In this week’s U.S. 1 Dan Aubrey has created two stories of importance to the community in different ways.

The first is his cover story on noise. He notes:

My interest in the topic started when I played trombone in the high school symphonic band, and our conductor talked about the difference between music and noise (excluding natural sounds like water and wind). And I realized that music was organized, but noise was a sonic response to some other action. And I started to reflect on how music, natural sounds, and everyday noise affected people.

Years later, when my son was born with a hearing problem, one that amplified sound, my interest refocused and I started studying hearing. It was then I came in contact with the studies of two French doctors specializing in hearing, Albert Tomatis and Guy Bernard. The title of Berard’s book says it all: “Hearing Equals Behavior.” And both had patients who developed hearing-related behavioral problems. The sources of the problems were everyday industrial sounds — percussive and unremitting noises that had changed their patients’ normal auditory-processing systems and produced a variety of nervous, emotional, and psychological problems.

The doctors mitigated the problem by providing audio treatments that allowed the patients to retrain their hearing, obtain equilibrium, and find a sense of well being.

When I combined the above findings with studies showing how noise has a connection to crime and antisocial behavior, I realized our way of life is creating more problems for us, especially in an era when restaurants regularly play high-volume music, and more and more noise-producing devices appear on the market.

And I’m not alone. In 2019 there were several articles on noise, including the New Yorker article, “Is Noise Pollution the Next Big Public-Health Crisis?”

So when I learned about the Rutgers Noise Center, I thought it would be an interesting story and hope readers agree.

Aubrey also hopes that readers will see his most recent stained glass stories as a way of recording a part of the region’s cultural history. He hopes readers may be interested in attending one of the two stained glass talks he is presenting this weekend.

The articles are on the late nationally known Roosevelt artist Jacob Landau, whose stained glass work is the topic of a January 22 Morven Museum talk as part of its current exhibition, and Don Hector, an active stained glass maker who started in Trenton.

Aubrey’s first talk is Saturday, January 25, at 3 p.m., at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, 140 North Warren Street, Trenton. Here attendees will see glass from Tiffany, the Victorian England-era Kempe Company, and the New Jersey-based Lamb Company. The program also includes a presentation of the region’s stained glass, and, if possible, an escorted visit to St. Mary’s Cathedral, across the street, to view the glass created by Edward Byrne in the 1950s.

On Sunday, January 26, at 12:30 p.m., Aubrey will join members of the Princeton Methodist Church, at the corner of Nassau Street and Vandeventer Avenue, to present a talk on the church’s Tiffany and former Tiffany artist-made windows and start a tour to view the glass at Princeton Chapel, Trinity Church, and St. Paul’s Church. The tours are free and open to all.

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