Ryan Holladay: To hear this music you have to be there. Literally | Summary and Q&A

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Ryan Holladay: To hear this music you have to be there. Literally

TL;DR

This talk explores the concept of location-aware music through compositions specifically designed for Central Park and other public spaces.

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Questions & Answers

Q: What is location-aware music?

Location-aware music is a concept developed by the speaker and his brother, where music is composed and mapped specifically for physical spaces. Using GPS functionality in mobile apps, musical segments are geo-tagged throughout a location, creating a customized musical score that unfolds as listeners move through the space.

Q: How did the concept of location-aware music originate?

The concept of location-aware music originated when the speaker and his brother were living in New York City and witnessed an art installation called The Gates in Central Park. Inspired by this installation, they wondered if it would be possible to compose music that responds to and reflects the physical layout of a landscape.

Q: How does the location-aware album "The National Mall" work?

"The National Mall" is a location-aware album released exclusively as a mobile app. It uses the built-in GPS functionality of the device to sonically map the entire park in Washington, D.C. As listeners traverse the landscape, they experience a musical score unfolding around them. The album consists of distinct melodies and rhythms that blend seamlessly based on the listener's chosen trajectory.

Q: Can people who can't travel to the United States listen to the location-aware albums?

No, people who can't travel to the United States cannot listen to the location-aware albums. Unlike traditional albums, the location-aware albums are not available as CDs or MP3 versions. The app itself is the work and the landscape's architecture is intrinsic to the listening experience, making the music inaccessible unless physically present within the designated space.

Q: What other location-aware albums have the speaker and his brother created?

In addition to "The National Mall," the speaker and his brother have created a location-aware album for Central Park, which is over two times the size of the National Mall. This album covers various areas within Central Park, from the Sheep's Meadow to the Ramble to the Reservoir. They are currently working on their largest location-aware album to date, spanning the entirety of Highway 1 on the Pacific Coast.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • The speaker and his brother have been composing music specifically for physical spaces, starting with Central Park in New York City.

  • They released a location-aware album called "The National Mall" in Washington, D.C., where the music unfolds based on the listener's movement throughout the park.

  • They have also created a location-aware album for Central Park and are currently working on their largest project to date, spanning the entirety of Highway 1 on the Pacific Coast.

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