Greeley Square and Back Again

Today is World Listening Day 2016! And like in past years I’ve taken this day (or week) to post field recordings that I find around me in my locales. This year’s theme for WLD2016 is “Sounds Lost and Found” and is focused upon changes in in our soundscapes over long periods of time. Unfortunately I don’t have any long (e.g., years or decades) apart field recordings, but I was able to give two different views of the same route hours apart. The first portion of the recording is taken from 15:20–15:28 EDT, and the second portion was taken walking back the same route 22:25–22:33 EDT. The recordings show the difference in activity around the Herald Square subway station and Madison Square Garden in the afternoon and in the later evening on a Sunday.

Subway Drain

On the western end of the Manhattan-bound platform of the 21 Street – Queensbridge subway station in Long Island City, there’s a drain that always has the sound of water running. It’s surprisingly similar to the sound of a flowing creek or brook—but in a New York City subway station! Yesterday afternoon I happened to have my hand recorder with me, and I figured I should capture this beautiful and complex sound. Starting at about 45 seconds, you’ll here the Jamaica-bound F train arriving on the opposite track, stopping at the platform, and then rolling out of the station.

The sound was recorded at about 17:15 EDT on September 16, 2015.

39th Avenue & Northern Boulevard


Looking northeast on Northern Boulevard

Back in September 2014, I moved from Brooklyn to Long Island City (in Queens). My new neighborhood was much closer to my regular job, so I was walking to work everyday. One morning at the corner of 39th Avenue and Northern Boulevard I heard a beautiful combination of sounds from traffic, trains, and people. The next week I recorded the sounds of that corner from 09:00–09:05 from Monday, September 15 to Sunday, September 21. So finally, in honor of World Listening Day, I’ve published the field recordings online.

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This afternoon I had the pleasure of attending a concert of choral works by Maurice Duruflé performed by Florilegium Chamber Choir. They sang Duruflé’s Requiem along with his Quatre motets sur des thèmes grégorians (Four motets on Gregorian Themes), and a setting of the Lord’s Prayer. The choir sung beautifully and the intensity of Duruflé’s works were certainly rendered in a compelling manner—especially the end of the Requiem‘s final movement, “In Paradisum”—but the real joy of the afternoon was due to a thunderstorm that rolled in during the Requiem. In fact, the whole concert experience was almost invaded by the sounds of the outside world, not only by the thunderstorm, but also by the busy noises of traffic and people on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.

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Sounds of the Subways

World Listening Day is July 18 (which is tomorrow as I write this), and in commemoration of that, I’ve made some recordings from the subway system here in New York City. As I mentioned in a recent post I love the sounds of the subway trains and stations, and I wanted to get some of these sounds recorded so that they could be shared. So, if you’ve got about 42 minutes handy, you can listen to all eight of the recordings I’ve made, or just listen to them one at a time.
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Trains, Buskers, and an Opera: Sounds of a New City

At the end of June I left San Diego and SoCal for the environs of New York City and took up residence in the neighborhood of Bushwick in Brooklyn. I lived in San Diego my entire life, and as I was finishing my master’s degree at San Diego State I decided it was time for a change. I looked around the United States for places to relocate and created a list of towns based upon existing contacts. After deliberation, Brooklyn was my choice.
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