July 11, 2014 SIGN IN | REGISTER
Join the Roll Call Book Club July 23 for a discussion with Brigid Schulte, author of "Overwhelmed." Click here to register.

App Gives Washington a Walking Soundtrack

Where would you stop walking to listen, if you were using the application yourself?
My favorite to work on was the area surrounding the Washington Monument. Its such an incredible view as youíre walking up the hill. We decided to have it start small and get bigger, so if youíre coming from the side nearest the Capitol, as you start up the hill you hear a single cello and an organ.

As you start to ascend that hill, you hear more instruments come in, a violin and a choir and finally, at the top, you hear drums and everything and itís kind of crazy. If you were to walk backwards, youíd hear the exact opposite happen. The instrumentation would drop out in the same way that it came in.

The whole thing, it was definitely an interesting recording process. Everything we tested we had to test from multiple angles. We had a giant map printout and we tested to see if someone was coming from this way, would it work, if someone was coming from that way, would it work. It was a lot of testing as we were writing.

Whatís the best part of this new format? The worst?
What weíve done is just scratching the surface of whatís possible with new technologies and music. I think itís going to be incredible to see what artists come up with now that we have some of the most powerful tools that have been available on a commercial level in our lifetime.

I donít see any huge drawbacks yet, but Iím sure there will be some. Everybody laments the days of vinyl, and certainly there will always be things you lose with the 12-inch record ó beautiful cover art, that kind of thing. But with what you gain, itís a good trade-off.

Where will this take music in the future?
I donít know if I can speak for where technology is taking music in general. Weíre really excited to work on this in other cities. Next up is a park in New York and then one in California that stretches the length of Highway 1. This is giving us new tools and a way to compose music thatís completely new. Itís really exciting.

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