Tag: subways

[track] Elena’s Stars

Dusted off some twang for a story of beauty in sadness. Some days, whiskey over absinthe…

Elena lived on Avenue X,
next to a trestle
all her life.

She dreamed of distant places
and of jumping random trains
a thousand times.

She craved a sky that let her know she was home.
An endless sky that left the stars alone
to shine.
Beyond her life,
that sky showed her some way home.

Counting the trains
to and from Coney Island
every night,

searching in vain
for salvation, in a city
full of lies.

[ch.]

I’m still here, amidst the fallout of our life.
I’m still here, living with her dreams.

She found a sky that let her know she was home.
An endless sky that left the stars alone
to shine.
Beyond her life,
that sky showed her some way home.

one city

she walks into union square
sends the pigeons flying
didn’t think i’d find her there
didn’t think of trying

she sits on a bench above the subway
as the trains rumble by
i see her shake

inside the hiss of a subway’s brakes
it means everything and nothing just the same

a city
to strangers
one city
two strangers
one city
too strange

dreams between drags on a cigarette
while i watch
under the lights of an august city
that will never stop

red street, the light of a taxi’s brakes
it means everything and nothing just the same

a city
to strangers
one city
two strangers
one city
too strange

no brooklyn bound [disquiet0018-3×3]

sound 1: field recording – downtown new york city subway 6 train weekend service disruption announcement and surrounding ambience. recorded with iphone garageband.
sound 2: constructed beat – iphone garageband drum samples
sound 3: synth – programmed iphone animoog

minute 1: the drum is primary, backed by stabs and swoops of the synth and cut up portions of the subway announcement.
minute 2: the subway field recording runs full and uninterrupted, with the beat and synth stabs and swoops slightly tweaked, but retaining the same basic phrasing.
minute 3: the synth comes forward with a 2nd part, laid over the cut up subway announcement and drum beat.

the drum beat is a long phrase (fourteen 8-beat measures?) that repeats three times w/ a couple variations. i considered the entire phrase as one sound, even though it’s made of a kick, snare, high hat and cymbal. this was my first time using garageband to construct a beat and the result sounded something like my old boss dr-5. made me smile for that alone. the synth sound was programmed in iphone’s animoog app, and then played live using the app’s D#-minor pentatonic keyboard over the other 2 tracks. first minute is one take, second and third minutes contain a second take and the third minute a third take as the add’l part.

though everything was generated/recorded by an iphone, all sounds were dumped into sony acid (my daw that i just can’t shake), and all cutting up, loop creation, compression application and rendering happened there. i didn’t set out to use a subway recording for this week’s challenge, but my trips into and out of manhattan this weekend were maddening. this track became my way of processing the absurdity of a monolithic transportation schema that often leaves me feeling like a character in the film “brazil.”…

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