Digital Sanctuaries, Manhattan is an urban soundwalk combining the original music of Electric Kulintang
(Susie Ibarra and Roberto Rodriguez) with the visual art of Makoto Fujimura and interaction design by Shankari Murali. Built for both IOS and mobile web app, Digital Sanctuaries invites the public to alight on a virtual pilgrimage through the built environment of a cityscape, finding meditative spaces in unexpected places, marked by an ever-changing musical score. As the audience engages with the music in each place, they are encouraged to discover the hidden qualities of the world without while taking time to contemplate the world within.
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Digital Sanctuaries is conceived as a traveling, modular, adaptable music app to be reimagined for each city. Ibarra and Rodriguez work with local collaborators – artists, historians, architects, city planners, etc. – to develop new walking paths in each urban environment, drawing on the unique history, spaces and features of the city.
Ibarra and Rodriguez compose musical scores that include featured musicians and soloists on the recordings, and field recordings interwoven as an homage to local and global communities from each topography. For the inaugural tech launch of Digital Sanctuaries, the soundwalk is set amidst twelve sites in Lower Manhattan, which can be accessed through the mobile web app.
The rich historical culture of Lower Manhattan is captured through musical compositions with sounds in honor of each city space including African burial grounds, Native American Indian Museum, Irish communities, Jewish communities, Chinatown, Castle Clinton the first port of entry for immigrants in New York City.