Experience music as never before with ASCENT: A Boulder Soundwalk, an interactive sound installation composed by Divya Maus for the Ars Nova Singers and installed in Boulder’s Scott Carpenter Park. This active and immersive nature concert invites listeners to move with the music as they explore the sonic landscape on a self-guided soundwalk. Discover each vibrant musical piece in turn as you venture throughout the park. Bring your sense of curiosity and adventure—along with some good walking shoes.
To download the app that hosts the Soundwalk, tap the Register Here button to the right and follow the steps in Eventbrite. Once you are in the app, you’ll be able to select the “Walking” or “Wheel-Friendly” version of the Soundwalk. We’ll invite you to complete a survey and you’ll also have the opportunity to donate in support of this special project.
Check out the Instructional Video to learn how to experience the Soundwalk.
ASCENT: A Boulder Soundwalk is an immersive, self-guided, Covid-safe concert experience accessible to all ages and individuals of different educational, ability, and mobility levels. It consists of 3 choir movements and more than 15 individual “sound bubbles,” inspired by the unique geography and spirit of Boulder. The music, composed by Divya Maus, is performed by Ars Nova Singers and is digitally installed in Scott Carpenter Park via the Echoes App. Using the app on a GPS-enabled device, participants will traverse the park and trigger different musical pieces with their movement. ASCENT uses pioneering technology similar to self-guided art museum tours. Because it is outdoors and self-guided, audience members are invited to create their own experience – whether you walk, run, sit, roll, or stroll; how long you interact with a particular movement; if you enjoy the Soundwalk solo or with a group – the experience is in your hands!
ASCENT is a classical music experience that aims to increase the accessibility of choral concert experiences. There is no expectation that the music be experienced in a specific way and thus it is open to a wider and more diverse range of participants. Individuals who are not neuro-typical or who have not historically felt drawn to a traditional concert environment are encouraged to craft their own experience. Volume, duration of specific sounds, and the chronology of the pieces heard are all in the listener’s control, providing unprecedented agency over the concert experience.
Scott Carpenter Park is public and centrally-located, making it easily accessible via public transportation. The Soundwalk installation will be open for four months and is limited only by park opening hours, allowing for greater flexibility for listeners who may not be able to attend more traditional evening events. There are no “concert etiquette” rules to follow, so it is a great introduction to classical music for young children. ASCENT is accessible for all mobility levels; while a walking version is installed on the open grass of the park – on which listeners can sit, or walk at their own pace – there is also a second “wheel-friendly” version installed exclusively on the walking paths – perfect for those who use wheelchairs, other walking aids, or are pushing strollers or pulling wagons. And because ASCENT centers on hearing-over-seeing, audience members of varying visual abilities will also have the opportunity to engage with this installation.
From the composer, Divya Maus:
“The music of ASCENT is comprised of three choral movements and fifteen ‘sound bubbles.’
COMES THE WATER – This movement explores how the Boulder Creek embodies the seasons of water from winter to summer. First the slow melting of snow in the mountains, the run-off gathering speed and force through the spring when the creek runs high and rapid, and then the settling of the creek in the summer.
ASCENT – This movement embodies the experience of climbing a peak through sound; the sound of your lungs pumping, of your circulatory system in high gear, of your mind as it pushes your body to reach the summit.
VISTA – This piece is an ode to the mountains and the effect they have on humans who live on them. Anyone who comes to live in Boulder is eventually altered physically by the environment; our lungs and hearts become more efficient at this altitude, our skin becomes more weathered, our muscles stronger from walking, biking and living in the foothills of the Rockies; we adapt to a much dryer climate. I imagined the mountains as gods, observing us Boulderites as worshippers at their feet.
The Sound Bubbles are small vocally-produced sound scapes meant to evoke the natural sounds and sensations of our environment, such as ‘Soft Rainfall,’ ‘Wind in a Valley,’ ‘Hummingbird Passage,’ and ‘Hot Air Shimmers.'”