A Guide to Megapolis Audio Festival, Pt. 1: Great World of Sound
From September 16-17 the fifth Megapolis Audio Festival will descend upon Philadelphia, drawing world class musicians, sound artists, radio producers, and all around audio adepts to join the artistic frenzy that is the Philadelphia Fringe Festival. Much like the 2017 Festival’s program, Megapolis’ schedule of events might appear a little daunting at first glance, so to help you navigate it we at the FringeArts Blog are going to break it all down for you into some easily digestible categories. Follow these links to Parts 2 (performances), 3 (workshops), and 4 (installations and digital works).
First up we have a set of interactive and experiential pieces that take participants out of the studio and around the city. All of the events below are free with a Megapolis Festival pass and begin at PhillyCAM (699 Ranstead St) before spreading out from there.
An Urban Mushroom Forage
Katya Gorker & Elana Gordon
90 minutes / Sept 16, 10:30am
This sound walk presents a conceptual and sonic spin on a mushroom forage, integrating prompts and creative sound design to guide listeners through Philly’s urban forest. Gorker, a Moscow-born filmmaker based in Philadelphia who has spent years exploring the connection between mushroom foraging and identity and meaning among the Russian Diaspora, narrates the walk. She’ll introduce participants to fellow immigrants, foraging for mushrooms and their own sense of place in this new world. Participants will also here from John Cage and other cultural luminaries on the art, philosophy and science of foraging.
Stalking Wild Sounds
Lexie Stoia & Toby Kaufmann-Buhler
120 minutes / Sept 16, 12:00pm
90 minutes / Sept 17, 11:30am
Imagining a future where nature has reclaimed our environment, Columbus-based artists Lexie Stoia and Toby Kaufmann-Buhler send participants out into an entirely alien environ. Using a provided audio player and field guide, participants will start at PhillyCAM, travel through the formal landscaping of Washington Square Park, and make their way back to the station. A real-time science fiction journey with the sounds of “alien” flora and fauna, participants will find themselves immersed in this sound work that maps onto their surroundings.
Sonic Mapping of Chinatown: a soundwalk across cultural borders
90 minutes / Sept 16, 2pm
A soundwalk and workshop from Amanda Gutiérrez, a Mexico City-born performance, sound, and installation artist interested in the concepts of memory, home, and landscape, often through the lenses of history, ethnography, sociology, and anthropology. The walk will highlight the collective memory and symbolic significance of the urban soundscapes in immigrant enclaves. The workshop will see participants drawing a subjective map, taking into consideration important sound landmarks in their itinerary and their acoustic experiences of the walk.
47 Stories Audio Bus Tour
Laura Deutch & Shira Walinsky
120 minutes (extended ride to South Philly optional) / Sept 17, 11:30am
Bring $3.25 (more for snacks) and a set of headphones and hop on the 47 bus to explore Philly’s diverse cultural history. Heading north, riders will hear a series of sound collages compiled from interviews and reflections from bus riders, drivers, local business owners, students, artists, and immigrant communities along the way. A brief stop on N. 5th St. will give riders a chance to sample Colombian and Caribbean specialties and learn about local initiatives.
120 minutes / Sept 17, 3pm
Fereshteh Toosi is a Chicago-based artist and educator who designs participatory experiences and hybrid objects such as oyster mushroom sculptures, audio portraits, films processed in mint tea, and more. This guided walk asks participants to explore the acoustic ecology of the area while engaging in a series of sensory experiences focusing on reflection and deep listening. Informed by environmentally-focused healing practices such as shinrin yoku (forest bathing), horticultural therapy, and ecotherapy, this contemplative tour will turn audiophiles ears to the world of sound around them.