Sounds are of extreme importance in Russia. The country’s public space is populated with sounds that do no allow you to confuse it with any other place. Many spots look as if they could be located anywhere in the world, but they sound distinctively Russian (and not only because of the language). I would like the Readers to see Moscow as I see it and, paradoxically, I see Moscow through its sounds. Therefore, I will be sending the Readers a sound postcard every now and then.

The sounds of Moscow fall into three main categories: the system sounds (for example, public announcements broadcasted in the metro educating Russians about how to use the escalators, how to protect their households from fires, etc.), the private entrepreneurship sounds (little chants recited by people wanting to sell a tour, fresh meat or a corn cob near the metro stations and in touristy places) and natural sounds (sounds that appear with no deliberate human effort).

This very first set of sounds  that I want to share belongs to the third category – the natural sounds. As I have mentioned before, the metro is a vital part of the city, also as far as the sounds are concerned. I live in the south-east Moscow, and to get to my station the metro needs to cross the river. At some point between the stations Avtozavodskaya and Kolomenskoe the train emerges from the tunnel to the bridge and the typical, chaotic conglomerate of noise suddenly becomes quiet and organised – the metro starts sounding like a real train. This sudden change feels soothing and relieving, particularly at night, when the views from the window do not distract attention from the sound. In the recording below you can hear the train leaving Avtozavodskaya station, speeding up in the tunnel and then, at 01:09, emerging from it to cross the river to eventually dive into it again.


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<When you visit Moscow, Russia, you cannot get away without using the metro. You cannot do that while living there either. The metro is famous for the way certain stations look. I find the way it sounds even more interesting - and I recorded it. Click through to hear more!

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