About the Project
For Blue Moon, O + A (Sam Auinger and Bruce Odland) created an installation that transformed the environment of the World Financial Center Plaza into an ambient soundscape. Three U-shaped tuning tubes, ranging from eight to eighteen feet in overall length, were wired with microphones and suspended over the North Cove of the harbor. Switches at different levels on the tubes were activated by the rising tides of the river, facilitating the collection of ambient noise, such as docking commuter ferries, helicopter and jet traffic, car horns, waves, bird song, and breezes off the Hudson.
Five custom-designed loudspeakers set around the plaza mixed the collected noises and radiated the sound in all directions. Blue Moon—in reference to the lunar phenomenon of two full moons in one month, which occured in July 2004—transported listeners, reminding them of the inherent temporal cycles of the broader biosphere in which we live, attuning them to the quotidian sounds on which we may not otherwise focus, and offered new perspectives on our environment.
Photograph by Charlie Samuels