Aut’ Choses Frank Koustrup

XY stereo

This soundscape presents the arrival and departure of an inbound train at the Portal Heights station in Montréal. The week of this recording was the last week of operation of the vintage, electric locomotives on the Canadian National — originally the Canadian Northern — commuter line between Central Station and Deux-Montagnes. Portal Heights station is at the northern outlet from the tunnel under Mont-Royal.

During the immediately following summer, this railway line was closed, rebuilt, and re-equipped with modern electric locomotives and wagons. The old locomotives and wagons operated from 1918 to 1995, and a ride on this equipment was a fascinating time trip. You could imagine decades of commuters making this same trip. Ventilation in the wagons consisted of open windows and small fans.

Because of the historical significance of this change, in addition to the composer, several photographers were also present on or near the platform. The conductor — sounding fed-up with this attention — shouts to the engineer to proceed because the people milling about are not riders but are photographers and ‘other things’ (Autres choses > Aut’ choses > oat shows). The ‘other thing’ was the composer who was sitting on a bench and holding a microphone and a Digital Audio Tape (DAT) recorder.

  • Year of composition: 1995
  • Hardware used: Tascam portable DAT recorder, Audio-Technica microphone
  • Software used: Sony Sound Forge
  • Duration of the submitted work: 1:00
  • Production: home

More works by Frank Koustrup

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