Welcome Sound: Audio Art in Roosevelt Homes
“What you will encounter on this sound installation house tour is a range of audio art works – not necessarily musical in the traditional sense – created to transform existing spaces through sound.”
On May 30, 2009 the borough of Roosevelt, NJ was for one day turned into a 2 1/2 mile multi- home sound installation experiment. Welcome Sound paired 13 Roosevelt homeowners with 17 outside sound artists. This town wide community event also showcased six ‘home’ themed outdoor visual installations by elementary school children installed on each of the streets where participating kids lived.
A hand drawn map was given to those interested in exploring Welcome Sound. The participating homes were marked by painted ear signs at the end of the driveway incase you were still unable to determine where the sounds were coming from. The sound installations turned the private space of individual homes into public space. The kid’s installations explored their collective ideas of home (bed/dreams, collections/items of personal value, coziness, warmth, and TV and cartoon characters come to life) on the green spaces — public property of the borough.
Over a five month period, I convinced skeptical but intrigued homeowners to open their doors to strangers — sound artists they had never met and then ultimately the public on May 30th. I carefully matched artists with homeowners based on personality. The resutlting sound installations were a mixture of performances, ambient sound pieces, sonic-physic experiments, solar powered sound, compositions, environmental recordings, audio/video historical and sculptural pieces.
The day brought many townspeople and outsiders together within this otherwise quiet rural community. Sound artists from NYC and NJ, Roosevelt residents, the gracious support from the Roosevelt Art Project and Recreation Department, not to mention appealing weather contributed to make town wide event a success. Participating sound artists included: Kevin T.Allen, Andrea Callard, Victoria Estok & Daniel Iglesia, (PGT) Terry Pender, Brad Garton, and Dan Trueman, The Hammad Family, Wes & Kate John-Alder, Blake McDowell, Michelle Nagai, Sam Pluta, Douglas Repetto, Scott Smallwood, Jeff Snyder, and Toscha Turner. Participating home owners included David & Connie Herrstrom, Pat & Ed Moser, Sheila Linz & Steve Bowen, Brad Garton & Jill Lipolti, Maria Del Piano, Henry & Kate John Alder, Rod Tulloss & Mary King, Carol Watchler & Ann Baker, Rose and Ed Murphy, Judith & Kevin McNally, and Alan Mallach & Robin Gould. Other helpful and noteworthy individuals include Barbara Atwood (galvanizing art teacher) who worked long hours with the Roosevelt Public School kids, Jonathan Shahn who not only volunteered to craft a map & poster but also hand painted a number of ear signs, and Wiska Radkiewicz (filmmaker/documentation) who took the time to shoot the entire event and produce an experimental sonic documentation about the day (Welkome Sound) that was used to create the excerpt video above.