500 Saint Charles Ave

Following the Cities and Memory reminder that sometimes “the best recorder in the world is the one you have with you at the time,” here’s an iPhone voice memo recording of a small second line band marching in the rain down Saint Charles avenue last weekend. I was walking on the sidewalk against traffic on St Charles when I saw the band approaching. The streets were wet, it was a little windy, and the band was moving slowly so I figured that there might be something cool to come out of an audio capture. But, as I’ve experienced with other on-the-fly field recordings, the magic of the moment didn’t occur to me until after I reviewed the recording. Listening back, I was floored by the transition that occurs from brass horns to car horns! That’s so distinctly New Orleans. And, to me, such a statement about this Unfathomable City where the past and the present float in and out of our ears.