Rite of Spring/Dawn

imageLast night at Le Poisson Rouge. SONOS Chamber Orchestra play Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring in an arrangement for 4 pianos and 2 percussionists.

And 6 am. East 66th Street and York. A low background rumble of traffic through the window that opens out into the yard between this building and the adjacent apartment block. The traffic noise here is more distant than I hear it in London where the sound in the foreground is the street. This traffic sound is more constant and more even. There is no view of the street from any of the windows here so there is the sense of a strange, but not complete, detachment from the city. The birds that sing over this background rumble in the morning are more like soloists than a chorus…individual melodies that jump in from time to time. I have no idea which birds are singing though my hosts tell me there are cardinals in the area. (There were more birds yesterday morning but I woke at 5) Other sounds are overlaid on the drone of cars, trucks and buses: A truck reversing nearby. (Yesterday) A conversation between two women – in Slovak? Historically this area is Slovak. Ambulance sirens…there are a lot of hospitals in the vicinity…but what time do these start? Is there a time before which they are not allowed to use sirens? I have not heard any this morning now that I come to think of it. A garbage truck stopping on the street….warning signal, bags being thrown into the compressor, machinery. Repeat. A car horn. These come and go at different distances. The garbage truck (repeat but further away.) A long whistle, far away, like a train. Is this possible?..probably not. Sweeping in the yard. Someone messing with the bin lids.

One thought on “Rite of Spring/Dawn

  1. Always intrigues me how cities have their different ambient soundscapes. Also reminded me of watching a near silent piece by Michael Pisaro in The Arches Glasgow. It was as if the city became the soundtrack to the performance rather than the minimal sounded utterances of Pisaro and his colleagues. The constant throb of trains arriving and leaving at Central Station overhead, distant sirens, traffic. The sounds of the city seeping into Pisaro’s gestures and silences….

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