Observations

I do what I can to observe sounds present in the world around me. This page documents some of the sonically interesting spaces and objects I have found.

The RER B near Port-Royal

When I was in Paris for the EAMA Summer Program, I rode the RER B as part of my daily commute. I was quite struck by many of the sounds of the train, particularly the friction between the wheels and the rails. Towards the end of the programs, I got into the habit of just carrying my recording device during my commute. Below is a one-minute excerpt of such a recording, in this case from between Denfert-Rochereau and Port-Royal Stations. The photos of Port-Royal Station were taken by Michael Betz, a fellow EAMA student.
looking out of the stationlooking across the tracks

Boulevard of the Allies - Charles Anderson Bridge

The Charles Anderson Bridge in Pittsburgh connects at one end to a park, and thus has multiple trails underneath it. When under the bridge, the traffic passing overhead, often infrequent and discrete, can be heard quite clearly, both in the friction of tires against the road and when wheels pass over some sort of joint in the road. I have attempted to record this resonance.


under the bridge

Interstate 279 - Fort Duquesne Bridge

The Fort Duquesne Bridge carries Interstate 279 in Downtown Pittsburgh across the Allegheny River and the two small trails that run along the riverbank. Having walked along those trails dozens of times, I have often been captivated by the constantly shifting sound of the constant traffic passing overhead. Although the natural variety present in the environment is not clearly present in the recording, it is possible to hear one vehicle, probably a truck, passing overhead at a rather distinct pitch.


under the bridge

Penn Station (Pittsburgh) Rotunda

There is a prominent rotunda in front of the former train station (now apartments with a much smaller station in back) in downtown Pittsburgh. Passing through this rotunda, I have come to notice that it has a very unique echo. The sound is repeated almost continually for a short amount of time, and as one moves away from the center of the station, the nature of the echo changes radically. In the following recording, I begin by clapping at the very center of the rotunda, and move further towards the edge with each clap.


the rotunda

Smithfield and Liberty Parking Garage

A rather mundane parking garage entrance in Downtown Pittsburgh, located on Smithfield Street between 6th and 7th Avenues, has a bland-looking circular area in front - it is concrete and extends remarkably high. Passing through this garage occasionally, I noticed that it has a remarkably clear echo. I recorded myself clapping at two points within the garage - I was somewhat timid when making this recording as several people were spending time inside the dome on their lunch break.


the bottom part of the domethe top part of the dome