EARLY WORD: In The Air Tonight


Today, well-known Philadelphia musician and sound designer Michael Kiley releases the first in a series of immersive, iPhone app-directed “sound walks.” Presented under Kiley’s moniker The Mural and the Mint,The Empty Air: A Rittenhouse Square Sound Walk combines music, environmental sound and mobile devices for a new kind of music experience. The location-based composition was designed for Philadelphia’s Rittenhouse Square and will be available via iTunes beginning today. The Mural and the Mint will also perform live at The Empty Air’s opening-night party, 8 p.m. tonight (April 5th)  at Rittenhouse Tavern at the Philadelphia Art Alliance. To create the experience, Kiley spent months recording existing sounds found throughout the city’s most widely used public space — birds chirping, leaves rustling, children laughing — and extracted a set of tones, textures and frequencies that would become the basis for an original song, “The Empty Air.” In partnership with Philadelphia web design firm P’unk Avenue, Kiley developed an iPhone app that presents the song and its myriad elements to listeners as they stroll through the park. Download the app from the iTunes store for 99 cents and head to Rittenhouse Square. To begin your Sound Walk, simply plug in your headphones, turn on the app and put your phone in your pocket. Traverse the park in whatever order and pace you choose while your GPS location triggers different elements of the composition — from ambient traffic noises and footstep rhythms to melodies inspired by church bells. Then step into the center of the park, and the entirety of “The Empty Air” song will surround you. MORE

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