Experience New York In Audio at City’s “Central Park Sound Tunnel”

September 1st, 2009 by Alex Vadukul Leave a reply »

Photo: Honda/AFP/Getty

People travel from all over the world to experience the strange tranquility of Central Park — 843 acres of scenic nature in the middle of New York City. But this summer visitors have been accosted by sound as they pass through one of the park’s tunnels near the children’s zoo. Six speakers perched inside the tunnel play a loud but artful arrangement of sounds recorded around the park over the course of a year. Listeners can experience the entire sonic nature of the world’s most famous park in one sitting.

Each performance of John Morton’s sound installation, known as the “Central Park Sound Tunnel,” lasts 20 minutes and starts anew on
the hour and half-hour with the chiming of the nearby Delacorte clock. Performances are all different, randomly generated by a computer program. The rich collage of sounds can include musicians playing in the park, penguins in the zoo, ducks in the pond, loud New Yorkers, snow being shoveled, leaves being raked and countless other noises. Sounds are often tied together with effects like delay, warbling, looping, and reversal adding a psychedelic element. The exhibit closes on September 10th.

Morton, an experimental composer known for his inventive work with music boxes, spent a year collecting recordings around the park for the exhibit. “I started to go out into the park and do all these surreptitious recordings without people knowing,” he says.

Morton aimed to gather as many interesting sounds as possible. He is particularly fond of the sounds recorded at last years Make Music New York, an annual daylong festival in which thousands of musicians, amateur and professional, emerge to make music around the city, many of them in Central Park. “I would say literally every 20 or 30 feet there was a musician doing something,” he say...

Article Source: Rolling Stone : Rock and Roll Daily


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