Central Park Sound Tunnel, Now Playing Back That Argument You Had In the Zoo A Few Months Back

John Morton, the New York musician famous for his elaborate music box-aided compositions, has apparently talked the city and Central Park into allowing him to use the pedestrian tunnel just north of the zoo as a site for an audio installation, Central Park Sound Tunnel, set to run through September. Morton covertly stalked the park for around 40 days, secretly recording various sounds--people arguing, the stray sounds of a baseball game, etc. A computer program randomizes the resulting myriad sound files, which are then triggered to play in 20-minute bursts by the sound of the nearby George Delacorte clock. The Times turns this entertaining bit of local color up:

    William Roberts, a hotel room-service worker who installs himself daily on a bench near the tunnel to drink coffee and read the newspaper, said he had at first mistaken the sounds emanating from [the tunnel] for some kind of bizarre enticement to visit the zoo. "But then I heard voices and jackhammers, and I couldn't figure out what was happening in there," said Mr. Roberts, who added that as a music lover with extremely catholic tastes, he has been enjoying the daily found-noise concerts (which will continue daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. through Sept. 10). "I don't know what to call it," he said, "but I like it."

Entertainingly irritating sound samples from the installation can be found here.

Sound Tunnel: Avant-Garde Park Portrait [NY Times] Central Park Sound Tunnel [NYC Parks]

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