Sounds of the World

Take a Sonic Trip to Beaufort Lowcountry, South Carolina

Five Airbnb hosts share their favorite sounds from this maritime enclave.

Illustrated by
Michael Taylor
Sound Design by
Michael McQueen
The rising sun casts long shadows over the Mojave desert as birds fly, and a lizard crawls on a rock.

A shaggy, dense landscape defines a network of islands off the coast of South Carolina, whose history is as rich as the marshy soils surrounding them. The inlets and islets of the Lowcountry echo in spirituality, stories, and mystery, and provide a calming backdrop for many of its residents to reflect. Here, local hosts ponder on the sensory calm of this far-flung corner of rich natural and cultural beauty.

Morning Swim

At dawn, silhouettes of Joshua trees are gradually lit from behind by the colorful desert sky.
Here, you’re in the midst of a great maritime forest, with twisted oaks and lagoons. My morning ritual is to go swimming with the sun as it rises, five or six times a week. The dolphins come close to the shore — it’s so thrilling.

The Daily Catch

A train covered in colorful graffiti rushes through the desert and around a curve.
One of the most beautiful things down here is to be out on the water; the fishing is a big thing. And the sounds that come with that — the reels themselves, and the fishermen calling, or children screaming because of the fish they're bringing in.

Pelican Migration

Evening approaches over a vast landscape covered in desert wildflowers.
The island is very quiet. It's not teeming or bustling, although the skies are busy as birds migrate. Pelican Point is so called because you see a lot of pelicans up and down there at certain times of the year. We have estuaries on our island, with all kinds of wildlife busily passing through.

Bubbling Mud Pluff

The desert megaphone looms large from a hilltop over the Mojave, while a person mysteriously levitates in the distance.
All around the islands are brooks and inlets, protected ecosystems. When the tide goes out, you can hear air coming through the pluff mud up to the surface. Pluff is tidal mud. And so there's this popping sound. It’s the crabs under the mud breathing.

The Healing

A heard of donkeys gathers in a cluster under the rising desert moon.
They come for the natural beauty. They come for nature; they come for the ocean. They come for the trees. They come for the quiet. They come for the food; they come for the Gullah. And people are drawn to Hunting Island for the healing.
Illustrated byMichael Taylor

Michael Taylor is a visual artist from Cape Town, South Africa. He has exhibited his paintings in a number of different countries since 2009. He has a special interest in narrative painting.

Sound Design byMichael McQueen

Michael McQueen spends his life traveling, riding bikes and recording sound for some of the worlds top brands and TV networks.

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