Sunday, April 28, 2013

Brazilian Drum Band Awesome For Some Runners But Not So Good For Roosevelt Island Resident At 10 AM On A Sunday Morning

The Roosevelt Island Twitterverse reported today:

Not everybody thought the Brazilian drum band was so awesome - particularly at 10 AM on a Sunday morning and continuing for 3 hours. Roosevelt Island resident Raye Schwartz expressed her unhappiness with the morning drum beating in this message she sent to Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Acting President Don Lewis and RIOC Dirctors.

From Ms. Schwartz:
Dear Mr. Lewis,

This morning I was trying to sleep in, as I was exhausted from an all day trip out of town yesterday, I was awakened around 10AM by the sound of parade drums beating loudly. I jumped out of bed and looked outside but there was no parade. Those drums kept beating continuously for almost 3 hours. At one point I called Public Safety. They said they had received other calls but that there was a permit issued by RIOC. It seems there was a permit for a celebration at the end of a 5K race.

I wonder who at RIOC issued this permit. Was this person aware of exactly what the celebration entailed and that drums beating so loud and continuously were involved? If so, that person was not very thorough. If yes, in allowing such an activity, that person was completely out of line.

Tell me sir, is the person who issued such a permit a resident here? I suspect not!

Please investigate who was responsible and be sure this does not happen again.

It's not that I don't love a parade or celebration, but I don't love three hours of continuous drum beating, nor do I appreciate being awakend by that sound. I'm certain that you or the person who is responsible would not love the ensuing headache that this has caused me or my neighbors.

One other thing...where, when or how were residents told this was going to happen? I did not receive a RIOC advisory about this nor have I seen any signs posted.
Ms. Schwartz is not exaggerating. I heard the drums from inside my apartment as well. The drums were part of a good cause, a 5K run/walk to benefit the Icla da Silva Foundation.
On April 28, 2013, The Icla da Silva Foundation’s 3rd annual 5K run/walk returns to the beautiful Roosevelt Island (NYC)! This great race is now called The MatchMaker 5K – a name that truly reflects the Foundation’s mission of finding bone marrow matches for patients with life-threatening conditions.

Whether you are a runner, walker or just want to bring your family and friends for a day in the sun, The Matchmaker 5K Run/Walk is a fun-filled activity for people of all ages. BatalaNYC, an all female AfroBrazilian Samba Reggae Drum band will be at the finish line to perform their lively rhythms for all to enjoy.

Read more about Don't Miss The Matchmaker 5K Run/Walk on Roosevelt Island on ...
Here's an example of what the BatalaNYC drum band sounded like this morning.

Batala NYC Promo from Willow O'Feral on Vimeo.

BatalaNYC is a very good drum band but probably should not be playing at 10 AM on a Sunday morning in a residential neighborhood.

RIOC did send this advisory out on last Friday:
A 10K will be held on Sunday, April 28th, 2013 at 10:00AM. Expect traffic delays around Goldwater Hospital and on the West Roadway up to 400 Main Street.

Thank you for your anticipated cooperation.


Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Advisories Group
Nothing about the drums in the RIOC Advisory.

UPDATE 4/30 Rebecca Bellush shares this photo

of the BatalaNYC Brazilian drummers.


CheshireKitty said...

Very good! Great percussion band! Raye - the obvious response to this band is to get up and samba!!

APS said...

i too would like to sleep past 7am when the leaf blowers go off, I would like to sleep late after working a 12 hour day, etc. well, we live in a community, it's not always about us.

rayeschwartz said...

Not at 10AM on a Sunday morning, and surely not after almost 3 hours of banging!

rayeschwartz said...

What, my friend, is petty about not liking 3 hours of banging?

CheshireKitty said...

In general the island is very quiet... sometimes uncannily so. I don't have a problem with occasional music in the air - especially upbeat rhythms, alegria!

Anonymous said...

We all live with sounds around us we don't like. Such as the music at the trellis till ten pm or the outdoor concerts at the church plaza, which go on for hours and is so loud you can't hear yourself, it sucks but its part of living in New York, otherwise the only option to avoid life in the city is to live in the suburbs and who wants to do that!

Stacy Kovacs said...

Actually, the drumming started at 10:46am to be exact. The band didn't even arrive until 10:30am. If you don't believe me, I am the director of the band, and you can email me here:
Perhaps those who didn't like it should have come and had a conversation with me. I assumed nobody had a problem seeing as nobody came and asked us to stop. We went beyond our time because people were enjoying it. Next time, if you want it to stop, then come and have an adult conversation rather than complaining on the internet!

Thanks for supporting the arts!

Stacy Kovacs said...

For the record we stopped at 12:40pm, so, 10:46-12:40 is less than 2 hours, not 3 hours as you say. Please get the facts correct before complaining. Thanks!

Lorena Ambrosio said...

Okay, seriously? You live in New York, for one 10 am (10:40am to be exact) is not a ridiculously early hour, two it's a Sunday spring beautiful morning, lots of life is gonna be going on days like these more so going into summer, three it was for a good cause and not an everyday thing, just giving some up support to runners who just did a 5k walk/run for to help people with life threatening diseases. Where is your solidarity?

CheshireKitty said...

Each to his own but just watching the video clip changed my mood instantly - to upbeat! It's a great band - we need more like them!

Frank Farance said...

Ms. Kovacs, I didn't hear your live performance, but I viewed your promo video. Some friendly suggestions: the drums in the video sounded muddy. Larger skins with slower attack might be better placed in the center of the row and behind, i.e., the smaller skins should be in front to give the best rhythmic cues to the listener. Big fat drums (with slow attack) on the ends of the front row make it muddy and makes fuzzy the band's self-sense of rhythm (easily 25 msec apart, and just about within the range of human hearing as distinct). If the drums sound muddy, then you can't hear the variations in micro-beats, which is how those samba/reggae/swing/etc. beats have soul (rather than drum machines). Here's a example of samba that sounds crisp (""). Good luck!

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YetAnotherRIer said...

Complaining loudly about something that is not anormal for living in a city like New York, that is very petty. Move somewhere else if city life is too much for you.

YetAnotherRIer said...


YetAnotherRIer said...

Wow, you really DO know everything and are an expert in everything.

Mark Lyon said...

"Solidarity"? Who are you, Harry Bridges?

It's ok to be a little bit selfish from time to time. Things that might be a good cause can still inconvenience others. It's up to the people running such things to try and avoid creating problems; the person who wanted another relaxing Roosevelt Island morning is not in the wrong.

It's not unreasonable to ask whether RIOC was aware that drumming would take place for a prolonged period of time and, if they were, whether they tried to locate the drummers in a place that would mitigate some of the annoyance of those who might not have wished to participate.

Frank Farance said...

CheshireKitty, my point is: if you don't have the cues to give you the samba or reggae feel, then it's just marching band 4-time, which is what the video sounds like.

I followed up with Ms. Kovacs, who summarized them as a community band of beginners: "It's about choreography, not the sound".

As for Beatles at Shea, they had stage monitors, they're singing at a normal performance level, and their harmonies were good. Paul and John are on the same mic they can hear each other, ditto for John and George. They are a normal distance apart for a band setting.

However, if you want an example of a bad performance due to delay, go to the Live Aid (1985) where some Dumbbell had the idea that performers would sing together across a transatlantic feed ... just didn't work and the lack of sync between audio and video was just horrible (I was on the Philadelphia side). I say Dumbbell because any audio engineer would know in an instant why it wouldn't work ... separating musicians causes problems.

Frank Farance said...

YetAnotherRIer, you don't have an issue with what was said, your complaint is that someone else is intellectually curious gives serious thought to a topic. Right?

GeorgeProzakis said...

I feel so bad for you. You were trying your best to show good spirit and you get Google professionals telling you how to set up your drums, and others who will complain for just about anything.

Keep up the good work. Nothing good is ever wholly appreciated, just know many do.

CheshireKitty said...

I see what you are talking about in terms of picking up cues, even with the Beatles at Shea. The point about the drummers being a community effort makes sense, explains that they're doing it because they want to, that it is a community project of sorts and makes me respect them more if anything. Thanks for looking into the group. You did have informed feedback about their playing.

YetAnotherRIer said...

Nope, you got that wrong. I have a problem with your attitude that you perceive yourself as superior and that your Internet searches overrule other people's real life and possibly professional experience.

GeorgeProzakis said...

intellectual? you google stuff up and read about it for a couple hours, lr watching it on t.v., and make yourself expert.

so far you are a food expert from watching food network, you are a police expert from watching tru tv "cops", you are a musicial expert from watching MTV, a history expert from watching History Channel, and a criminologist from watching the crime channel.

you are a bit over the top and rediculous and make yourself very foolish by adding in your expert cents into everything.

it is impossible for one to know everything. you my friend, google it, you tube it or watchbit on t.v., then magically act like you know everything about it. you probably never heard a set of drums beat like that inbyour life in person, but because ofnyoutube and google, you are an expert!. wikipedia warrior.

this is the issue we ALL have with you.

a jacknof all trades and a madter of one as they say.

Frank Farance said...

YetAnotherRIer, wrong again. As a musician for 4+ decades, it was based upon my personal experience playing in bands (both live and studio), having mic-ed drums and bands in both live and studio sessions, having mixed performances, and having worked on various drum tracks to get that Groove feeling that I had a deeper understanding. In fact, Ms. Kovacs agreed with my points and understood my point about microbeats. As I reported, their group "[is] about choreography, not the sound".

I didn't need an internet search to understand this point because I knew it already ... and if you gave it a half-second of thought, you'd realize that my suggestions could only come from a deeper understanding, i.e., if I didn't already have a deeper understanding, then a casual internet search wouldn't come up with microbeats. It's from having real experience.

The reason for giving the URL is to point to a ready reference of having a point made (conveniently written and recorded by someone else) that conveys some of the ideas I want to convey.

I don't feel superior, I contribute (like all of us) based upon our own experiences, knowledge, thoughts, and reasoning.

Your criticism, again, is not about the topic, but (for whatever reason) you don't like me or other people whose posts you can't give a simple put-down (which you do to others). So your complaint is a meta-complaint: not about the topic or the comment itselt, but about the author's citation of external references (not a complaint about the content of the reference, either).

Maybe if you didn't feel so inferior, then you'd worry less about others you perceive as superior. :-)

Salvatore Anthony Hoo said...

So I have not been on the blog in quite awhile but its good to see that all the usual suspects still spend their time here battling out the "issues" on Roosevelt Island no matter how big or small. Stacy Kovacs, don't stress this petty nonsense . George Prozakis, great take on our boy Frank and his need to share his infinite knowledge on a multitude of topics. Frank giving advice on the drum line and where the larger skins should be etc is PRICELESS! Keep up the great work everyone. Big Shout out to Cheshire Kitty! How are you love?

Salvatore Anthony Hoo said...

I agree Kitty cat. The island is not going to cease in having events and every once in awhile you might get disturbed. I live in 405 and have been awoken by similar type events. Whether it be a referee whistle on firefighter's field or megaphones announcing instruction to the runners participating in a 5k. Of course if you had a late night or like to sleep in it stinks but, it doesn't happen every day and this is New York City. I see both sides of the argument but lean towards , the "it's not the end of the World" side.
There were jackhammers being used for maintenance on the 59th street bridge just across from the bedroom window of my apt at 1am for a night here and there last month and it wasn't fun but you deal. Pound some NyQuil. Play some music. Things could be worse.

CheshireKitty said...

Hi sweetie - nice to see you again..! I am OK although was suffering most of today with maybe a stomach/flu/massive headache/malaise etc. But now I feel better! Are you going to have your restaurant on the pier this summer again?

Salvatore Anthony Hoo said...

No there is damage from Sandy and we cannot afford to have another late open.

CheshireKitty said...

Sorry to hear that, Sal. It's too bad RIOC waited 6 months after Sandy to address that damage.

mjmnyc said...

That's too bad! We really enjoyed it last summer.

CheshireKitty said...

It sure is. I was over on the pier yesterday (somebody had moved aside the barricades a bit to allow access) and there was no problem walking around, leaning on the railing etc. It's a fantastic view from there (as always). The problem is some of the planks are starting to come up and the fencing in areas has rusted through. The uneven planks make for numerous trip hazards (unless you watch where you are walking). I had no problem walking around on the pier but it is definitely not "pedestrian-friendly" since the surface is so uneven. I hope RIOC considers installing restrooms at the pier as part of the rehab. Building restrooms under the pier is possible since the pier was constructed over an earlier concrete pier that has had no damage from the storm. That under-pier area could at least be transformed into a storage area, a kitchen area, or a refrigeration area - since it would be so handy to the restaurant on the pier.