Incident Far From South Street: John Lurie’s Tragic Acoustemology

August 13th, 2010 | photography

“…in any case, at the very end of the New Yorker piece, Lurie says the following:

“There’s a spot on Astor Place, near where the cube is, between Broadway and Lafayette — a saxophone sounds incredible there at about six o’clock.”

His appreciation of Manhattan is a very specific one. He comes from an era when life only happened below 14th Street, and that remains very much his mindset. His understanding of this aural space, of those acoustic properties, exemplifies the idea of “acoustemology,” which Steven Feld has defined as ““local conditions of acoustic sensation, knowledge, and imagination embodied in the culturally particular sense of place.” What’s striking is that when Lurie speaks of missing New York, of the life he left behind, what he focuses on isn’t just the place, but the sonic particulars of that place…”

Sent from my outboard brain

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One Response to “Incident Far From South Street: John Lurie’s Tragic Acoustemology”

  1. David Byrne did a TED talk on “Creation in Reverse,” how the space in which a musician plays affects the music and the creation of music:
    http://journal.davidbyrne.com/2010/02/index.html

    I also heard an architect talk about a letter he received from the actor David Suchet which addressed the differences for an actor in performing in a theater that had air conditioning and one that didn’t. Suchet wrote eloquently of the need for the performers and the audience to breathe together, how that created the magic of a shared reality, and how an air conditioned space mitigated against that experience.