Ellen Reid SOUNDWALK, a work of free public sound art that uses music to illuminate the urban landscape, has launched in Central Park. Created by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Ellen Reid, the immersive audio experience has been created for people visiting Central Park and is intended to encourage reflection and introspection. After downloading the free app and putting on their headphones, participants can explore the park's entire 840 acres, triggering site-specific musical compositions. It features musicians of the New York Philharmonic, Young People's Chorus of New York City, Poole and the Gang, and the SOUNDWALK Ensemble. Ellen Reid SOUNDWALK is part of Mindscapes, Wellcome’s international cultural program about mental health.

Video made by Eclipse Projects LLC

As part of her role developing the New York City component of Wellcome’s Mindscapes, Rebecca Hayes Jacobs, the Wellcome Trust Mental Health Curatorial Research Fellow at The Graduate Center, CUNY’s Center for the Humanities, served as Curatorial Advisor for the Central Park SOUNDWALK. She advised the team as they conducted research on the history and contemporary cultural meanings of Central Park and supported the development of original poetry by members of the Young People’s Chorus of New York City, which is included in the experience.

Ellen Reid SOUNDWALK is made possible in part by the support of Mindscapes, an international cultural program about mental health, developed by Wellcome. Mindscapes aims to support a transformation in how we understand, address and talk about mental health by inspiring relevant and meaningful conversations that seek out a diversity of experience and place. Major collaborations are staged in New York, Bengaluru, Berlin and Tokyo with satellite partnerships in other locations.

Danielle Olsen, International Cultural Producer at Wellcome says of the collaboration with Ellen Reid SOUNDWALK:

“At a time when people are living through a global crisis and dealing with multiple challenges and inequities, the restorative power of music and of public access to green spaces are to be celebrated. We hope the intimacy, complexity and generosity of SOUNDWALK will inspire moments of welcome reflection and calm for those that experience it."

Please visit the SOUNDWALK website for instructions on how to download and experience the walk while in Central Park.


Rebecca Hayes Jacobs

Dr. Rebecca Hayes Jacobs is the Wellcome Trust Curatorial Research Fellow at The Graduate Center, CUNY’s Center for the Humanities. She works on Wellcome’s international cultural programming on global health challenges through her position at the Cen...



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