4 Landscapes is a recording augmented sound walk in which imagined soundscapes of 4 places on Peter Stuyvesant’s 1650 Farm are overlaid on the obviously transformed grid of the East Village today. It was created for Peter Stuyvesant’s Ghost, a week of events showcasing American and Dutch sound artists presenting work having to do with the Dutch influence in New York. This piece was part of the 2006 5 Dutch Days celebration in NYC and was produced by Lise Brenner. See walk text and listen below.
Starting at St. Marks Church on 2nd Avenue, walk north to 18th St. Imagine that you are viewing a latticework of cultivated fields and fallow meadows that extends as far North, and West as the eye can see. You would have heard beasts of burden pulling ploughs and wagons, including oxen and horses imported from Holland and indentured servants harvesting crops by hand. If the track runs out replay it until you reach 18th street, then hit pause and listen to the cityscape for comparison as you walk down 18th street to 1st Avenue.
At 18th St. and 1st Ave. cross the street and come to rest at the entrance to Stuyvesant Town. Imagine that you are standing on the shore of the East River circa 1651. The island has been transformed by 350 years of landfill causing the shore to shift as much as 4 city blocks to the East. You would have heard the sound of the East River lapping on a flat rocky shoreline and numerous sea birds. From 18th St walk South to the corner of 1st Ave.15th St
On the East side of 15th street and 1st Ave. imagine you have entered an orchard of 36 fruit bearing trees. The trees would have isolated outside sound and focused the sound of the numerous bird calls downward. Workers devoted entirely to these trees would be maintaining them and in the fall harvesting fruit and trimming branches and covering the trees in preparation for the winter. Birds would have been numerous and attracted especially in fall as the fruit ripened. Walk down the center island on 1st Ave. if you want to escape the grid feeling a little until you get to 1st Ave. and 14th St.
Take a left and walk East on 14th St. about a quarter of the way down the block and come to rest on the island in the middle of the street. Imagine that you are standing on a frozen skating pond and it is the middle of winter. Trees would have lined the pond blowing in the icy wind and people from lower New Amsterdam would have traveled up for an afternoon of fun on the ice. Take your time
walking South on 1st Ave. to 11th St. and right across to your starting point of St