Probably no video better illustrates the concept of the ‘upstate soundscape’ then this one.
Buffalo Grain Music, recorded on a bike ride through the city last February by Kyla Kegler, is a perfect representation of the acoustic ecology unique to a Rust Belt city like Buffalo. The playful re-invention of these decaying structures as haunted instruments by the these Buffalo bicyclists recalls R. Murray Schafer’s discussion of soundscapes and soundmarks (sounds that are unique to an area).
And as Buffalo begins to re-develop its long-abandoned waterfront, it might be worth remembering what Schafer said regarding the importance of soundmarks. The Canadian author wrote in The Soundscape: The Tuning of the World, “Once a Soundmark has been identified, it deserves to be protected, for soundmarks make the acoustic life of a community unique.”