Resounding NYSCI: an interactive & site-specific soundscape celebrating historic and resonant spaces and grounds of the New York Hall of Science

Note: This webpage will keep evolving as the project continues to unfold, providing full acknowledgements of all locations and samples contained within the soundscape I produce along with any other credits and details about how the work is built and anyone that may assist and lend use of additional samples they’ve produced that are relevant to add. Below these details are acknowledgements and a sample list from another site-specific soundscape project I produced as well. Everything for Resounding NYSCI recorded within the New York Hall of Science (NYSCI) was recorded with permission from the museum and the Makers Faire. Thank you to all who helped make this possible (who are cited specifically below).

 

Resounding NYSCI

Resounding NYSCI is a soundscape and interactive storytelling project designed to celebrate the beautiful acoustics and history of the New York Hall of Science and the Great Hall, and highlight the importance of the site and its legacy and connection to the Maker Faire. As a beacon of hope, unity, innovation, and futurism the 1964 Worlds’ Fair celebrated many of the same things that The Maker Faire does now on the same grounds. This is a sound collage celebrating our shared history and potential to reach and strive for a better future by aspiring, innovating, championing the DIY spirit, and working collaboratively with creative technology.

This project would not be possible without the generosity, assistance, and permission of the New York Hall of Science, Geoff Kuffner, David Rothenberg, Mieux Mieux, and all the people that contributed memories and their voices to make this a story that’s not only about me and my personal love of this magnificent space and event but about us all. I hope that it can inspire others to continue reaching and resounding their voices to create a brighter and more unified future, and experiment with the ways technology and creativity merge to create awe and wonder in people of all ages. I feel these events reflect some of the best of human potential and this is a time for us to continue redefining what humanity is and can be as we reach further out into the universe and confront our collective future that is now present. There is much work and healing to be done, but there is still hope, beauty, wonder, and potential everywhere to support and champion if you look and listen with open hearts and minds.

Check out the wonderful work of my musical collaborator David Rothenberg http://www.davidrothenberg.net/ , author of “Why Birds Sing, and his full catalog of releases on Terranova Music: http://www.terranovamusic.net/

 

Resounding NYSCI samples & acknowledgements (in order of appearance in the piece):

  • David Rothenberg on clarinet in The Great Hall (recorded by David Rothenberg and Mieux Mieux in the Great Hall at the New York Hall of Science) *
  • Quote of Mr. George M. Bunker, President of the Martin-Marietta Corporation, read and recorded by Rhiannon Catalyst (from the Opening Ceremonies at the dedication of the permanent Hall of Science on September 9th, 1964 at the New York Worlds’ Fair) **
  • Quote by Robert Moses read by Rhiannon Catalyst (from the Opening Ceremonies at the dedication of the permanent Hall of Science on September 9th, 1964 at the New York Worlds’ Fair. **
  • Quote by Robert F. Wagner, Mayor of the City of New York, read by Rhiannon Catalyst (from the Opening Ceremonies at the dedication of the permanent Hall of Science on September 9th, 1964 at the New York Worlds’ Fair. **
  • Quote by Robert F. Wagner, Mayor of the City of New York, read by Rhiannon Catalyst (from the Opening Ceremonies at the dedication of the permanent Hall of Science on September 9th, 1964 at the New York Worlds’ Fair. **
  • Paul Erbach (my grandfather) sharing memories of the 1964 Worlds’ Fair **
  • David Rothenberg (clarinet) and Rhiannon Catalyst (voice) original collaborative composition in the Great Hall *
  • Rhiannon Catalyst on The Great Hall, cathedrals, sound, and science **
  • Balam Soto (fellow Maker Faire presenter and colleague) speaking on innovation**
  • Asukaya Bailey sharing memories of the New York Hall of Science **
  • Simon Gruber (Rhiannon’s father) sharing on memories of the Worlds’ Fair in 1964 **

* These samples recorded by David Rothenberg and Mieux Mieux in the Great Hall

** These samples recorded by Rhiannon Catalyst

 

 

 

 

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Details on Rhiannon Catalyst’s last soundscape (built largely on and about a beautifully resonant and culturally historic sinking ship docked on the toxic waters of the Newtown Creek in NYC):

 

CrossCurrents

< Details, acknowledgements, sample list, and attributions >

The base of Crosscurrents is a soundscape I spent the last two years developing. It was first premiered at Ataraxia: Tesseract on March 31st, 2018. Upon this base soundscape I perform live and often interactive music and scent storytelling, introducing vocals, other instruments, and scents to enhance different parts of the journey from the urban industrial landscape of NYC to the ship (a bridge melding industry and nature) and, finally, out to sea.

Half of my work was obtaining permission to use any samples I did not create myself, and I even developed new friendships and collaborative relationships as a result. I’ve worked very hard to source and pay proper respect to everything I did not record alone or myself. This project is the result of a vast amount of work on my part but would not be possible without the support, samples, production skills, and passion of these other talented people and their hard work. One of my favorite parts about this project is that it’s given me the opportunity to acknowledge people who have been wonderfully supportive in my life and in local and global cultural communities and spaces. These acknowledgments tell much of the story of what this work is about and why it’s so meaningful. I believe DIY communities and grassroots organizations often represent the best in humanity and our best hope for survival and more holistic, positive, and intelligent ways of life. So please read on, and check out the other work of these wonderful people and communities. It is my deep and heartfelt desire that this will inspire even a few people to support local DIY communities and efforts including our beloved ship that this is largely designed to celebrate and encourage stewardship of, and efforts to bioremediate bodies of water that are fundamental to the survival of our species and all others. As Her Deepness Sylvia Earle says, “No blue, no green.” The ship and the oceans need our help, and time is of the essence.

With sincere thanks and love, Rhiannon Catalyst

CrossCurrents

An evolving urban and wildlife soundscape / immersive and interactive sound and scent story by Rhiannon Catalyst)

Premiered at Ataraxia: Tesseract, and later performed live at Voyage: The Vessel

This is an evolving story told through sound and natural acoustics (with no artificial reverb applied to the samples or vocals) about water, waves, culture, cities, and nature. These currents, waves, and laws of physics connect us all. The beauty of the physics of sound, and the incredible acoustics in places underground and underwater have the power to draw attention to spaces that need our focus and stewardship lest they continue to become less and less habitable. If you look and listen closely enough you will find that there are magical places hidden in our cities where wild nature collides with industry… I believe these places tell very poignant stories about the planet and power of community, and sometimes even act like portals (or port-holes) between worlds. Note: There may be (there definitely are) pirates in this story, but I’m not THAT kind of pirate- every sound sample you hear in this work was thoroughly researched and cleared with permission granted for use in this piece.)

Massive thanks and gratitude:

To David Rothenberg (http://www.davidrothenberg.net/) for generously sharing your work and deeply inspiring recordings with me, to my family for your support and encouraging and inspiring me to dream and care so much, to Liz Skolnick for introducing me to the bilge (in all her beauty, meaning the bilge but Liz too), to my father Simon Gruber for being a water protector all my life and introducing me to David Rothenberg, to my mother Sarah Clarehart for life and too many other things to list, to Zhenya for helping me properly record in the bilge and being as crazy as I am, to Seva, Matt, and Bruce for the boat, to Junglez for your friendship, advice, and massive service to the community, to John Cirenza for being the magical missing ingredient in that epic snowstorm recording session and working to heal our lady, to Lindsey for being such a good ship and pirate kitten mama, to Future Clear for your deeply inspiring work and loving and supporting my voice and visions, to Kaya for all your help and always staying luminous, to Steele, Caitlin, Jeff and Starlight Runner for encouraging me to tell my stories, to the creators and users of freesound.org for existing and creating such a wonderful field recording community, to Kenji Williams for pushing me to reach even higher, to Sylvia Earle and Alex Rose for inspiring me to reach even deeper, to Kurt and Rachel for such a proper canvas and opportunity to share this for the first time, to Justin for your generosity and our geeky mad science sessions, to Zionysus for the revelation of bilge verb, to Jessica and Jenna at NASA for inspiring me to keep my curiosity roving and share things wide and far to inspire others, and to everyone truly working to heal, protect, and educate people about the planet, oceans, rivers, creeks, and our beloved ship. The ship became a (sometimes painfully) clear metaphor for our planet to me as I became more and more connected to her. She’s alive, more precious than words, the waters are toxic, it takes a village, and we only have so much time, so let’s hustle our work on both fronts shall we?And FYI, there are always ways to help and be an activist that are deeply inspiring, fun and healthy, and help you connect to other wonderful people- it’s not all doom and gloom or all about self-sacrifice! It’s about sustainability, and that includes YOU and what makes you personally happy and healthy to do and share. This project helped me finally learn that very real and important lesson. Email me if you’d like to help us save the beautiful ship and community center I’m referring to!, or check out this link to support bioremediation of the toxic waterways of Brooklyn: http://www.newtowncreekalliance.org/, or this link about our oceans and changing the way we think about plastic: https://plasticoceans.org , or this link to the show I manage that inspires people to care about and protect the planet by making you feel like you’re an astronaut looking at the earth from space: http://www.bellagaia.com/ It really is all connected. And P.S. thank YOU for reading this! 🙂 <3) (And P.P.S. I couldn’t list everyone who’s been supportive in the scope of all that’s connected here- I’m really sorry if I’ve left anyone out that feels they should be acknowledged- it’s evolving as I said and I love and appreciate you all!)

Crosscurrents Sample list and acknowledgements (in order of appearance in the piece):

  • Rain and puddles in Delaware (recorded by Rhiannon Catalyst with a Macbook and Snowball Blue mic)
  • “Travelin To Yo Mama’s Crib” (produced by DJ Element aka Mark Carranceja)
  • “59th Street stop announcement on a NYC subway train” (by flcellogrl*)
  • “The sounds of a residential street in Brooklyn, NY after a rain shower.” (by Edm_2000*)
  • “OKM Binaural recording in New York- 2100_FX_NewYork_Sirenes on street4Police” (by Davidmenke*)
  • Samples from the ship and my Bilge Siren Project lovingly recorded and engineered in the cavernous bilge compartments (compartments 3, 5, and 8 specifically) of a slowly sinking and steadily resurrected and healed steel pirate ship (by Zhenya Warshavsky and Rhiannon Catalyst with support from John Cirenza and Shuvo Vas). All vocals by Rhiannon except the wonderful impromptu quote “I think you’re safe” from Zhenya. Note that without these three I never could have achieved the dream of recording the bilge properly that I worked towards for two years, and considering the massive amounts of mold, rust, ice, snow, and toxic waters we braved together, they truly did help keep me safe and alive too. All bilge samples recorded with a Zoom H4n)
  • “Crackling ice water” (by David Rothenberg)**
  • “Tongan Whale Denoise noverb mix” (by David Rothenberg)**
  • “Tibicen Walker quarter speed”  (by David Rothenberg)**
  • Tibicen Walker half speed (by David Rothenberg)**

*These samples researched and sourced from the site and field recording community https://freesound.org . All samples from https://freesound.org are approved for free cultural works under Creative Commons License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

** These samples generously provided by David Rothenberg http://www.davidrothenberg.net/ , author of “Why Birds Sing,” and Terranova Music- check out their full catalog of releases at: http://www.terranovamusic.net/

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