Royalty Free Sound Effects & Sound Libraries
While in Hong Kong, I received a message from a fellow sound recordist on Instagram who lived and worked in the city. He suggested that I should record sounds at the upcoming protest, and I knew immediately that this was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.
Back in November 2019, I recorded a Friday is for Future climate demonstration in Lisbon, Portugal. However, the protest in Hong Kong was unlike anything I had ever witnessed.
On the day of the protest in Hong Kong, I arrived at Wan Chai Station (on Hong Kong Island) around 1 PM and saw a large crowd forming of protesters chanting, with media presence and police starting their rounds. Despite the sheer number of people there, everything seemed peaceful, and I felt no sense of threat.
I walked through the crowd and listened to the powerful speech of an organizer, even though I couldn’t understand it (as I don’t speak Cantonese). It was clear that his words were stirring the people, and I could feel an electrifying energy in the air.
Being in the middle of it all, it was impossible not to be impacted by the power of the community. We see images and videos of protesters on the news, but being there in person is a completely different experience.
The sight of thousands of people, all wearing masks and dark clothing, fighting for a cause was nothing short of awe-inspiring. In stark contrast, at the same location, I saw hundreds of domestic workers from the Philippines and Indonesia gathering for a different purpose – their day off. On Sundays, these domestic workers would typically meet up with friends and family in a local park, sitting on the ground in a picnic-style, enjoying food and each other’s company. Despite the demonstration with thousands of chanting protesters happening just next to the park, for them, it was just a normal Sunday.
As the protest formally began and the crowd started marching down the road towards Central, the police began blocking and obstructing the main street. With nowhere to go on the side roads and the sheer number of people pressing against the sides, many people fled into a nearby mall.
At this point, I knew the peaceful demonstration was shifting, and the police turned on their car sirens. I was able to capture these sounds as they happened.
I found myself at the front of the march, and soon found myself in a situation where I needed to get out as soon as possible. The pressure of the people coming from behind, and the shift in energy to chaos, made for a tense moment. In this intense situation, I recorded all the screams and shouting, capturing the energy of the moment.
Although it wasn’t easy, I managed to escape by getting to the pedestrian bridge behind the roadblock, where I hastily walked to the mall. As I approached the entrance of the mall, my eyes started to burn, and I knew that tear gas had been released.
A smaller crowd of scared people ran towards me, shouting something, and asked me to come with them. The mall security opened the door, and we were all let inside. These recordings are also included in this library.
I was able to make it to the MTR station and leave the area unscathed.
Hong Kong is a city loved by so many, which is why it was so difficult to witness the situation there. As I wrote this blog post, tears ran down my face, thinking about the city I had come to cherish. Hong Kong is much more than the location for political protests, it’s a city that is like no other. This quote perfectly sums up my perspective and time spent there: “You can leave Hong Kong, but it will never leave you.” – Nury Vittachi, Hong Kong: The City of Dreams.
The sounds I recorded during this time reflect this mix of emotions – fear, tension, hope, and resilience. This sound library is a testament to the power of sound in archiving and conveying the human experience.
Who would have thought a handy sound recorder in Cambodia would lead us here?
Hi there we’re Marcel and Libby and every sound on this site has been recorded by us. For nearly 7 years, we’ve been traveling around the world recording unique sounds for others to use!
If you’re curious and want to learn more about our journey traveling full-time as sound recordists you can read on here or on CNN Travel.