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LONDON — I am sitting upright in a corner; a 2-meter length of gray, vinyl piping protrudes from each of my ears, extending horizontally along the wall on both sides of my head.

I have entered a strange sound-world: What I am listening to are the fragmented and echo-fringed noises of my surroundings, every cough, murmur and footstep bounced through the narrow cylindrical space, the aural equivalent of a kaleidoscope.

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