Music Scene #2: Chicago and Gothic cathedrals as musical scores

In Thoughts on June 7, 2011 at 7:11 am

Timelapse videos are quickly becoming the favorite pastime of the American creative class. And because of their growing ubiquity, they’ll probably fade from the forefront with the same speed at which they ascended. Go the way of the dinosaurs. And Facebook in Pirate. But several I’ve seen in the past week caught my attention.

The first blows my mind because it might be the first time I’ve been made aware, visually, of how we are hurtling and revolving through space, not a fixed point in the universe but a groaning orb in orbit, the constellations our anchors. It also provides the eery realization that our built environment is on the surface of this thing, protruding out at all angles from our planet like spines on a cactus, held on by a scientific concept we can’t quite prove.

The second is this video from Craig Shimala, which presents an image of Chicago mirroring itself and thus appearing to be floating in the clouds. What really intrigues me though—and why it made Music Scene—is how the skyline, when reflected back to itself, takes on the shape of static audio bars, the kind you’d find on Soundcloud. Of course, they’re not acting in this way, but I wonder if you could use them as the blueprint for music, in the way that Blake Carrington used architectural plans of Gothic cathedrals.


Music Scene is a new series of posts concerning themselves with the intersection of Chicago’s built environment and music, sound, or noise. If you’ve noticed something unique about this small convergence, I’d love to hear about it.


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