The Sounds of Hard Travelin’ in O’hare

There was some ugly weather at O’hare over the last couple of days, leading to delays and cancellations for departing and arriving travelers. Among them were my intended dinner partners last night, two work colleagues whose flights were cancelled after five hour airport stays and Julie Shapiro.  Sound artist that she is (her affiliations includethe  Third Coast Audio Fest, (Re)Sound, Public Radio Talent Quest, where she is a judge and lissenup.), she had her ears on:

the sounds of the airport are predictable, and relentless:

– CNN headline news / how BOUT that boy scout-saving dog gandolf?!
– the dept. of homeland security still has a thing for orange
– beep. beep. (higher tone) beep. beep. (low tone) beep.
– ringtones. could post an entire essay about cell phone ringtones. but am not about to.
– in case you haven’t been paying attention lately, smoking’s prohibited in the airport. this is a very popular announcement.
– the phone at gate G3’s check-in counter keeps ringing, with news of further delay, i’m sure. 

and can’t quite hear it, but the SENSE of frustration and defeat amongst fellow travelers is palpable. everyone’s gloomy, and i can already hear the collective groan that the next flight status update announcement will inspire.


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