The producer says the goal of The Quiet American was to manipulate the sounds he hears and records but “naive ears” rarely listen too. I agree on some degree that many times people tune out many of the noises around them and it kind of becomes a quiet but loud background noise. I listened to Elevated his recording for the elevated train in Chicago. It was pretty accurate description. People were saying words describing what you hear on a train (as opposed to the actual train) So they said words like chatter, shift, sigh, rails, laugh, thump, slam, hum, dance, shake. All things you hear on trains but are never really listening too. I pictured a crowded train when you kind of just sit there and are not really paying attention to whats happening around you.
Next I listened to Marina Ambiance and embarcadero. The first was what you hear when sitting on a boat thats docked. The water hitting the boat and the boardwalk. A calming repetitive noise. The second was seagulls and helicopters in the sky near the san francisco waterfront. Both made me picture water and the calm near waterfronts. I found these to be calming, kind of like the recordings someone would listen to who cant sleep at night.