Soundscapes: Les Guinguettes

Les Guingettes

Les guinguettes – traditional Sunday afternoon dances held along the riverbanks outside Paris – are still swinging, despite the withering August heat this year. I can’t dance to save my life, but Perrine and I were nonetheless curious when we saw an advertisement for a floating dance floor that has slowly been making its way down the Canal de l’Ourcq.


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Soundscapes: Down the Mekong

The Mekong River, Cambodia
The Mekong River, Cambodia

Perrine has just returned from her seven-day boat trip down the Mekong, mostly in Cambodia. Lucky her! She started in Siem Reap (Angkor Wat) and passed through Kampong Chhnang and Phnom Penh before crossing the Vietnamese border and continuing on to Chau Doc, Cai Be and Saigon. Some of the sounds she recorded along the way…


Click below for the pictures.

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Soundscapes: A Taoist Ceremony in Shanghai

Qinciyang Temple, Pudong
Qinciyang Temple, Pudong

Shanghai, and in particular, Pudong, was the last place I expected to chance upon a traditional Taoist ceremony. But there you go, even China’s financial center is sitting on top of some leftover animist beliefs.

This recording is of a birthday party for the god Dongyue, who presides over Mount Tai (Tai Shan), China’s supreme sacred mountain. So how do Shanghainese Taoists celebrate birthdays? With plenty of liquor, pumpkin seeds, and peanuts, plus over twenty-five large bags of specially folded paper money, which was burned for Dong Yue after the ceremony. Pudong is an expensive place to live, after all, even for a god.


Daybreak, Railei Beach, Thailand

Dusky Langur
Dusky Langur

About a year ago I bought a digital audio recorder for interviews and podcasts. It’s really a great little gadget, but as I generally reach for the camera first when I’m out and about, the audio recorder only gets occasional use.  So, in an attempt to get it out of my bag more often, I’ve begun recording soundscapes from different places around the world to post here. The first is the sound of the jungle awakening at dawn, Railei Beach, Thailand.

[audio:Thailand Beach.mp3]