A quiet moment in New Orleans has very little white noise. If you are on the streets of the French Quarter you can hear traffic, layered on dixieland, dancing, street life and the boisterous sounds of restaurants, clubs and bars.
New Orleans is a city of sound – or is it a din of noise? When does the jazz band cease to be music and become an oppressive force assaulting city dwellers? Sorting noise from music, street soundtrack from din is an old argument. With technology we can try and win that argument all on our own. Noise can be cancelled with fancy new headphones. But what are they cancelling and is the cancelling of noise also the erasing of culture?
Megan Garber, a staff writer at the Atlantic has some thoughts on technology, noise and noise cancelling in a city where not even Hurricane Katrina cancelled Mardi Gras. She's wrote about sound in her piece for The Atlantic called "Sonic Boom: How digital technology is transforming our relationship with sound."