As an acoustic engineer, Trevor Cox has spent his career eradicating unwanted ises - echoes in concert halls, clamour in classrooms. Until the day he heard something so astonishing that he had an epiphany: rather than quashing rare or bizarre sounds, we should be celebrating these sonic treasures. This is the story of his investigation into the mysteries of these Sonic Wonders of the World. In the Mojave Desert he finds sand dunes that sing. In France he discovers an echo that tells jokes. In California he drives down a musical road that plays the William Tell Overture. In Cathedrals across the world he learns how acoustics changed the history of the Church. Touching on physics, music, archaeology, neuroscience, biology, and design, Cox explains how sound is made and altered by the environment and how our body reacts to peculiar ises - from the exotic sonic wonders he encounters on his journey, or the equally unique and surprising sounds of our everyday environment. In a world dominated by the visual, Sonic Wonderland encourages us to become better listeners and to open our ears to the glorious cacophony around us.
Trevor Cox is Professor of Acoustic Engineering at the University of Salford and President of the Institute of Acoustics. He has presented numerous science radio documentaries and has written for the New Scientist. He is an associate editor for an international journal of acoustics. Twitter: @trevor_cox