Brooklyn Botanic Garden launches sound walks for meditation

Get your zen on at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden which has launched a new series of winter nature walks and sound works in the Garden—site-specific original compositions and audio walks for visitors to experience at their own pace.

As part of the Art in the Garden series, BBG is showcasing three works from January through May: Gelsey Bell and Joseph White’s “Meander,” Ben Rubin and Brian House’s “Terminal Moraine,” and a reprisal of Michael Gordon’s “loved.”

“Each work takes its inspiration from the garden and the temporal sensations one experiences among its natural features, both ancient and fleeting,” according to BBG. 

On right now, Gelsey Bell and Joseph White’s “Meander” is a sound walk that guides listeners on a meditative stroll into the natural landscape. It encourages listeners to watch, listen, and reset their clocks to pastoral temporality, inviting them to sink into the complex patterns and fine details of the natural environment.

From February 26 to April 25, Ben Rubin and Brian House’s “Terminal Moraine” will be presented in the Elizabeth Scholtz Woodland Garden. The installation uses algorithmic sound to represent tree growth and glacial ice recession.

Then, from March 13 to May 9, “loved” will be on in the Cherry Esplanade. Composer Michael Gordon created the installation for BBG to honor those we’ve lost in the pandemic. Performed by percussionist David Cossin, the meditative composition for seven vibraphones plays hourly on Cherry Esplanade and runs 5 minutes, 28 seconds. It was originally presented in August and is being reprised to mark the one-year anniversary of New York City’s pandemic shutdown.

Sam Son

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