"Ellen Reid SOUNDWALK" is a walk in the park with a Philly Orchestra soundtrack

PHILADELPHIA -- Nature, technology and the arts all coming together this summer with a free program that brings music to your ears as you walk in the park.

"Ellen Reid SOUNDWALK" is an immersive audio installation around the Centennial District of West Fairmount Park.

"(It's) powered by an app that follows your GPS," explains composer and creator Ellen Reid.

"One of the greatest parks in the world...It comes alive now with music. There's nothing quite like it," says Catherine, M. Cahill, President and CEO of the Mann Center.

The free public art experience is the creation of Reid, a Pulitzer Prize-winning composer and sound artist known for her original film-scores, operas and orchestral works.

"The music is designed so that as you move through the landscape, it reflects what you're looking at through the music," Reid says.

The project was commissioned by the Mann Center, in association with the Fairmount Park Conservancy last year at the height of the pandemic.

"This project gave us the opportunity to address keeping music alive, but also getting people out to exercise. We knew that mental health was becoming an issue due to people being isolated and at home," Catherine says.
The soundwalk includes an array of genres, classical music from the Philadelphia Orchestra along with electronica and jazz.

Reid says, "A lot of the music is also played by some of the best musicians in the country."

The music changes daily and what you hear depends on where you are in the park.

"You may be walking past the lake and the music may sound a little more ethereal, you may walk past a children's playground, you might hear children laughing," describes Catherine.

The Soundwalk stretches from The Mann Center east past the Please Touch Museum and the Smith Memorial Arch and then through the grounds of the Japanese House and Garden and Horticultural Center.

"One part of the park that really spoke to me was the area near the Japanese garden. There is this incredible installation, a pavilion in the trees and it's one of the most magical places I have ever been in my life," Reid notes.

Ellen Reid SOUNDWALK | Download | Through Sept. 30

Mann Center for the Performing Arts

5201 Parkside Avenue, Philadelphia, Pa. 19131