Jan 102014

Winters Past


“The River” is part one of Winters Past, a transmedia storytelling project that grapples with a changing natural world through personal experience, memory and history.  Through the medium of a Soundwalk, a form of site-specific storytelling that integrates oral history, sound design, field recordings and music into a narrative that unfolds in situ, Winters Past seeks to create an experience of “embodied history” that transforms the abstract ideas of environmental degradation and climate change into a physically tangible remembrance of this storied season.

The Hudson River is haunted by the memories and stories of how Wintertime once was – full of snow, ice, and consistent cold. It was also once full of Ice Yachts – meticulously crafted wooden sailboats on skates.  In their heyday, at the turn of the 19th century, these boats were the fastest vehicles on the planet, reaching speeds of nearly 80 miles per hour. The sport regularly drew thousands of spectators to the frozen river to watch races.  Today, in the absence of extensive ice, the sport is carried on by a hearty few.

This soundwalk is meant to be heard on the Walkway on the Hudson, a pedestrian bridge in Poughkeepsie that was once a railway over the river.  (However, if you can’t travel to the Walkway, you can still enjoy the walk.  We recommend listening while walking along the Hudson—or any river.) The Walkway—and the Soundwalk—begin at 64 Parker Ave, in Poughkeepsie.


FDR ice yacht2

About the Artists 

Josephine Holtzman is a multimedia and radio producer, an MA candidate in the New School’s Media Studies program and a founding member of Sound@New School. Isaac Kestenbaum is a producer and production manager for StoryCorps, a national oral history project.

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