Yesterday morning, New York City was one huge magical experience. Summer Streets began its annual celebration and almost seven miles of Park Avenue and Lafayette Street were closed to cars from 7 AM until 1PM. Thousands of people showed up to stroll, cycle, rollerblade and otherwise enjoy the wide- open space.
It is always a treat to walk city streets free of cars, but yesterday’s promenade was especially lovely because of composer Craig Shepard’s musical piece, “Trumpet City”. He had stationed solo trumpet players near the corners (and often centers as well) of every block between 72nd and 45th streets on both east and west sides of the avenue. There were probably 90 or so musicians, each of who would play (usually) one sustained note for a long time and then take a rest. The effect was thrilling – you could hear different notes echoing off the canyon of Park Avenue and combining in new ways. As you walked the music constanly changed, but never evaporated entirely. You can get the idea here, bearing in mind that I still don’t know which way to hold the phone whist taking a video:
A bit further south on Park Avenue the magic continued with “Dive” a sound installation in the tunnel between 33rd and 40th streets.
The artist, Jana Winderen, created Dive from sounds she captured under water at various depths all over the world. The tunnel is barely lit with blue lights and as you venture deeper in, the sounds change, becoming increasingly eerie. SO COOL.
I made a video of Dive , but since Summer Streets is around for the next two Saturdays (August 9 and 16), you should go and experience this wonderful installation in person!