SOUNDWALK at Spa State Park

ELLEN REID SOUNDWALK To Launch in the Saratoga Spa State Park on September 21.  A Socially distanced, Interactive, Immersive Audio Experience Co-Commissioned by SPAC

SARATOGA SPRINGS On September 21, 2020, Saratoga Performing Arts Center will present Ellen Reid SOUNDWALK, a GPS-enabled work of public art in the Saratoga Spa State Park that uses music to illuminate the natural environment. The installation will remain accessible in the park until November 1. 

Created by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Ellen Reid and co-commissioned by Saratoga Performing Arts Center as part of its SPAC REIMAGINED 2020 season, 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 more. The New York Philharmonic, also a co-commissioner of this work, is presenting the World Premiere of Ellen Reid SOUNDWALK today, September 10 in New York City’s Central Park. The exhibit is free to the public, and can be experienced while following social distancing guidelines.   

“Bringing this project to our park is part of our vision to connect the unique beauty of our natural surroundings… the lush pines, woodland walks, geysers and natural springs…with art and music. We’re excited that Saratoga is only the second place, after NYC, to present the installation – and excited to be offering this unique art/nature experience to visitors to the Saratoga Spa State Park,” says Elizabeth Sobol, President and CEO of Saratoga Performing Arts Center. 

“Working with SPAC on this special presentation of SOUNDWALK for Saratoga Spa State Park has been incredible. The beauty of the landscape and its unique geological features inspired some really special musical moments. This project is about sharing art and music with the community, but it’s also an excuse to spend some quality time taking in our natural surroundings. Spending an hour or two in Saratoga Spa State Park is the perfect foil to our nose-in-computer daily lives. I hope visitors will enjoy the SOUNDWALK as much as I have enjoyed creating it,” says composer Ellen Reid.  

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.  

After downloading the free app and putting on (bring your own) headphones,  participants embark on a mile-long route around the Saratoga Spa State Park, featuring the Vale and Geyser Springs. 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.  

“These are unprecedented times: we’re all experiencing the anxieties of living in an uncertain world. We miss our communities, and we miss the very thing that makes our cities special: the people,” added composer Ellen Reid. “I hope SOUNDWALK will inspire us and make us feel connected to something larger than ourselves. It is meant to serve as artistic nourishment — a place to recharge, reconnect, and re-energize.”  

Ellen Reid Soundwalk was co-commissioned by Saratoga Performing Arts Center, the New York Philharmonic, Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts, Mann Center for the Performing Arts in association with The Fairmount Park Conservancy, and Britt Festival Orchestra. 

The project was made possible in part by the support of Wellcome’s international program Mindscapes, a cultural exploration of mental health. 

Additional generous support was provided by Dexter and Deborah Senft.

Visit for more details.  

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