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Copyright Michael N Meyer 2002-2020

 

New York City


Brooklyn, NY: As people are doing around the world, here in Brooklyn people head to their windows or their stoops at 7pm each evening to clap, ring bells, and shout in support of our health care workers who are putting their lives on the line everyday giving care to those who are sick, giving comfort to those who are dying and giving up to the rest of us. As the bells and shouts fade away, the strangely quiet hum of the City returns, pierced by sirens. I can't help but feel that in part we do this as much for ourselves, as a release of pent up anxiety, stress and anger, as much as we do it to show appreciation. Easter Sunday, 2019

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Brooklyn, New York: Street preacher hollering to get the word out, upper level of the Jay Street Metrotech subway station. January 2020

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Bronx, New York: Bronx bound and Brooklyn bound 5 trains passing overhead on the elevated tracks of the Simpson Street subway station. September 2019

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Brooklyn, New York: Squeeky G train car ceiling. March 2020

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Brooklyn, New York: Thunderstorm, Passing Trucks, Barking Dog, Street Sounds. June 2016

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Queens, New York: Old Montefiori Cemetery Soundscape including Birds, Jets on Approach to JFK and the City's Din in Distance. June 2016

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Brooklyn, NY: Another thunderstorm rolling through; thunder, rain on window and traffic below. July 2016

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New York City: Passers by walking up and down the south stairwell in the lobby of the New York Public Library. September 2016

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New York City: After enjoying the sun on the lawn of Bryant Park, I walked up 6th Avenue and then across 44th Street to meet a friend for lunch. In the middle I stopped to get some cash--you never can tell which restaurant will be cash only. September 2016

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New York: The Rose Reading Room at the New York Public Library was reopened to the public not long ago after extensive restorations. Lately I've taken to stopping in between meetings to catch my breath and get a bit of reading in. On this visit I was reading Nicholas Mirzoeff's "How to See the World." January 2017

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Brooklyn, NY: This was meant to be a simple test. I was comparing the "stereo-ness" of a pair of Lom Usi Pro microphones attached to my new Sound Devices MixPre-3 to the internal mics of a Sony PCM-D100. After doing the comparison I fiddled with the MixPre-3's settings and hit record before heading out the door to run an errand. I'd probably never sit and listen to the sounds of my neighborhood for a long stretch, but that's exactly what I did when I came back: listened raptly to the entire 15 minute recording. August 2017.

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Brooklyn, NY: A couple days shy of the 5th anniversary of super storm Sandy, we had quite a day of rain and wind here in Brooklyn. I tacked my contact mics onto my AC unit and recorded the drumbeat of rain on its grill. Behind the rain, the reverberations of everyday city activity--trucks, sirens, the subway--can be heard as a subtle background. October 2017.

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Seoul

Cities and Memory published a selection of my Seoul recordings as a City Guide in 2020.


Seoul: Small video arcades seemed to have popped up all over Hongdae since my last visit to Seoul. I took a few minutes to let the sounds of one of the larger ones wash over me. November 2016

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Seoul: Outside my mother in law's apartment is the constant din of the Gangbyeon Expressway. Even 20 floors up the noise is an unceasing presence. This is the sound of the expressway from directly beneath it; the cars blend into a single constant droning wind. November 2016

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Seoul: I love the auditory, olfactory and visual textures to be found in small markets. On this visit to Seoul, Ji and I spent time traipsing through Mangwon Market. This fish monger's call caught my ear. November 2016

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Seoul: "Light Chamber" by Jang Jaeil and Jang Minseung is a beautiful installation piece currently on view at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Seoul as part of "Void". While the piece itself is beautiful, I was drawn to the way its cleanliness made me aware of the drone of visitors in other rooms or footsteps through the space. Even my own breathing became an intrusion into the space created by the artwork. November 2016

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Seoul: At the tail end of the Naksan section of the Seoul City Wall walk, Ji and I took a minute to sit and listen to the wind rustling through the brush in an overgrown lot and the birds calling to one another. It's always nice to find these moments of quiet in the bustle of the busy city. December 2016

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Seoul: A couple of days before heading to Seoul in November 2016 I was shooting a mock trial event in New York City. Several of the teams had come from Korea to compete. Curious what these young people thought I ought to see and do while there, I asked them. One of the young men suggested, without hesitation: "Do you know Gwanghwamun? Go there to see the protests." So I made time to see the protests; to see what this student thought it important that I see to gain greater understanding of his country. December 2016

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Elsewhere


Lagoa, Azores: on the Eastern edge of Lagoa is the Ingreja de Santa Cruz. Mr. Pizza is across the street. Ji and sat listening to the calls of Corys Shearwaters passing back and forth below the church's terrace with the surf below them and dogs barking in distance as we waited for a late night pizza from Mr. Pizza. July 2019

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Washington, DC: Metro Center, Escalator Descending to Track, Arriving Train. June 2016

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Paris, France: A request for silence over the PA system at Notre Dame Cathedral and the ensuing "silence" in the church. August 2016

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London, England: The changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace recorded from among the throngs watching the spectacle. August 2016

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London, England: Children playing in a fountain. August 2016

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Edinburgh, Scotland: Firing of the 1pm gun at Edinburgh Castle, and the crowd's reaction. August 2016

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Inveraray, Argyll, Scotland: Walking a one quarter circuit of the Inveraray Castle Garden gravel paths. August 2016

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Mexico City: In Alameda Central, the park beside the Palacio Bellas Artes, there is a wonderful fountain with jets of water that children and young people frolic in and around. Listening to their laughter I remembered standing before another fountain, this one in London, with children laughing as they ran in and out of the splatter of water. February 2017

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Mexico City: Walking around the late night streets of Mexico City, Ji and I came upon the open window of a boxing gym. The window was just above eye level, and I peaked my recorder over its lip. The sound of boxing gloves hitting the bag mingled with the sound of traffic on the street behind us. February 2017

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Mexico City: Where ever I travel I always stop in the local cathedral and light a candle for my grandmother. While doing this at the Catedral Metropolitana de la Ciudad de México, I paused to record the organ being played. My grandmother played the organ. February 2017

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San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico: As I stood on the balcony overlooking the courtyard of the San Cristobal de las Casas' Center Textiles del Mundo Maya and listening to church bells (and other museum visitors' chatter) drifting through the still air of the courtyard, fireworks began going off in a neighborhood a couple of blocks away as part of festival celebrations. July 2017.

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Mexico City: Lately protests seem to be everywhere. While giving my folks a whirlwind tour of the Central neighborhood in CDMX, we came across this labor march. Not wanting to get caught up in the large crowd, I stayed only for a moment to watch and was struck by the tone of seriousness, sobriety and solemnity. It felt quite different than the protests I've seen recently in Seoul and the US. August 2017.

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Rotterdam, Netherlands: PLOMP 1 and PLOMP 2. Walking back to my hotel from Rotterdam Photo I came across a construction site with several pile drivers driving pilings into the ground. There was a wonderful poly-arhythmic quality to the noise. PLOMP 1 was made in the evening and PLOMP 2 the following morning. February 2018.

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Budapest, Hungary: While on a long weekend visit to the city, Ji and I took a day trip out to the medieval village of Szentendre. The train's doors made these crazy noises. May 2018.

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Ella, Sri Lanka: Kottu being cooked. There is a wonderful musicality to the ring of spatulas on the grill.

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Kandy, Sri Lanka: At the intersection of Kandy Road and Sri Dalada Veediya there is a wonderful cacophony of wild internal combustion engines vying with the whistle of a policeman trying to maintain order. December 2018

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Greensboro, NC: A passing freight train; pretty self-explanatory. March, 2019

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Bali, Indonesia: Traffic outside Ubud Palace. December 2019

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Bali, Indonesia: Monks praying and ringing bell at Goa Gajah, Ubud. December 2019

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Bali, Indonesia: Wood carving workshop at Bali Werochana, Gianyar. December 2019