During the pandemic I have been taking more walks in the area. Often, I take the opportunity to listen to a piece of music or album that I’ve been meaning to listen to, but haven’t yet found the time. My headphones are not noise cancelling, so I still hear birds chirping or stray sounds as I’m listening, but what has really struck me is how some music seems to go well with certain walks. I find that I notice more of the landscape and small details this way, especially if it's a trail that I’ve walked before. There is some serendipity to this as well - sometimes the music has an expansive section just as you come to a crest or a field; sometimes there is a very rhythmic section that matches your pace as you walk along.
I invite you to try out these pieces and locations. Perhaps you will enjoy them as much as I did. Maybe you will mix and match the pieces to different places you visit - I would love to hear if you do.
October 1, 2020
Nyquist-Harcourt Wildlife Sanctuary New Paltz
This was a new spot for me, so I walked without music from the parking lot, along the river, to the trail that parallels the river. When I got to the end of the trail (about 10 minutes), I started to listen to Healing is a Miracle, Extended Versions by Juliana Barwick. The piece is very peaceful, and I paced myself more slowly coming back along the trail. At one point the trail opens to a meadow, and this is definitely music that invites you to simply stop, admire nature and listen to the music. There are also spots along the river with spots to sit (tree trunks I believe, and maybe a bench or two) where you can do this. My timing also brought me back to the flowing river as the music had a percussive rumbling in it, which was a nice coincidence.
The album is 3 tracks (approx. 30 minutes total), so you might want to explore more of the trails in this nature preserve as you listen. I think this would also work in places like Poet’s Walk, Peach Hill, Vassar Farm (when that opens up again to the public), and probably lots of other spots. Of course, it also works if you want to just sit somewhere outside, close your eyes and listen.
Hope you enjoy:
Other walks/music pairings:
Roosevelt Farm Lane Trail, Hyde Park
4’ 20” (I listened to this as I started on the path in)
Flute and electronics 3’ 35”
(once I got to the first fork in the road I stopped, turned back and listed to this on my way out)
Peach Hill, Town of Poughkeepsie
Vocal, 7 tracks, approx 60 minutes
Waryas Park, by the Hudson River, Poughkeepsie
Saxophone quartet and soundtrack
4 tracks, approx. 20 minutes total
Walking on the streets of a city or the Rail Trail on a busy afternoon
Baritone saxophone duet, 10’ 42”
Pieces that I think would work on a spot like Walkway Over the Hudson, or on the Rail Trail (though I haven’t done yet - let me know if you try any)
© Eve Joslyn Madalengoitia