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.
It’s peculiar how extra musical circumstances can affect one’s musical experiences. For me, places and locations strongly affect my response to songs, and changes in my life can and will change how I react to music. Recently, my move across country completely altered my experience of Tom Waits’ song “Downtown Train” from his 1985 album, Rain Dogs.
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.
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.