Friday, July 15, 2011

Little Squares and Rectangles

I went off on a walk today, carrying my little square container of music and information (my iPod nano), bemoaning the fact that I spend too much of my time getting information and experiences through squares and rectangles, and how it is like squeezing something not rectangular or square, like me (though my husband might disagree) into something square to write a book, write a piece of music, or even make a blog post (I'm typing into a rectangular box that is projected into another rectangle, which itself is sitting on a rectangular surface).

Taking my square device out into the world today was a surprisingly un-square experience. I listened to an installment of The Story about Tony Schwartz (1923-2008), an agoraphobic pioneer in the field of recorded sound, who made "field recordings" of his neighborhood in New York (10019), which provided the physical parameters of his physical world.

Three years after his death, I could carry Schwartz's collection of found sounds into my walking area, nearly a thousand miles away. You can access the Library of Congress collection of Tony Schwartz's recordings here, although they are in a format that my computer can't access.

The companion piece is equally exciting for me. It's an interview with Ignacio Varchausky, a tango musician in Buenos Aires, who talks about his discovery of tango music and his project to make a digital archive of Argentina's tango history.

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