To Relaunch with Expanded Area and New Music in the Saratoga Spa State Park from May 20, 2021- June 1, 2022
Socially distanced, interactive, outdoor experience - co-commissioned by SPAC - will be available as a year-round installation
“Walkers and joggers become composers and conductors, just by following their own paths. In the best, most multidimensional sense of the word, it's an experience." (Washington Post)
Saratoga Springs, NY (May 20, 2021) – Saratoga Performing Arts Center announces today that it will relaunch Ellen Reid SOUNDWALK, a GPS-enabled work of public art that uses music to illuminate the natural environment in the Saratoga Spa State Park. Following the popularity of its initial launch in the Park last September, SOUNDWALK will return as a year-round installation that will be available starting today, May 20, 2021 until June 1, 2022. Created by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Ellen Reid and co-commissioned by Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Ellen Reid SOUNDWALK is an immersive audio experience tailor-made for the Saratoga Spa State Park featuring its famous natural springs, wooded areas, a geyser, a waterfall and now also additional trails featuring the reflecting pool and Avenue of the Pines. The exhibit is free to the public, and can be experienced while following social distancing guidelines.
“This past fall, our SOUNDWALK installation was an incredibly popular experience – providing a sense of refuge and solace for our community during the darkest days of the pandemic. Now as our city, SPAC and the Saratoga Spa State Park start to come alive for the summer, we are delighted to bring back this experience in an expanded, more permanent way,” says Elizabeth Sobol, President and CEO of Saratoga Performing Arts Center.
“It has been a joy to return to Saratoga Spa State Park to reimagine SOUNDWALK for this new season. This iteration really allowed us to flex our creative muscles on a much more comprehensive scale — in fact, this updated SOUNDWALK is multiple times larger than the original installation. I encourage the listener to make repeated visits throughout the year to experience how weather and light, as well as music, can change the character of the landscape and environment. Most of all, I hope people will take a moment away from the bustle of our hyper-connected world to enjoy the beauty of Spa State Park, and to spend some quality time immersed in nature,” says composer Ellen Reid.
According to the Wall Street Journal, "Each experience is unique, depending on where you enter the park, the route you travel, whether you stop and rest or just keep going. You can spend 10 minutes or 10 hours exploring; the possibilities seem infinite... 'Soundwalk' gives beloved, familiar places a new dimension and a welcome chance to travel freely within them."
Ellen Reid SOUNDWALK features a newly-written score, performed by SOUNDWALK Ensemble, as well as special musical “Easter eggs” hidden around the park for participants to discover. The new installation features ten times the amount of composed material as the 2020 installation along with a significantly expanded map.
After downloading the free app and putting on headphones, participants embark on an expanded route around the Saratoga Spa State Park, featuring the Avenue of the Pines, the reflecting pool area, the Vale and Geyser Springs, and more. Movement around the park triggers Ellen Reid’s soundscape -- musical cells which she carefully crafted to harmonize with the park’s landscape and attractions. The experience is guided by the listener: the path the participant chooses dictates the music they hear, ensuring that no two visits will be exactly the same. The installation will remain accessible in the park until June 1, 2022.
Ellen Reid SOUNDWALK was co-commissioned by the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, the New York Philharmonic, Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts, the Mann Center for the Performing Arts in association with The Fairmount Park Conservancy, and the Britt Festival Orchestra.
Ellen Reid SOUNDWALK is made possible in part by the support of Mindscapes, Wellcome’s international cultural program about mental health.
Ellen Reid Music (ASCAP) Worldwide rights administered by Soundrights Music (ASCAP), a division of Modern Works Music Publishing.
Additional generous support was provided by Dexter and Deborah Senft.
Visit spac.org for more details.
Ellen Reid is one of the most innovative artists of her generation. A composer and sound artist whose breadth of work spans opera, sound design, film scoring, ensemble and choral writing, she was awarded the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in Music for her opera, p r i s m. Along with composer Missy Mazzoli, Ellen co-founded the Luna Composition Lab. Luna Lab is a mentorship program for young, female-identifying, non-binary, and gender non-conforming composers. Since 2019, she has served as Creative Advisor and Composer-in-Residence for Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. Ellen received her BFA from Columbia University and her MA from California Institute of the Arts. She is inspired by music from all over the globe, and she splits her time between her two favorite cities – Los Angeles and New York. Her music is released on Decca Gold.
Saratoga Performing Arts Center
The Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC), located in the historic resort town of Saratoga Springs in upstate New York, is one of America’s most prestigious summer festivals. Its tranquil setting in a 2,400-acre park preserve surrounded by hiking trails, geysers, and natural mineral springs draws vacation crowds and arts connoisseurs each year for immersive experiences of performances by resident companies New York City Ballet, The Philadelphia Orchestra, The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival, Opera Saratoga, and concerts by Live Nation. SPAC also hosts the annual Saratoga Wine and Food Festival in addition to imaginative programming such as the popular “SPAC on Stage” series and Caffè Lena @ SPAC.
SPAC is a 501c3 charitable organization. Donations and proceeds from fundraising events benefit the Center’s children’s education programs and support the vibrancy of its classical season. For more information visit spac.org.
National Press Contacts:
Rebecca Davis Public Relations
Rebecca Davis 347-432-8832 (m.)
Regional Press Contact:
Kristy Godette Ventre