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The sounds of the night, Street Four, Bwiteva, Buea

Street Four, Buea

Street Four, Buea

There is a very high hissing sound, very faint, blending into the internal noise of my ears and brain. Below that, a bit louder, I can distinguish three different chirps, probably some kinds of crickets or cicadas. Then there is a deeper, more percussive chirp, like a tonewood, repeated in regular intervals, maybe also a cicada. For hours, these seem to be all the noises that are there.

At one time, there is the howling of some dogs.

Occasionally, I can hear a frog; sometimes a cock. But only later, when the morning is approaching, many frogs suddenly start croaking. I don’t know the time. It is frog time. All of them start at once. There seem to be two different kinds.

There are two or three kinds of songbirds starting at some time. And a hooting sound, maybe an owl or a pigeon.

Later, the grunting and clattering of a pig being fed, a goat. Clucking of chicken. The cocks are now starting to crow earnestly. Somebody is hacking firewood. There is a motorbike coming and going up on the main street. Voices, steps, the day has started.

Each place has a specific spectrum of sounds. History can be written in terms of those sounds and how they change. I can’t sleep, but it is nice, I am listening to these sounds. It is fascinating.

The spectrum of sounds in the night here is so different from home. But the land opposite is for sale. Somebody will build a house there. The fields with the corn, the beans, the trees, the plantains and also the little creek with the frogs will disappear. The pigs, goats and chicken will be replaced by cars.

The sounds will be gone, who will remember them? They are like a unique piece of music. Does anybody understand their unique value? Do we have the right to deprive later people of this experience?

4 thoughts on “The sounds of the night, Street Four, Bwiteva, Buea

  1. Pingback: On Algorithmic and Creative Animals | The Asifoscope

  2. Pingback: Listening to the Sounds of the City | The Asifoscope

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