• Son Luu

Week 1 Assignment: Response to sound walk 9:09

Updated: Sep 11, 2018

Go on one of the sound-walks listed in the syllabus (alone or as a group if you like) and write a blog post in response. What worked, what didn't, how did it make you feel, how effective was it?

Our group decided to go on a sound walk together. This helped inspire us on our own sound walk project. The one we chose to go on was Sound Walk 9:09 by John Luther Adams. All the sounds were recorded in the streets between The Met Fifth Avenue and The Met Breuer. In composing the pieces, the author sculpted and filtered street sounds to reveal resonances that lie hidden around us all the time.The author encouraged his audience to listen to the sounds on the streets of New York city as musical voices rather than regular noises. What a pleasant surprise the experience was! The sound walk opened us up to a completely different and new version New York street sounds that you wouldn't normally try to isolate or carefully listen to. Every kind of sound in the recording seemed to have been particularly selected to enrich the intended experience for the audience. As my team and I strolled down Fifth Avenue while listening to the recording, I couldn't help but being amazed at those moments where the actual street noises became background humming to highlight the uniquely selected sounds assembled and synthesized into a 9:09 minute long "song." The sound walk lets me go one layer below the surface to feel and see what makes up the city life and culture. It allows me to take a rare opportunity to zone out of what are normally simply considered loud and annoying noises [to a lot of us who live] in the chaotic New York city, to realize how unique and special the city's life can feel like, and be pleasantly surprised by the delicate drops of sounds we thought we always knew until taking on this walk.

"As we walk the streets with open ears, we hear far more than an undifferentiated roar. We discover much more detail than we might imagine—innumerable small sounds and unexpected pools of stillness. At times we can almost hear the city breathing." - John Luther Adams

Link to the sound walk: https://www.metmuseum.org/events/programs/met-live-arts/soundwalk