Belmont Harbor
Belmont Harbor Credit: Eric Allix Rogers

On a gusty summer day, you should stop on the lakefront path at Belmont Harbor, just north of the three flagpoles, and listen to the cables and fittings of the sailboats’ rigging slapping against their hollow steel masts in a percussive chorus. It sounds a little like the iron Gnawa castanets called qarkabeb in a Moroccan wedding procession, a little like the bright simmering of a Balinese bamboo gamelan or jegog, and a little like a battery of terra cotta wind chimes. The hectic mesh of overlapping rhythms is oddly soothing—your ears can’t settle on a single tempo, with metallic clinking and clanking at different speeds coming from near and far, and your attention ends up suspended among them in a kind of trance. Steve Reich would approve.

Philip Montoro

Philip Montoro has been an editorial employee of the Reader since 1996 and its music editor since 2004. Pieces he has edited have appeared in Da Capo’s annual Best Music Writing anthologies in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, and 2011. He shared two Lisagor Awards in 2019 for a story on gospel pioneer Lou Della Evans-Reid, and he’s also split two national awards from the Association of Alternative Newsmedia: one for multimedia in 2019 for his work on the TRiiBE collaboration the Block Beat, and one in in 2020 for editing the music writing of Reader staffer Leor Galil. Philip has played scrap metal in Lozenge, drummed with the Disasters, the Afflictions, and Brilliant Pebbles, and sung for the White Outs. He wrote the column Beer and Metal from 2012 till 2015, and hopes to do so again one day. You can also follow him on Twitter.