Persistent Echoes
A time capsule for a century and beyond

Placed inside the Rudin Family Gallery’s wall in July 2019, coinciding with the birth of this space at The Brooklyn Academy of Music, Persistent Echoes is a time capsule for a century and beyond. Inside this wall is a vinyl record time capsule conceptualized and constructed by the artist Ted Riederer. The vinyl is held in a Silver Maple wood box made by Michael O’Connell. Containing the artist’s own phonograph recordings of sounds from his life and selections from the BAM Hamm Archives, Riederer telegraphs a crystallization of our current moment to future generations. The heartbeat of his lover on the eve of their wedding. Trains running at midnight through half-empty stations. The persistent rhythm of a snare drum in the rain. Taken together, these sounds evoke a poem about human existence, both nostalgic and timeless. In capturing and framing the moments that we all share, whether knowingly or unknowingly, these “tone pictures”—a term evoking the first commercially available recordings in the early days of recorded sound—communicate not just our contemporary lives but the feelings and thoughts that inhabit us as we strive to make a meaningful existence.

Our Year of Dissent (2017)

Recorded by Ted Riederer

“The Sound of Trains at Midnight”

“My Father with Dementia Trying to Remember”

“A Chord Made From The Tears of The Artist”

“The Tax March April 15, 2017”

“The Heartbeats of My Lover on The Eve of Our Wedding”

Our Year of Accord (2018—2019)

Recorded by Ted Riederer

“The Heartbeats of My Son Hours Before His Birth”

“A Snare Drum in the Rain”

“Verses for the Incarcerated” Recorded by Walt Novack

“Playing The Brooklyn Bridge Like a Piano”

“The Evening Call to Prayer Heard From the Citadel at

Center of Amman, Jordan”

“My Friend, an Undocumented Immigrant, Speaks

a Dead Language”

“A Preacher Gives a Sermon With His Last Breaths From

Borrowed Lungs”

“The Blues in Perpetuity, David Henderson Reads his

poem Out Of The Blue”

“Future Radio Plays Dreamed by High School Students

From Chicago” Recorded by Damon Locks

One Hundred and Fifty-Eight Years traced

from BAM’s stages (1861—2019)

Selected by Sharon Lehner, courtesy of the

BAM Hamm Archives

Franklin D. Roosevelt talks about the New Deal,

November 1, 1940

Chuck Davis, founder of DanceAfrica, reminds us:

peace, love and respect for everybody

Frederick Douglass predicts racism after emancipation

in 1863, read by Carl Hancock Rux

John Cage, “Atlas Eclipticalis,” played by the

Brooklyn Philharmonic in 1975