A cacophony of traffic noise circle and whir around me forming a reverberant, distorted ambiance, housing swirling sirens stripped of their harshness by distance, lending them a smooth, pleasant tone as they gently swell and constrict, each drawn out intensity appearing to last an age amongst the more immediate chaos.
Trams scuttle into the station, metal grinding and rattling together on the tracks, synthesised with a drawn out aching mid range screech and the unbroken sound of the horn, disrupted by the spontaneous thuds and bangs that break their enchanting rhythms.
But today it is the buses that really grab my attention. Their engines purr like tigers. Vibrating, warm and inviting, rumbling low frequencies seeping into the lower regions of my torso; shuddering high pitched wails, the sound of metal straining, bursting, stretching and screeching into almost ultrasonic territories. It is inescapable. Beautiful. Intense.
Heals clop brashly on the concrete amongst rushing bodies and booming voices, all fighting to be heard amongst the commotion. It is proven that loud and uncomfortable sounds lead to increased stress and annoyance and it is all the more evident from this scene.
It is worth noting though that by focusing on the sounds around you and actually listening to them you can reduce their adverse effects, and I must admit to finding it peculiarly relaxing listening to the sonic heave of rush hour unfold before me.