Intermission: Listening to Los Angeles Intermission: Listening to Los Angeles

Intermission: Listening to Los Angeles

by Nicola Twilley

March 10, 2011

"You are listening to Los Angeles" streams live LAPD radio chatter over a background of Creative Commons-licensed ambient music from SoundCloud. It was created by web and video game producer Eric Eberhardt, and it is hypnotic, beautiful, and utterly compelling.

Eberhardt explains how he came up with the idea for the site:

The night the Giants won the World Series there were a lot of people on Twitter referencing the live police scanner webcast from and I gave it a listen. Interesting stuff to be sure, but I got bored listening to just the voices and started playing some instrumental music in the background. I liked the results but it was complicated to explain to people how to replicate the mix (i.e. opening multiple copies of iTunes or VLC) so I made this site to simplify the process.

To listen to it is to be plugged into the pulse of the city; lost in fragments of someone else's story. Urgency alternates with frustration and low-level routine; some incidents are reported while others are resolved; and jaywalking tickets are issued in the same breath as lives are lost.

Story via Hilobrow.

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Intermission: Listening to Los Angeles