube).

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