Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Urban Echo-systems

Shhh . . . listen up. And listen down. Sidewalks are rich with the sequesteredand often surprising sounds of the city. A droning rattle rises from the subway beneath the streets; horns or jackhammers emerge like percussive drums; the click and clack of heels generates a rhythmic pulse; crosswalk signals summon us to slow down, stop or pick up the pace; pigeons flutter and take flight like the soft trill and roll of cymbals; a passing car radio seizes the tempo and briefly hijacks our attention. You are moving in a polyphonic and hybridic space, one teeming with the music—and, yes, jarring noise—of growling machines, agitated or inspired voices, and intrepid interlopers from the organic world. A conductor-less orchestra in search of a tune. A strange echo-system indeed.       
(Photo: near Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia)