For the KCHUNG Radio residency at the Hammer Museum, I produced an hour-long program that aired on December 6. I conceived of the broadcast as an audio version of the type of notes I post at Walk On. To that end, I recorded the sound of a short walk to the top of Mount Markham. The broadcast consists of the unedited audio recording of the walk and a brief introduction to it bookended by a couple of walking songs, which can be found in order of play here and here in earlier Walk On posts. This post is a companion to the KCHUNG broadcast and includes a transcript of my introduction to the audio, a link to the MP3 file on the KCHUNG archive, and the two photographs I took during the walk.
What you are about to hear is the audio documentation of my ascent of Mount Markham on the first of December, 2013. Including brief stops, I reached the 5,742-foot summit in approximately forty-seven minutes, and I covered about two trail miles. You will hear my footsteps, my breathing, the shifting of my pack, the tips of my trekking poles tapping on the rocks, my exchanges with other walkers, and so on. Close listeners will hear the wind, the insects, the changes in terrain below my feet, and the differences in my pacing that indicate topographical variations.
A trailhead off of Mount Wilson Road at around 5,090 feet leads to the network of service roads and railways that were built as part of the development of Mount Lowe as a tourist attraction in the early part of the last century. A funicular and railway brought visitors from Altadena up to the Mount Lowe Tavern, the Echo Chalet, and the Echo Mountain House, the remains of which still litter this part of the San Gabriel Mountains. The old tunnel about half a mile from the trailhead provides an appropriately echo-laden sound effect, signifying a transition from one state to another: the walk settles in.
Most walkers in this area are headed for Mount Lowe, a modest summit with sweeping views over Altadena and downtown Los Angeles out to the ocean, down to Palos Verdes and San Diego, and out to Catalina. To the north and west is the rest of the San Gabriel range, including snow-capped Mount Baldy in the distance. I went to Mount Lowe on this day, too, but first I took the unmarked and unmaintained use trail to the charmingly bedraggled Mount Markham. From the top of Mount Markham, the views are the same but include the top of Mount Lowe. –Corrina Peipon, assistant curator
Twice, you will hear the sound of my digital camera powering on. The two pictures I took are above.
To hear The Ascent of Mount Markham, please click here and then select the file entitled “Walk On-12.06.2013″.
Established in 2011, KCHUNG is a creative hub of artists, musicians, philosophers, and tinkerers broadcasting live on1630AM from a studio above a pho restaurant in Los Angeles’s Chinatown. The radio station currently airs 74 live, original shows each month, including reports on wildlife conservation, on-air meditation, gestures of an economic and performative nature, as well as music. While in residence at the Hammer through the end of the year, KCHUNG presents the station’s regular programing on-site as well as new programs developed for the museum. Visitors can look forward to projects such as audio tours composed by KCHUNG and remixes of past Hammer programs.