Sound as ephemeral civil engineering: Rhode Island Pride 2022's ocean of compassion
On 18 June 2022 I marched in the Rhode Island Pride Parade as part of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. I originally went with the intent of recording the sound of the parade from the inside, which I did; but while there, I realized that my presence was more important to me than the recordings I got. I was far from the most important person there; in fact I was probably the least important in a sense, being neither a parent nor LGBTQ+. I was walking next to a couple of serious-looking people in grey shirts, who turned out later turned out to be security guards hired specifically for the Moms by their parent organization, because of the threatening behavior of reactionaries directed toward the group. I was glad to make my position clear by the company I chose to keep.
The recording came out great though, for the period of time when I was able to keep quiet: The deep, thick swell of thousands of voices, people who are happy to be there together, and who are all happy to see YOU because of where you chose to put yourself. Believe me, it was hard keeping my mouth shut, so eventually, I didn't. Here's a sample from early in the parade when I was still maintaining my professional decorum:
Recorded with a pair of mikroUsi Pro omnidirectional mirophones clipped to my hat, protected with Rycote Windjammers, connected to a Zoom F3 recorder.