Muddy River Escapade

Boston, MA, United States
Distance: 6 km
by Massart

Muddy River Escapade - Cya On The Road

Muddy River Escapade: MassArt Produced SoundscapesCanadian Geese honking, mallards quacking, cars, and motorcycles whizzing past, ambulance sirens, basketballs smacking the court, collegiate athletes gasping for air, the grinding of bike tires on gravel and sand, the crunch and snapping of leaves and twigs... These are the sounds that surround the grass and trees of the Muddy River. They range from pleasant chirps to vexing beeps. Whether they are pleasant to some or a nuisance to others, the students near the Back Bay Fens will say it is part of their college experience.  The Massachusetts College of Art and Design is one of the many neighboring institutions to The Fens; they are the only publicly funded free-standing art and design college in the United States. Mass Art prides itself in providing their students an affordable education and a balance of urban and natural settings. The institution has continued to motivate sustainable initiatives and environmentally cautious practices in their curriculums. The MassArt Freshman Time course (focused on ecology and the human effect on the environment) was given the task of creating soundscapes of the Back Bay Fens. Students were assigned with choosing a spot along the Muddy River and with creating three 1-minute sound pieces to allow the viewer to experience the Fens as we hear it. Sounds from the environment range from nature noises to portraits of people who walk around the area to informational interviews with locals. After receiving feedback from classmates, a final 1-minute soundscape was created for the el app. The purpose of this assignment was to consider the place and setting as a fundamental element of narrative and to collaborate with each other to create a cohesive soundscape.Photo credits to Cameron Larry, MassArt ’20

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