150 Looking down on Coldingham Sands (January special 2 / 4)

There's a bench. Perfectly perched, by the sandy steps that lead steeply down onto Coldingham Sands. Perfectly perched, because the sound-view from this bench is so wide, and the angle just right to hear the incoming waves, as they break over outcrops of craggy, elephant-sized rocks. It's a bright August day, and the sun is mistily lighting up the sea, the rocky cliffs, and the plunging, richly vegetated slopes. Conditions are calm. A little motor boat is bobbing on the swell, about a quarter of a mile off the coast. It's engine gently thrums the soft air. Land birds and sea birds ride the onshore breeze. They coo, and sing from the dense shrubbery that surrounds the bench. Dogs and owners pass by, as they head towards the open freedom of the sands. This place, on the East Coast of Scotland, is special. It's a landscape under a genuinely quiet sky. A sky free of human-made noise, where the detail and quality of natural sound reaches the ear drums intact. With headphones on, this sound landscape recording (captured spatially by lone microphones) brings you the sound-feel of this place, of sitting on this simple bench, and listening to the ebb and flow of Coldingham Sands.

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