Category Archives: Soundmark

[Soundmark: Thaddeus Kosciusko Bridge, Halfmoon, NY]

Location: Thaddeus Kosciusko Bridge (Twin Bridges), Halfmoon NY
Date: June 26, 2012
Time: 6:00pm
Equipment Used: AKG C1000S, Apogee One, Macbook Pro
Setting: Mono (stationary)
Recorder: Baird Buchanan (Claymation)

Description: A good friend and I came here after work to hopefully catch some heavy rush hour traffic sounds from under the bridge. It really turned out to be a great spot, the underside of the bridge acted like a large reverb chamber for the all the traffic sounds as well as the multitude of nature sounds coming from banks of the Mohawk river. Hearing the mix of engines, tires, pavement and wildlife all blended together gives quite a good representation of the area. Hope you enjoy it!

[Soundmark: Red Jacket River Front Park, Buffalo NY]

Location: Red Jacket River Front Park (Buffalo, NY)
Date: April 29, 2012
Time: 3:00pm
Equipment Used: H2N Zoom
Setting: Stereo XY (stationary)
Recorder: Needles Numark

Description: Recording of a quiet day in a Red Jacket River Front Park, located in Buffalo’s Old First Ward. At the top of the park is a stone bench that overlooks the winding river and a crumbling concrete factory. Despite the departure of industry many years ago, the industrial noises of factories in the distance, along with passing trains headed elsewhere, still waft through the sound field and intermingle with the natural noise of birds and running water. An interesting soundmark.

[Soundmark: Cohoes Falls, Cohoes NY]

In honor of World Listening Day (July 18) we are launching our new [Soundmark] series. Here is the first [Soundmark] from Albany’s Baird Buchanan. Check yesterday’s post for background info. Stay tuned for more [Soundmarks] to come. If you want to contribute to the series, email for more info.


Location: Cohoes Falls, Cohoes NY
Date: May 12, 2012
Time: 7:00pm
Equipment Used: 2 AKG C1000S, MAudio Fast Track Pro, Macbook Pro
Setting: Stereo (stationary)
Recorder: Baird Buchanan (Claymation)

Description: It was a beautiful Saturday evening when I started recording the falls with the sun on its way down. I was able to capture some wildlife as well as some visitors enjoying the view which all livened up the atmosphere even though the drone of the falls is the dominant sound. I ended up pointing one mic at the actual falls and the other at 180 degrees towards the large hyrdo release jet to really capture the roar of standing between these two massive forces of water.

This recording is also featured in the new Claymation track “Down Bubble.” 

[World Listening Day and Upstate Soundmarks]

July 18 is World Listening Day, a global event organized by the World Listening Project. According to the WLP website, the point of World Listening Day is to:

  • to celebrate the practice of listening as it relates to the world around us, environmental awareness, and acoustic ecology
  • to raise awareness about issues related to the World Soundscape Project, World Listening Project, World Forum for Acoustic Ecology, and individual and group efforts to creatively explore phonography
  • to design and implement educational initiatives which explore these concepts and practices

July 18 was chosen as the date for World Listening Day because it is the birthday of the Canadian composer R. Murray Schafer, who is one of the founders of the Acoustic Ecology movement. Schafer is also the author of The Soundscape: Our Sonic Environment and the Tuning of the Worlda book that helped to define many of the terms involved with the acoustic ecology movement and inspired the title of The Upstate Soundscape.

In honor of World Listening Day, The Upstate Soundscape will launch a new regular series called ‘Soundmarks.’ Schafer wrote that Soundmarks “make the acoustic life of a community unique.” The Upstate region has a diverse geographical setting that is filled with unique and interesting soundmarks. We will begin cataloging those soundmarks into a soundmap or sound survey, like those in Montreal and London.

This is conceived as an open collaborative project that anyone can contribute to. All you need is a simple field recorder and an ear for the Soundmarks in your own environment. If you’d like to record a Soundmark and contribute it to the blog, email us at for more info.

To commemorate World Listening Day, we will post our first Soundmark tomorrow, which was contributed by Baird Buchanan, an Albany-based artist that records under the name Claymation. Check back tomorrow to take a listen and get a feel for what the Soundmarks will be like.

Also, on this week’s episode of The Upstate Soundscape, the first hour of the show will be dedicated soundmarks, phonography, hydrophones, and music that makes use of field recordings in honor of World Listening Day.