Want a Guided Tour of the Next CicLAvia? There’s an App for That

“I grew up in the Valley and walked Ventura Boulevard and Lankershim countless times as a kid and as an adult,” begins Aaron Paley as he introduces the “soundscape” that has been produced for CicLAvia – The Valley, coming to a street near you on March 22. For more information on CicLAvia, or the event on the 22nd, click here.

CicLAvia, in partnership with the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, commissioned two Dutch artists, Rob van Rijswijk and Jeroen Strijbos, to create an interactive soundscape composition that brings together the past and present of the San Fernando Valley in one unique app. Instructions on how to use the app can be found in the video, above.

Basically, as people walk the CicLAvia route, the app on their phone will broadcast something new, either a speech, or some music, or a poem that reflects the portion of the route they are walking. Sorry, those who are biking the route, the app isn’t timed correctly for faster moving participants. However, if you miss CicLAvia or have two-wheeled plans for the day; CicLAvia staff confirms the app will continue to work “for years to come.” You can give yourself a tour anytime.

“That simple act of walking down the street is utterly transformed once you download Walk with Me and set off with earbuds in place.  There’s this wonderful sense that you should just go a bit further to see what other sonic adventures are in store for you,” Paley continues.

“A landscape of streets, sidewalks, car dealerships, parking lots, storefronts, restaurants and office buildings takes on entirely new dimensions with this simple but complex overlay of original music, spoken word, found sound, and historic audio clips.”

Some examples of what will be broadcast include an elderly Valley resident talk about the area changes she’s seen in her lifetime, a Hispanic business owner’s heartfelt descriptions of a long work day, a selection of local string music that includes a violin and banjo, and a 1930s radio interview with Amelia Earhart.

The soundscape won’t broadcast the entire route, but works on Lankershim from the Metro NoHo station to Campo de Cahuenga and on Ventura Boulevard from the Metro Universal City station to Coldwater Canyon.  The GPS on users’ phones will access data points that queue up an evolving soundscape unique to their personal CicLAvia experience.

Doubtless, lots of people will be downloading the app next Sunday March 22. Beat the rush, download it today.  

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