Creating a Sound Guide for 370 Jay Street

My partner, Sylvan Zheng, and I went through many concepts of where to conduct our sound guide. Initially, we had decided to conduct our sound walk in the elevators for 370 Jay Street. In preparation for this project, we recorded sounds from each floor’s lobby and sounds of each elevator with a zoom and shotgun mic. We ended up using none of this material.

Spontaneously, we decided to take the freight elevator to the bottom floors of our building. It was during this excursion that we stumbled upon our Sound Guide location – floor CM.

Sylvan and I, using the same recording materials, recorded sounds from floor CM: air conditioning, heavy machinery, and other ambient industrial noises. We mixed the audio component of sound guide in Ableton, mixing our recorded noises with droning music, and beginning the track with an ominous introduction.

You may access our audio guide here.

Our audio guide was very hands-off in directing our listeners through the space we selected. Thus, we created a supplementary packet with a map and newspaper clippings about the history of some of the elements on the floor. We went through different iterations of our map based on feedback from our peers who attempted our sound walk.

Below is a gallery of the accompanying packet pages.

On the cover of our packet, we included Ode on a Grecian Urn by John Keates – Keates’ poem touches on the fall of empires and the beauty of their rebirth, a perfect metaphor for the reconstruction of 370 Jay Street.

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