December, New York’s urban cacophony of bleating car horns, screeching subway
wheels and wailing fire trucks will take a backseat to organised bursts of
music as part of Make Music
Winter 2013. The free event to celebrate the winter solstice features 13 musical parades throughout the day
in different neighbourhoods.
participation is key to the sonic art projects, which span a variety of genres
and include some unique approaches: building facades,
all double as instruments. And while some of the parades, such as Thru-Line, a tag-team performance
of the Prelude from JS Bach’s Cello Suite No 1 in G major on the G subway line,
Axes, an electric guitar procession through the East Village, rely on
experienced players with their own strings, official musician status is not
options on the zero-musical-training end of the spectrum include ringing colour-coded
cued in Midtown, carrying boom boxes playing
layers of sound in the Fort Greene neighbourhood, and accompanying a vocal
performance with transistor
radios at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.
Those with wheels can make music with bike bells in Prospect Park.
aficionados will want to check out the ensemble of fellow fans jazzing it up
between Columbus Circle and Times Square. And for a more medieval sound,
a procession through Central Park featuring choral compositions from the 13th
and 14th Centuries.
routes are less than a mile long and are scheduled to take about an hour. Among
the exceptions are the Caribbean-style festivities in East Harlem and Williamsburg,
where maraca-making and music workshops respectively kick things off before the
Puerto Rican and Dominican-inspired parades make stops around the
communities, with singing and dancing going
into the evening.
number of instruments will be made available on-site, depending on the parade.
In some cases, it’s necessary to download materials and sign up in advance, and
a few require rehearsal. Details can be found online. Regardless of the
weather, the first parade will begin at 11:30 am and the last one steps off at
7 pm. Participants are encouraged to arrive on time and wear gloves.
Amy Brader is the New York Localite for BBC