Hirshhorn and DC Listening Lounge Host Free Sound Scene Festival July 8

Museum Transforms Into Sonic Playground for 10th Annual Day of Audio Art and Interactive Installations
June 13, 2017
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The Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden will partner with underground sound collective DC Listening Lounge to present the 10th annual “Sound Scene,” a one-day-only festival of interactive, playful and thought-provoking audio art installations and sound games, Saturday, July 8, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. It is free and open to all ages, with advance registration recommended.

“Sound Scene X” unites local audio artists and contributors from across the globe to transform the Hirshhorn into a sonic wonderland highlighting the unique sounds of D.C., centered on the theme of “dissonance.” Visitors will have the rare opportunity to:

  • Listen to the solar system in real time
  • Play a veggie keyboard
  • Build wind chimes from recycled materials
  • Compose melodies based on body temperature
  • Construct a wall of silence
  • Choose their own personal “audio adventure”

New this year, “Sound Scene X” will feature listening for the deaf and hard of hearing to welcome more members of the Washington community. This will include original vibration compositions experienced through cutting-edge bodysuits, tactile chairs that let visitors feel a quartet composition, and American Sign Language interpreters and visual guides.

“Sound Scene X” also features performances by musicians from the National Symphony Orchestra and the Pan Lara steel drum band as well as panel discussions that highlight the diversity of Washington’s audio scene.

In 2016, “Sound Scene IX” at the Hirshhorn drew more than 6,000 visitors from around the world to enjoy engaging and unexpected audio experiences.

The event is part of the Hirshhorn’s diverse range of free public programs, which invite today’s leading innovators in art, design, music and technology to explore ideas that shape 21st-century culture. Recent guests include The National guitarist and composer Bryce Dessner, celebrated architect David Adjaye, The New York Times art critic Holland Cotter and digital scientists from MIT and Stanford University, as well as artists Ed Atkins, Ian Cheng, Theaster Gates, Robert Irwin, Anish Kapoor, Ragnar Kjartansson, Josh Kline, Linn Meyers and Nicolas Party.

About the Hirshhorn

The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden is the national museum of modern and contemporary art and a leading voice for 21st-century art and culture. Part of the Smithsonian, the Hirshhorn is located prominently on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. With nearly 12,000 paintings, sculptures, photographs, mixed-media installations, works on paper and new media works, its holdings encompass one of the most important collections of postwar American and European art in the world. The Hirshhorn presents diverse exhibitions and offers an array of public programs on the art of our time—free to all, 364 days a year. For more information, visit hirshhorn.si.edu.

About the DC Listening Lounge

Founded in 2004, the DC Listening Lounge is a group of local audio enthusiasts, found-sound collectors, radio journalists, musicians, artists and coders who meet monthly to discover and appreciate new sounds. “Sound Scene” has been held annually at different locations around the city since 2008. Visit dclisteninglounge.org to join.

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