UPDATE: This event is currently at capacity. Walk-ups will still be welcomed on a first-come, first-served basis.
Metro Art Presents has teamed up with Leaving Records to ask four musicians to create original music soundscapes evoking experiences of nature and transportation in Los Angeles, with Union Station at its center.
Each soundscape is a 15 to 20 minute listening experience to accompany transit riders on their journeys. Learn more about the four musicians below, and listen to their soundscapes on Metro Art’s Soundcloud. You’ll also be able to join us for a live concert outdoors in Union Station’s North Patio on Saturday, Aug. 28 at 4:30 p.m. and ending at sunset.
This is an all ages in-person event, free and open to the public. Masks will be required as mandated by County of Los Angeles Public Health guidelines. Capacity will be limited to allow for social distancing, so please be sure to RSVP via Eventbrite. Walk-ins will be welcomed on a first-come, first-served basis.
Go Metro to the event! Take the B Line (Red), D Line (Purple), J Line (Silver) or L Line (Gold) directly to Union Station. Plan your trip on Transit app.
Meet the musicians in their own words:
I have not been riding public transit much these days, but I rode the 102, the 2, and the 3 all throughout my childhood, and in more recent years I rode the Metro E Line to the various jobs I used to work in Santa Monica. I once took the Coast Starlight Train from Union Station all the way to Seattle, and it was one of the most magical west coast travel experiences I’ve ever had.
I’m inspired by nature — the ocean at dawn, night-blooming flowers, the antitwilight arch, and the creative process for making this soundscape involved a lot of layering and collaging. I played with mic distance in the recording process to explore the sound of memory. I also played with different types of delay to conjure the broad spectrum of feelings between anticipation and nostalgia.
For this project, two albums were my main source of inspiration: Mort Garson’s Mother Earth’s Plantasia and Stevie Wonder’s Journey Through ‘The Secret Life of Plants.’ Plants have a deep and ancient intelligence through language we (including me!) usually don’t give the time to listen to. I learned this the hard way through a lot of trial and error with a lot of houseplants.
I prefer walking when I can, so Palmy is about a palm tree growing up with you as they see you walk to the Metro everyday! Telling the story from Palmy the palm tree’s perspective channels a certain mood, it brings out my inner child and refreshes my imagination. Once I felt really connected to Palmy, I sat at my midi keyboard and started making the themes for the stages of Palmy’s journey […] Nature, modern life, and public transport aren’t pretty a lot of the time. But it’s all real, and it’s all part of a story worth telling. Something doesn’t need to be pretty to be sacred.
I live very close to the B Line and it’s been great for me because I do not have a car. As someone who doesn’t drive, I have the luxury of being able to stop and smell the roses (which I do often!) I love to walk and take the train to places I haven’t explored before to check out parks and hiking trails.
For this project I started out by getting some field recordings at my favorite public parks. I wanted to share those places that have been vital to my ability to take a break from the madness of the city to find inner peace. In my home studio I combed through different patches on my synths to find the sounds I wanted to use. I wanted my song to reflect how important certain areas and trees in this city are to me. It always feels like I’m going to visit my friends.
Celia Hollander (soundscape coming Aug. 25)
I live very close to the L Line; I can see the train go by from my house! So for the soundscape, I want to emphasize how networked systems, whether created by humans (such as global transit or the internet) or found in our environment (such as neural networks, mycelial networks or cosmic webs) have more similarities than differences. I believe that the foundation for sustainability — for the survival of the human species and the way we’ve known our planet — depends on the mass understanding that our species is embedded in an interdependent web
I began this project with a conceptual approach and then used that as scaffolding for compositional ideas. I was struck by how Union Station is the largest terminal hub in the western part of the U.S. and how it facilitates connections both locally and internationally. I wanted to convey this at multiple scales: from being a pedestrian navigating a crowd to a global system of interlocking parts and finally to a massive, abstracted scale of all types of networks.
Categories: Metro Art