As an acoustic engineer, Trevor Cox has spent his career eradicating unwanted noises – echoes in concert halls, clamour in classrooms. Until the day he heard something so astonishing that he had an epiphany: rather than quashing rare or bizarre sounds, we should be celebrating these sonic treasures.
This is the story of his investigation into the mysteries of these Sonic Wonders of the World. In the Mojave Desert he finds sand dunes that sing. In France he discovers an echo that tells jokes. In California he drives down a musical road that plays the William Tell Overture. In Cathedrals across the world he learns how acoustics changed the history of the Church.
Touching on physics, music, archaeology, neuroscience, biology, and design, Cox explains how sound is made and altered by the environment and how our body reacts to peculiar noises – from the exotic sonic wonders he encounters on his journey, or the equally unique and surprising sounds of our everyday environment.
In a world dominated by the visual, Sonic Wonderland encourages us to become better listeners and to open our ears to the glorious cacophony around us. Listen to a selection of astonishing sounds here: https://soundcloud.com/sonicwonderland
"A riveting ear-opener, Trevor Cox describes in lyrical detail a range of sonic events and new ways of listening that can only brighten our experience of the acoustic world around us. A must-read for sound-lovers of all stripes"
"This is acoustician Trevor Cox’s fun but thoroughly detailed tour through some of the world’s aural gems. Sounds like music to our ears"
"A must read for musicians, producers, sound engineers and nerds of all kinds"
"A David Attenborough of the acoustic realm, whose knowledge is unimpeachable yet worn lightly, whose language is vivid yet without indulgence"
"Sonic Wonderland by Trevor Cox is one of those books that require a "this book will change your life" sticker"