A new website mixes live streams of police chatter with ambient music

If your teenage years were anything like mine, the soundtrack to your angst-ridden after school hours was often provided by Canadian post-rockers Godspeed You! Black Emperor, and whatever personal turmoil you felt seemed best expressed by anarchist voice samples streamed over stirring instrumentals. But now, you can stop listening to that disgruntled guy talk about how he used to sleep on the beach at Coney Island over and over again and tune into a real-time soundtrack of social turmoil.

You are Listening To is a website that mixes live streams of police radio chatter from New York, Los Angeles and other North American cities with SoundCloud ambient radio, creating a chilling score to accompany images of night time cityscapes. As creator Eric Eberhardt told Hyperallergic, the concept came to him when he tuned into soma.fm to listen to the chatter of his city after an epic finale to the World Series. He was struck when he layered the police radio over background music from his own music collection. You are Listening To is the product of his experimentation, a poignant way of tapping into the heartbeat of the city and a testament to the ability of sound to shape our landscape.

This post originally appeared on Architizer, an Atlantic partner site.

About the Author

Kelly Chan

Kelly Chan is a staff writer for Architizer.com.

Most Popular

  1. Postcards showing the Woodner when it used to be a luxury apartment-hotel in the '50s and '60s, from the collection of John DeFerrari
    Equity

    The Neighborhood Inside a Building

    D.C.’s massive Woodner apartment building has lived many lives—from fancy hotel to one of the last bastions of affordable housing in a gentrifying neighborhood. Now, it’s on the brink of another change.

  2. Design

    The Military Declares War on Sprawl

    The Pentagon thinks better designed, more walkable bases can help curb obesity and improve troops’ fitness.

  3. Life

    Why a City Block Can Be One of the Loneliest Places on Earth

    Feelings of isolation are common in cities. Let’s take a look at how the built environment plays into that.

  4. Members of a tenants' organization in East Harlem gather outside the office of landlord developer Dawnay, Day Group, as lawyers attempt to serve the company with court papers on behalf of tenants, during a press conference in New York. The tenant's group, Movement for Justice in El Barrio, filed suit against Dawnay, Day Group, the London-based investment corporation "for harassing tenants by falsely and illegally charging fees in attempts to push immigrant families from their homes and gentrify the neighborhood," said Chaumtoli Huq, an attorney for the tenants.
    Equity

    Toward Being a Better Gentrifier

    There’s a right way and a wrong way to be a neighbor during a time of rapid community change.

  5. Equity

    For Renters, the Housing Crisis Never Ended

    Harvard’s State of the Nation’s Housing report reveals exactly where, and why, the rent is too damn high.