Interference Journal Issue 8

The Wild in Silence

By Usue Ruiz Arana

Tranquillity is a quality highly valued in the landscape and conducive to its protection. However, as a highly subjective experience, it is difficult to identify and manage. The current tranquillity map for England sought to incorporate the subjective in the mapping and laid the foundation for subsequent studies on tranquillity. Through sound walks along Northumberland National Park (NNP) this paper questions the purpose and validity of the mapping. The value of the map lies in raising an awareness of the importance of sound in the perception of natural landscapes. The map invites professionals engaged in the maintenance and management of the landscape, as well as visitors to NNP, to think and feel through their ears as positive aural factors are at the heart of the mapping. Shortcomings stem from turning the subjective experience into objective factors for the mapping, and from considering the non-human as ideal of tranquillity.

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