Time Lapse Audio

Legendary New York recordist Tony Schwartz came up in conversation at work today, and one of my colleagues mentioned “Nancy Grows Up,” a time-lapse audio essay documenting the development of his niece. While I consider myself a pretty big Schwartz fan (and a proud owner of a vinyl copy of New York 19), I had never heard this piece. Once I did, I was blown away, and haven’t stopped listening since:

Unlike time-lapse video, the sound segments themselves are not sped up, they simply cover a long range of historical time—in essence making this the female and sonic counterpart to Richard Linklater’s Boyhood. [Is there a mini essay in that idea?] Anyway, it turns out the piece has been featured on an episode of Radiolab (of course!), and has been the subject of a think piece on media and history. For more info on Schwartz, check out David Suisman’s story in Smithsonian Folkways Magazine.

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