Endangered Sounds: Wooden Bridges – 0’50”


The clank and rumble of cars driving across rickety wooden bridges is a soundmark for many country towns around Australia. Wooden bridges which once indicated the entrance to small and localised communities are being replaced with homogeneously silent concrete structures as suburbia expands. The demise of these bridges and their characteristic sounds also marks the loss of community in many of these places, as their populations expand into anonymous proportions.

7 thoughts on “Endangered Sounds: Wooden Bridges – 0’50”

  1. Nice recording and great idea! I’ve also thought a lot about endangered sounds and the great value of preserving them, both your own enjoyment as well as for future generations to hear. We have some endangered sounds here in Malmö, a city under transfer (that have been going on for the last 30 years or so) from material production to immaterial production. We still have some remnants from the industrialised days as well areas that have been undergoing some great changes, for example an old quarry that nowadays works as a sanctuary for urban wildlife. You can also trace changes to the city through gentrification, some central urban areas will definitely sound different in ten years or so. One of the endangered sounds I already recorded is from the Möllevången square, an area under some heavy renewal. The recording can be found here:
    Hopefully I will manage to gain access to the quarry mentioned above sometime this summer.

  2. Thanks Magnus – I’d love to see some pics and listen to some clips from the quarry. It’s not often that you hear about an old industrial area that is returned to nature, it sounds very progressive. I think the link that you have provided might be one of the first recordings of yours that I ever listened to. Nice one.

  3. really like your work… and have been reading on your blog occasionally when i need inspiration!
    I am involved in similar work in Melbourne with zoning changes and development meaning urban fabric is being totally rearranged and manipulated. I would also add that here is little understanding of the implications of the changes and that as a result we will have new landscape/soundscape that has not be considered fully ie. poor detailing by urban designers and architects. So areas once the wellspring of employment and community (Brunswick ~ textile factories dominated) it will and is being replaced with 5-10 story buildings… big changes from factory sounds to multi-unit complex sounds… i have started using contact mics and ambi-sonic mic and oral history to capture some textile factories now as they will be gone in 2-5 years. times they are changin’

    1. Hi – thanks for you in-depth comment. Yes, what is progress to some is … to others. One of my favourite wooden bridges in a nearby national park is about to be demolished, and others around the local town of Nimbin have now become sounds of the past. The gutting of culture and history for a few people’s pleasure seems to pervade this era we are living in. Meanwhile, I’m looking forward to hearing some of your work form Melbourne.

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