One of my favorite regular features of the Sunday New York Times is Sunday Routine in the Metropolitan section. Each week, it provides a glimpse of how one notable New Yorker spends this “day of rest.” I’m partisan, of course, but I’m fascinated to see how often a bike ride figures in.
Last weekend’s feature, which follows 33-year-old musician Bora Yoon (below rightl) of Astoria, Queens through performances, rehearsals and preparations for the week, is a case in point. The composer, vocalist and sound artist, whose music combines ancient and modern elements, so eloquently describes the late-night bike ride that caps her weekend that I wanted to share it here. Yoon describes the almost mystical connection with music that she finds amid “epic” bridges, lit-up baseball diamonds and watery reflections as she pedals her bicycle along the East River, starting in Astoria Park:
“I think bike riding is the closest thing that God gave to man that’s like flying. You start synthesizing things that you don’t when you’re stationary, so I usually ride around with a recorder or pen and paper.
My phone is always with me. I usually sing when I bike ride, because the wind around me evokes music to come out. So it’s either melodies that come to me or echoes of what I sang in church. Or sometimes they’re phrases, that are of another person. It’s like my larger consciousness singing phrases to myself. Sometimes it’s only when I sing them that I hear them.”
All of which makes me wish I could ride behind her and listen in.
Yoon’s new multi media album is Sunken Cathedral.
Credits: Top photo; right, Innova Recordings