Athens News Matters: Soundwalk- Your Stroll Through the Botanical Garden Now Has a Soundtrack!

May 7, 2021

Credit State Botanical Garden of Georgia

Walking through the State Botanical Garden of Georgia, you’ll hear trees swaying around as the wind blows and leaves crunching as wildlife scurries by. But now, you have access to another soundtrack. . . . .

"Think of a sound soundtrack for your journey through a space that is located in your phone, and triggered by a GPS locating application." -Andres Luz

Andres Luz is a graduate student at the University of Georgia who spearheaded the Soundwalk project.

As you move through a space, certain places are assigned specific pieces of music, pieces of electronic sound that are evocative of the space around you--the immediate space around you. And as you traverse from one space to another, as the space changes, so will the soundtrack.

This sound installation is made possible by Luz, along with other members from the UGA Student Composers Association who crafted original pieces to create an immersive experience for you. Luz explains what it sounds like, using fellow composer, Sam Hoyland’s, piece.

"So let's say Sam has the shade garden with the wonderful canopy of the forest in the garden, his sound will be a certain piece of music that evokes that space."

As you walk past the shade garden and into the children’s garden, you’ll hear a work by associate professor of composition Peter Lane.

"If you walk through the actual garden area, where all the plants are, and then the GPS will turn on the piece that I did with some of my kids speaking mixed in there. As you walk towards the playground area, you'll hear Caitlin's track turn on."

Caitlin Santos is an undergraduate student and an extremely talented composer. Her piece in the children’s garden is entitled “Fortress”.

"This is like, someone's rocket ship, this is someone's house, it can be anything that you want it to be as a kid. I wanted to give the piece kind of this wonder, this feeling that ‘I'm in space’, ‘I'm just in my own world’, kind of taking the listener outside of where they are right now."

Santos says that every piece of music was intentionally composed for the listener’s enjoyment, and the project itself was created for us - garden visitors.

“This is dedicated to you; this is dedicated to the listener. It's because you guys have opened up your home to thousands and thousands of college students. I at least owe you guys a piece of my music. And, it's just because I love Athens so much. So thank you, to the audience and to the listener.”

Adres Luz agrees and says this uplifting experience works to bring us together even during difficult times.

"It only helps to speak to the idea that, that the human creative spirit can still continue, even though we may be experiencing some challenging hurdles. I hope that this project brings some peace and inspiration to those who need it. Even in a simple way, I think it can it could bring people together and give people some hope."

As long as you have the ECHOES app downloaded to your phone, you’ll have access to the Soundwalk indefinitely, but even our favorite songs can get repetitive when they’ve been on repeat for a while. Peter Lane from the school of music, however, says that won’t be a problem here.

"We have the ability to switch in and out music. So I think that we might, as we hit the fall semester, switch out some pieces. Maybe we'll change some things and try to keep it fresh in case people want to go back and do it again, and hear something different."

After opening the ECHOES APP, be sure to either scan the QR code at the garden’s visitor center, or type in tiny url.com/ugasound walk.

***INSTRUCTIONS FOR SOUNDWALK ACCESS​​​***

1) Download the ECHOES application to your smart device.

ECHOES app icon

  

  

For iOS Devices

For Android Devices

2) Scan the QR code or type in

3) Visit the State Botanical Garden of Georgia

4) Enjoy!