East TN composer creates custom soundtrack for Ijams Nature Center

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(Photo via Big Ears)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Ellen Reid, Oak Ridge native and 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Music winner, has created a version of her SOUNDWALK for Ijams Nature Center as a part of the 2022 Big Ears Festival.

SOUNDWALK uses GPS-enabled to create a custom soundtrack for listeners based on their path and pace through the trials of Ijams. The music has been recorded by San Francisco’s Kronos Quartet.

Reid launched her initial SOUNDWALK in September 2020 for New York’s Central Park. Other presentations can be found in Los Angeles and San Francisco, among other locations.

“SOUNDWALK is an intimate project,” says Reid. “It’s about introspection and taking time alone with your thoughts while connecting with nature. This special installation for Big Ears features one of my favorite ensembles, the Kronos Quartet — I’ve been inspired by them since I was a teenager, so this is truly a homecoming on many levels and a celebration of the natural beauty of East Tennessee that was the backdrop of my childhood.”

The project at Ijams Nature Center will launch in September of 2021 and be at the nature center for one year. To learn more about the project and download the app, visit Raid’s SOUNDWALK website.

“We’ve presented some of Ellen’s music previously at Big Ears, and have continued to discuss further ideas with her,” says Big Ears’ Executive Director, Ashley Capps. “When we first learned about SOUNDWALK, when it was launched last September in Central Park, it struck us as especially perfect in connecting Big Ears’ musical vision with the natural beauty here in our community.”

The Big Ears Festival works to allow artists to create and share experiences through a mix of music, film, and conversation. Big Ears takes place in over a dozen historic theaters, intimate clubs, majestic churches, and unique alternative performance spaces throughout downtown Knoxville.

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