This season at Artpark, go on a sonic adventure with the help of this new app

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LEWISTON, N.Y. (WIVB) – Art, nature, and technology come together in Artpark’s new series of GPS-activated audio experiences, available in a mobile app.

The “Artpark Sonic Trails” app is free to download from the Apple or Android store.

Users can access mapped sounds over the course of Artpark’s trails, choosing from different “experiences” including musicians, sounds, and storytellers.

“You open it up, you move through it, and the sound will evolve depending on your location,” said Hays Holladay, who created the app with his brother Ryan. “Different sounds are sort of tied to the physical world.”

The Holladays have been working on sound mapping technology for about ten years, mapping music in NYC’s Central Park and the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

“This project is the first time we’re working with other musicians and storytellers to sort of create multiple layers of sonic experience in the same location,” Holladay added.

The app launched on Saturday.

“For us, it’s a different way to present new music and nature and technology all together in one place, and to get our audiences out on their own time and at their own speed,” Artpark president Sonia Clark said.

The Holladay Brothers originally launched a site-specific composition last August called “Cover the Water”, which was similarly available to access via app.

“It was kind of unclear how soon concerts could come back, so we all thought ‘could we do different musical experiences and allow people to enjoy this?’,” Holladay said. “It still feels live- you can choose your own path, take your own time, and it will reveal different things depending on your path- it’s kind of a way to bring people out here to enjoy music again.”

Sozo Creative partnered with Artpark to curate the experiences, which include a reprisal of “Cover the Water”, and “Her Mocassins Talk”, an experience involving local native and First Nations musicians and storytellers based on the Haudenosaunee Thanksgiving Address. 

More experiences will be coming up throughout the summer.

On June 19, Grammy Award-winning artist and historian Rhiannon Giddens will collaborate with cellist Yo-Yo Ma for “Juneteenth: From the Past to the Living Present”.

An experience involving electronic artist DJ Spooky’s music will debut on July 3, and so will a collaboration from the Kronos Quartet. Click here to read more about upcoming experiences.

“Because of these different experiences, people can come back five times and hear something different,” Holladay explained. “Different experiences will be located in different areas of the park.”

This is the start of a busy season for Artpark. Besides several much-buzzed-about upcoming concerts, Artpark also has commencements and graduations, the Fairy House Festival, summer camps, and more. Check out the list of events here.

Even with COVID-19 restrictions, Artpark was able to hold 82 events safely last year, thanks to the park’s size and diverse settings.

“We worked all year to line this all up, and we’re adding more and more as the capacity expands and rules loosen up,” Clark said. “I suspect this season will get even bigger, so watch for our announcements coming daily.”

Kaley Lynch is a digital reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2017. See more of her work here.

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