Follow Harriet on Twitter
Check out Poet Matthea Harvey’s Walking Tour of Staten Island
“Humans, let me tell you something. Mermaids, sirens, shipwreckers, whatever you call us on a particular day; we don’t abandon the sea for love or legs. We fling ourselves onto the shore for sound.” So begins sound artist Justin Bennett and poet Matthea Harvey’s audio tour of Staten Island, which combines history with fantasy to tell the tale of Antonio Meucci, “the unacknowledged inventor of the first telephone.”
For Telettrofono, Bennett and Harvey meld ambient sounds from the borough with invented noises such as pianos of stone and glass, or a bone-xylophone, with a poetic script for an audio walking tour that weaves Meucci’s tragic true-to-life story together with fantastical elements. Bennett and Harvey envision Meucci’s wife, Esterre – a mermaid who leaves the water for land because of her love for the sounds above ground.
This project was created in partnership with the Guggenheim Museum. If you’re in New York and want to check it out, go to the Stillspotting nyc website for more information.