Szigetvári Andrea

Airbus A320 | Szigetvári Andrea

Airbus A320

For a long time I was afraid of planes. I was ten years old when my father’s friends and my schoolmates’s parents died in a plane crash which shook the entire country. Nine years later I had to dold down my trembling from fear knees, when I flew first time on an IL-18.
I am no longer scared of flying, but my ears are still “watching”. What is untraceble for the eye is replaced by hearing: the different states of the engine, the abrupt changes in pitch, a suddenly sounding beep, click or bang. The ear monitoring can provide some sense of security even if my mind knows it can be a very fast changing mockery.
Because of the many flights in my life most of the once scary sounds (like the downward glissando suggesting the shut-down of the engine, or the pumping screams of the mechanism used for navigation) became familiar and has been tamed into music. Nowadays every flight is a concert at the same time. Since I am still not able to exlude listening, let me transform it into a source of joy.
The recording was made on an A320 Airbus of Lufthansa between Budapest and Munich. The travelers were unusually quiet, so it was possible to capture realtively cleanly the timbre-chords, the slowly gliding sinewaves surrounded by narrow noisebands, and the breaking noises produced by the landing plane.
This airplane then (at 4’14” in the recording) landed safely. Not like that Germanwing A320, which, at the time of writing this post (what a strange coincidence!), was led to death by the pilot. There is even a slight chance that it was the same plane, which’ sound has been saved on this recording. Since the plane crash of the Germanwing A320 the soundscape intended to preserve peaceful musical memories has been supplemented with tragical meaning; the sadly descending endless glissando and the scream-like high sinetone became my humble homage to the victims.


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