Posted June 2nd 2011 at 10:02 am by
in Audio Portraits

Measuring a Rainstorm by the Music Behind It

Measuring a Rainstorm by the Music Behind ItWhile a tornado devastated parts of Western and Central Massachusetts last night, Boston was surviving, and in some cases enjoying, a thunderstorm.

When I left MIT at about 7:00 p.m., the clouds over Mass Ave. looked strange.

When I got to my apartment in Jamaica Plain at 8:00, the air was wet. After eating an ice cream sandwich for dinner and taking a shower, I noticed that the neighbors were throwing a rowdy birthday party. The storm hit just after they sang Happy Birthday.

I thought the storm had shut their party down, but I was wrong. The downpour was so loud, it drowned them out. As the rain tapered off, I could hear their music filtering through the storm.

If you listen closely, you can hear their music even at the height of the storm:

Measuring a Rainstorm by the Music Behind It by CoLab Radio

As the storm tapered off, the music came through more:

Measuring a Rainstorm by the Music Behind It by CoLab Radio

I thought the storm might subdue my neighbors into a different soundtrack — maybe Billie Holiday or opera. No such luck. They went back to their usual: an instrumental that sounds like a disco remix of Super Mario Brothers III.

Today it’s so calm and sunny, the whole thing seems like it might not have happened.

Post and recording by Alexa Mills.

3 responses to “Measuring a Rainstorm by the Music Behind It”

  1. Beautiful recording! It’s just as you described it, and a real pleasure to hear.

  2. Aditi Mehta says:

    Wow, this is really pretty to listen to, but when I was hearing it from my apartment, I was so scared!

  3. Alexa Mills says:

    I could do a whole series on the strange sounds coming out of my neighbor’s house. With this one, they even defied nature.