Put The Needle On The Record #12 : Interlude : Stop For Train : Shreveport : 30092019

The histories of architecture in the city are ‘scrolls’ waiting to be discovered and ‘read’ (Calvino, 1972). While investigating these scrolls through the practice of walking the streets of the city accompanied by wheeled luggage, I have found a ‘stylus’ for reading the pavement topography, the skin of the city. The wheels of the luggage bag connect directly with the built environment, rather like putting the needle on a record: a record that is city-sized and can be played in any direction. This practice presents a way of recording, mapping, and sonifying the streets of the city. 

Put The Needle On The Record was created by Loz Colbert. Find out more about the project here.

6020 Freight train arrives in Shreveport about 3:40pm (very slowly)

We’re about half way through now, so let’s pause for this train to cross our path in Shreveport, Louisiana. The recording took place a few metres from the train, sitting waiting for one to pass. In general I noticed that they waited at a distance for quite some time, until given the signal to move. Then a series of blasts on the air horn, the engine takes up the strain, and it rolls the final half kilometre or so into the depot. It took ten minutes to trundle past, and while sitting there I was treated to a horizontal scroll of graffiti…

A different kind of rolling luggage

One thought on “Put The Needle On The Record #12 : Interlude : Stop For Train : Shreveport : 30092019”

  1. Wow, this really made me think. I’m accustomed to train whistles having a certain degree of dissonance to them, clashing pitches that jar the listener and make us take notice of the train’s approach (“look out!”). This train whistle, with its inverted major chord, it sounded less like a warning and more like a friendly greeting (“hello out there”). The horns are a communication tool, of course, but I hadn’t considered the various messages they could be sending before!

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