One of the essays in Letters from New Orleans, “Under The Freeway,” tells the story of the curious public space that existed underneath a stretch of I-10; the (somewhat depressing) history of that space; and, in passing, how it felt to listen to parades as they passed through this particular zone of the city. This used to be online somewhere, but I’m afraid I can’t find it. I guess you’ll have to buy the book!
Anyway, I bring this up because I’m interested to learn, via Disquiet, that an actual scholar has delved into the sonic experience of such spaces. Or, really, for that specific space, as I understand it. I haven’t yet read the full piece, but Disquiet’s note about it is very enticing
What distinguishes [Matt] Sakakeeny’s article [is] that he hears that jazz in the real world, and how the sonic properties of the world shape the music, not just the audience’s experience of and participation in the music, but the way the music itself sounds. His understanding of music’s role in life in New Orleans helps him hear the music not as sound that takes place, but as sound that makes something of the place, acoustically, in which it occurs. Music isn’t merely a message transmitted from performer to audience; it’s a space-defining invisible-yet-physical force that interacts with (helps define, yet is defined by) the space in which it happens.
Sounds fantastic, no? Looking forward to reading this soon & will report back.