Soundscapes of Kraków (III) – Fragments from the city centre

A little excursion to the city centre. Starting off at a location almost identical with that of the previous post. I recorded a snapshot of the never-ending flow of crowds flocked by the ticket counters of Kraków’s Central Railway Station. A glorious sound of an old entrance door opening serves as introduction.

Walking from the Station towards Old Town – encounter with an amazing musician playing something you could call a DIY percussion set of some old pots, metal plates and two or three plastic water containers. The guy sounded like a professional, although the small piece of cardboard placed in front of his “instrument” read: “saving for a real percussion”.

How can you resist the sound of water? You can’t. And shouldn’t really, says this observer. The sound of water, from the fountain at Szczepanski Square (pictured above), dominates clearly over the usual city ambience in this recording. Almost made me wish for a proper shotgun type microphone that could eliminate the unwanted noises. There is a particular richness about this fountain: the upper part delivers a sea like hum, while the (lower) thin water threads dance and splash in various routines. The day was gloomy, the people were few (a good thing, actually), but the water sounded soothing as ever.

How can you own water really? It’s always flowing in a stream, never the same, which in the stream of life we trace. Because life is a stream.

Meanwhile in a certain bookstore…

The constant hum of air conditioning, people’s steps on the stony floor, the clangor and beeps of cash registers, human voices, woman with a rustling carrier bag standing by the bookshelf…

Last stop – centre of the Old Town – Sukiennice. Outside – the first signs of rain. Inside – the crowd: thick, multinational, restless, always on the move, everflowing… In a place like this you get this strange sensation of human speech losing its intelligibility and transforming into this peculiar, heterogenous but steady tone.

All recordings captured 13-18.07.2012.

All locations from this session can be found here.


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