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375 Neighborhoods in All Their Sonic Glory

Documenting the sounds of all five NYC boroughs during Covid

NYC Sounds Covid-19 is exactly what it sounds like, so to speak: “A collection of field recordings made in every single neighborhood in NYC documenting the quieter city while under quarantine due to the COVID-19 pandemic.” It’s the work of Geoff Gersh, who has wandered the city in recent months, recording throughout the five boroughs, some 375 neighborhoods by his count, everywhere from Co-Op City in the Bronx (bird song, the river-like whoosh of traffic) to Canarsie in Brooklyn (church bells and street chatter) to Washington Square Park in Manhattan (cheering) to South Ozone Park in Queens (music from a radio, a car starting) to Howland Hook in Staten Island (car alarm, the raspy engine of a passing plane, or maybe it’s a scooter of some sort). It’s a remarkable collection, massive in scale, and both comfortingly repetitive and filled with distinct moments. Gersh captures the spaces with incredible detail and a rich sense of place. Put on some headphones, sit still, and listen as cars and birds alike pass through the stereo spectrum. Then listen deeper into the atmosphere of the city, one neighborhood at a time.

According to a brief bio, Gersh performs (presumably pre-Covid) music to silent films at the Nitehawk Cinema in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, as part of the bands Black Lodge and Reel Orchestrette, and has released three CD on, appropriately, the label Deep Listening, founded by the late, great Pauline Oliveros.

Get the full set (name your price) at nycsoundscovid19.com.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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