The Gaits: A soundtrack for the High Line

Last week, Make Music New York introduced a new annual event: Make Music Winter. For its first installment, twelve musical parades were scheduled, proceeding through neighborhoods in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens. Participating artists and organizations included the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Cathedral of St John the Divine, Friends of the High Line, Parsons The New School for Design, composer Phil Kline, MATA, The Knights, conductor Harold Rosenbaum, Puerto Rican folk group Los Pleneros de la 21, Arabic music ensemble Zikrayat, and many more…

I decided to cover The Gaits and headed to the High Line to participate in a unique soundwalk created by Lainie Fefferman, Jascha Narveson, Cameron Britt, and Daniel Iglesia. A free iPhone app was required to fully enjoy the experience: the application used the accelerometer, as well as the GPS location to trigger twinkling metallic and liquid sounds, electric guitar chords, organ drones, applause, etc. The portable speakers were kindly loaned by the High Line…

I thoroughly enjoyed the walk and liked the spontaneous interaction that the project generated: visitors unaware of the event would ask about the weird sounds that came out of people’s iPhones. The thin layer of intimacy and poetry that The Gaits added to the walk was palpable and it almost made it OK to peek into the houses that one would encounter on the way North.

Lainie Fefferman’s friendly announcements and directions were the icing on the cake. One could hope that such a project would cross the Atlantic to inspire Parisians to offer a sonic experience on the Trouée Verte

Cameron Britt, Lainie Fefferman, Jascha Narveson, and Daniel Iglesia

If a picture is worth a thousand words, how much is a video worth?

Make Music Winter - The Gaits: a High Line Soundwalk

Thomas Deneuville, the founder and editor of I care if you listen, is a French-born composer living in NY. Find him on Twitter: @tonalfreak