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Open Outcry

Tuesday, May 20, 2008 - 01:21 AM

Traders on the floor of the New York Mercantile Exchange on August 4, 2010 in New York City Traders on the floor of the New York Mercantile Exchange on August 4, 2010 in New York City (Getty Images)

Jad presents a piece by one of his favorite producers: Ben Rubin. Rubin created this audio portrait called 'Open Outcry' as a part of a sound installation called Sonic Garden commissioned to celebrate the reopening of the Winter Garden, an atrium space within the World Financial Center, after 9/11.

The trading floor of the New York Mercantile Exchange may look and sound chaotic to the uninitiated, with circles of hundreds of traders shouting unintelligible phonic abbreviations and numbers back and forth. But it's a complex and sophisticated human system in flux and since 1872, the mosh pit full of traders has driven the prices of energy, metals, livestock and other commodities through this open outcry trading. The trading floor of the NYMEX was destroyed in the attacks of September 11, 2001 when the building that houses it, the World Financial Center, was seriously damaged.

Want to learn more about this piece? Ben did an interesting interview for the Third Coast International Audio Festival and you can learn more about this piece and his approach here.



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Comments [6]


I just found this and have to point out the errors, the NYMEX floor was not destroyed on 9/11 nor was it's building in the WFC damaged in any way, what was destroyed was the floor NYMEX left behind when it moved from 4 WTC in 1999. The NYBOT was still there in 4 WTC and was destroyed on 9/11, NYBOT was formed by combining the coffee & sugar exchange and cotton exchange.

Oct. 07 2009 07:17 AM

Reminds me of the good old days down there!

Mar. 24 2009 06:19 PM

Goodness! i must have that mp3 of Open Outcry!

Sep. 29 2008 04:27 AM

I can't believe that this screaming bunch of idiots get to determine how much you and I get screwed by day to day prices

Jun. 18 2008 01:29 PM

I liked it!

May. 29 2008 04:42 PM

I'm certain I've heard that piece in its entirety before. Does anyone else recall this, or was it a dream I had? It's good to hear it again. Thanks, Radiolab.

May. 20 2008 11:30 AM

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