(nature noises)

On my nightly visit to the uptown N/R/Q/W subway platform I happened upon an interesting sight.

Those of you who frequent the Broadway line platforms at 34th St. might be aware of the art installation known as REACH New York, An Urban Musical Instrument. If you are unfamiliar with it, it's a bank of infrared light emitters and reflectors connected to a synthesizer and speakers all housed in a green metal case hung about an arms reach above the platform. If one blocks one of the many beams, various musical nature sounds like birds twittering or bamboo windchimes knocking together play from the speakers. There are two of them, one on the uptown platform and one on the downtown. People love this thing and it's rare that you spend any time waiting on the platform without hearing someone playing with it.

The uptown platform's installation has the largish box which houses all the controller equipment and I'd always envisioned some ancient Power Macintosh living in there serving all these sounds. Well, tonight I saw none other than (I assume) the artist himself, Christopher Janney, up on a ladder fiddling around inside the control box:
Christopher Janney?

The train in the picture pulling into the station was mine, so I didn't have time to talk to him. Visible inside the open box was some recent model of Powerbook, an audio amplifier, and an apparatus that I assume was the switch detecting the IR beam trips. Janney appeared to be either loading new sounds into the installation or perhaps just testing it out.

Anyway, that was neat.

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