Soundscapes of Mission, 2021

Soundscapes of Mission, 2021
Digital, Sound

Soundscapes of Mission is part of the City of Mission’s Artist in Residence program for 2021. These soundscapes are taken from various locations in Mission, BC, throughout the months of September and October, 2021. Locations were chosen based on resident recommendations when posed the question, “Where do you go to feel connected, happy, or relaxed?” that was publicly accessible. Additionally, through pleasant drives of Mission, I would stop in locations that had a significant amount of people occupying the space. At each location I would record the soundscape of the area. Soundscapes are a tool to help you actively listen, understand a sense of place and “an opportunity to examine our relationship as listener to the environment”. (O’Sullivan, 2021).

Through the Soundscapes of Mission project, I was hoping to create a qualitative aural analysis of public locations that resonated with residents. Overall, there were two thematic sounds that presented themselves: Water and Trains. As many of the locations mentioned by residents were outdoor parks and trails, the sound of water was ever present, along with the sound of birds, and children playing. However, the Urban was never too far, as you can still hear the constant hum of cars in the background. On multiple locations trains consistently could be heard in the background and were inescapable throughout the day.

When planning for communities, the physical and visual experience is paid attention to and the aural experience can be forgotten. When the aural experience is considered, it is often done so through a mitigating perspective (Kerrigan, Steele, n.d.). Effort is placed into removing urban sounds after development, instead of taking account of the soundscape of the place before development, and considering which aural aspects should be amplified or hidden. When we think back to places, our memory creates a 360 degree story which includes sight, sound, and smell. Soundscapes of Mission is an opportunity to hear places where residents feel connected, happy and relaxed. Sounds that should be considered when thinking about future planning.

Here you will find a handful of locations and their soundscapes, and where appropriate, I have added additional notes and observations. Some locations surprised me with the amount of people choreographically sharing space while others were pleasantly quiet and posed moments for reflection.

When listening to the sounds, think to yourself, what sounds do you like? What sounds do you not like? What would you keep if you were building in the area?


O’Sullivan, F. (2021). Tuning In to a Happier City. Bloomberg Businessweek, 4712, 52–55.

NewCities. (2019, November 29). Sounds in the city: Are you listening to the world around you? Retrieved October 25, 2021, from

Tara-Lynn Kozma-Perrin

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