The Not-Quite-Quiet Library

My family and friends who are on lockdown in New York City have noted just how preternaturally quiet it has been lately. Not day in the country quiet, but actual birds singing, wind in the trees, individual voices, and cars make up the collage of the city soundscape right now. It’s hard to imagine the city without the constant low level cacophony as background. The good news is that the New York Public Library is offering some aural normalcy with their album Missing Sounds of New York which was recently released and is described as:

A new immersive experience, the album is a collection of audio landscapes that evoke some of the sounds of New York City. Missing Sounds of New York, a partnership with creative agency Mother New York, is a love letter to NYC, connecting New Yorkers around the familiar sounds of urban life that they love and miss during this unprecedented time of social separation.

Tracks include “To See an Underground Show,” “Never Call It a Night Again,” and best of all for us bibliophiles “Not-Quite-Quiet Library.” Each soundscape is not just white noise, but a narrative. The “Not-Quiet-Quiet Library” follows a reader into the Stephen A. Schwarzman Library, past a tour group and a helpful librarian before finding a quiet-ish place to read.


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