I remember the first time, several years ago, I asked my little question to the tall, business-like African man on his way home to Cote d'Ivoire in the bustling airport terminal.
"Water," he said.
Did he have a particular preference? Raindrops, rivers, oceans? What was really the most important sound, and why?
Over the past three years, all kinds of people have answered water. Water makes up most of our planet, they say--of course it's the sound that defines the world. Others say that a particular water sound, like raindrops, comforts them. Water sustains life, some point out, so of course its sounds matter the most.
The different answers often come from varying understandings of the question. Is it, "what is the most important sound in the world to you?" Or, as I often clarify, "what is the sound that defines the world and breaks it down in a nutshell?" Or simply, the most important sound? I prefer to let respondents choose which question to answer, to let them choose kind of information they divulge through this intimate query.
To anyone out there who thinks water is the most important sound--what kind of water sound matters most to you? What kind of memories does water bring back?
Read my water memory (and this photo's background) here.
Have a lovely day.
P.S. Tomorrow is my first celebrity interview for this site. Get psyched!