Twice Upon a Time: Listening to New York (2014)
Published May 20th 2014 by Atavist Books, my new ebook. Here's the publisher's blurb:
When the internationally acclaimed author Hari Kunzru first moved to New York he chose as his imaginary guide the blind composer and musician Moondog, aka, Louis Hardin. Dressed as a Viking, Moondog played his “snaketime” rhythms on the streets of New York for over three decades from 1943-74. With great lyrical intensity Kunzru recalls the strange soundscape of an unfamiliar place, and celebrates both the city and the musical genius of Moondog.
“The next day I take an MP3 player and I make the journey again, accompanied by Moondog’s early music, recordings from the forties and fifties . . . Sounds leak in and out the iPod’s ear buds, layering modern 6th Avenue onto city noise of sixty years ago. Archaeology.”
Twice Upon A Time: Listening to New York is a unique, multilayered digital experience combining a beautiful prose essay on the sounds of New York with the extraordinary music of Moondog and binaural recordings of the city itself. Twice Upon a Time gives readers the opportunity to experience New York through the eyes and ears of Hari Kunzru, one of Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists, and author of My Revolutions and Gods Without Men.
The full interactive version includes photographs of street graffiti taken by Hari Kunzru, movable text, and a soundtrack synched to the reading experience. The soundtrack, which is best listened to through headphones, includes binaural street sounds and a selection of early and rare Moondog recordings from the 1953 album, Moondog on the Streets of New York. This version is available through Atavist.com for your desktop, in the Atavist App for iOS devices, and will soon be available in the Atavist App for Android devices.