Pop-Up NYC Studio Explores Intersection of Music, Art and Technology

Pop-Up NYC Studio Explores Intersection of Music, Art and Technology
Arts & Culture

Installation offers kinetic-censored spatial exploration of New York City sounds

Simone Spilka
  • 2 october 2014

Music is no longer simply about listening; music is an incredible, participatory experience to enjoy surrounded in the company of creatives. Wireless HiFi manufacturers SONOS have reimagined the sensory experience of a listening gallery as a destination where artists and musicians can collaborate across mediums. SONOS Studios set up residence at Soho’s workspace collective NeueHouse for a week-long exploration of music, art and technology. The space offers state-of-the-art experiences to amplify attendees’ musical enlightenment.

“Sounds of New York City,” a motion-censored map which captures the ever-changing city soundscape, is one of the featured installations. Sonos launched the project in collaboration with creative studio Perfect Fools, who brought the beats of New York to life on a 3D screen comprised of 300 Sonos Play:1 speakers. The wall controlled by kinetic-powered sensors represents a map of NYC and allows participants to navigate their way across the five boroughs through movement.


To produce the first ever sound and visual installation of its kind, 10 square meters were outfitted in colored LED lights that pulsate at varying intensities and change color upon command. Surrounding speakers play music and sound effects influenced by New York’s arts and culture, geography and architecture. The movement of the speakers causes individual LED units to swing back and forth in a display of vibrating landscape. The sound is generated by embedded Sonos speakers that sync with a custom-made computer. As the music changes, Brooklyn, Manhattan and the Bronx are animated with light and color on the 3D screen.


The spatial installation is an experiment in product experience, offering users the chance to explore sounds they identify with each borough with their hands. The music is a creative collaboration with Sonos, Perfect Fools and Big Noble, of whom includes Daniel Kessler and Joseph Fraioli. Record label and artist collective Wolf and Lamb contributed to playlist in the installation that covers a range of music from punk to electro, disco to indie rock.

The Sonos Studio venue was first introduced two years ago in Los Angeles, and will spread to other musically-inclined, creative cities in the future. The evolution of the project and future installments will continue to intersect music, art, design, and technology with uniquely localized experiences.

Live performances and conversations with artists including Flight Facilities, Best Coast, Devonte Hynes, Aloe Blacc and Mikky Ekko will compliment the New York sounds over the six-day event. Other highlights include Spoon’s premiere of a multi-channel video in partnership with artist JD Walsh and an evening in conversation with Richard Reed Parry of Arcade Fire with progressive designers John Maeda and Hiromi Ozaki.

The interactive gallery kicked off on Sept. 30 and will remain open to the public until Oct.5. RSVP required.

Sonos / Sonos Studios

Neuehouse / Perfect Fools

+new york city

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