a Serenade in Rome

a Serenade in Rome

Let’s imagine it. For a second.

Imagine Radiohead announcing the publication of their new album. But you can’t buy it.

To listen to it you have to download an app and go to a specific place at a specific time.

SPOILER: sadly, Radiohead have not released a new album of this type. But we at AOS have! :)

Read below to learn how to listen-by-walking to “a Serenade in Rome“.

The musical tracks are disseminated through the locations of a city, created to integrate with the city’s texture, with its daily sounds, with its atmosphere. They connect to the things that happen everyday in those places, or with things which happened in the past, in its history, maybe revealing some interesting facts or stories, or building upon them to suggest narratives and possibilities.

This would be a remarkable thing, as the music in the album would create an alternative version of the city, in which the people, buildings, monuments and natural environment would interweave with the sounds of the musical tracks and create new experiences.

Just wear your headphones and walk: when you reach the proximity of one of the specified locations your smartphone would vibrate, alerting you that “something is there”, and you could start the experience.

When you hit the “play” button, you would start hearing the sounds designed for that specific place (and specific time) interweave with your surroundings, bringing up a novel sensation of the place you are in.

Some more interesting side effects would happen:

  • lots of people could autonomously gather at the locations of the musical tracks, bringing up possibilities for tourism, commerce, socialization, politics;
  • you could create a flow of people through the city, a novel form of urban narrative, a new form of art;
  • you would have actually created a happening, a concert, a performance, without having to rent a stadium, or pay for administrative permissions, or other taxes and fees;
  • you could enhance the experience of your city’s monuments, locations or natural environment;
  • you could transform the city into a platform for creativity, suggesting artists to create other compositions and creations for the various spots of your city, and supporting them by creating a platform which could transform the whole city into an ubiquitous museum and performance space.

A Serenade in Rome, an digital symphony you have to walk through

a Serenade in Rome” (visit this link to obtain it on the Apple Store) is an electronic music album of this type.

To listen to it you have to download an App¬†and come to the city of Rome anytime from April 3rd 2013 (Salvatore’s birthday) to Sept. 6th 2013. And walk through the locations pointed out on the map shown in the app.

Urban Nature in Villa Borghese in Rome

Urban Nature in Villa Borghese in Rome

From the App’s description on Apple’s Store:

“The first in a series of revolutionary music formats.

a Serenade in Rome is a musical experience you have to walk through.

To listen to this electronic music you will have to go to the city of Rome anytime from April 3rd 2013 to September 6th 2013.

While walking through the city of Rome, in the places shown by the map, the tracks of this digital symphony will become available.

Each track has been composed for its specific location and for the unique experience and atmosphere which the beautiful setting of the tiny streets and monuments of the city of Rome are able to suggest.

A smell of bread in a little “vicolo” of Trastevere, near the back door of a traditional bakery, brings up a peaceful electronic sonata.

The beautiful hills of the ancient Villa Doria Pamphili urban park will enable you to experience a soothing natural sensation.

The labyrinth of small streets in the surroundings of Campo de’ Fiori will place you in the middle of a joyful composition of sounds.

And so on, with 12 unique musical compositions created to allow for a walk through the beauty of the city of Rome as you never experienced it.

So, if you plan on coming to the city of Rome anytime between April 3rd and September 6th 2013 consider downloading this App: it’s free and it will offer you the chance to see and feel the city in ways which you will just not find in guided tours or on online reviews of the city.

Imagine an alternative reality in which the tiny details of the daily life of the city make it unique become enriching sound experiences.

“a Serenade in Rome” is just like that.

Put on your headphones, turn on the app and start walking (or using public transportation, or a bicycle).

A map shows you where the musical experiences are, and your current location.

a Serenade in Rome, the tracklist

a Serenade in Rome, the tracklist

On the tracks list, a color code shows you when you will be able to experience each track.

Color “red”: you’re too far. Color “orange” and “yellow”: you’re getting closer.

Color “green”: you arrived at the spot of the experience.

A time-based countdown tells you how far you are from the time in which you will be able to experience the music.

“Now is the time…” is shown when the time has finally come to start experiencing the city of Rome in a completely new way.

When this happens, and whenever you are able to listen to a track (e.g.: you are in the right place at the right time) a vibration will notify you and the track will change color.

Just tap it to listen to it, while you walk in the surroundings. You can wander off as much as you can, as long as you remain in the area (100 meters radius) for the music.

Remember: the music has been designed for that specific place, so try to remain there and experience it fully, to gain a novel vision of the city.

You can experience each track as many times as you want.

When the time has finished (after September 6th) you will be able to purchase the songs in permanent format (only one song, more than one or all of them): please consider buying them (or some of them) if you enjoyed the experience: you will support us in producing more urban experiences like this one, in multiple cities and locations of the world.

a Serenade in Rome, music in the city

a Serenade in Rome, music in the city

“a Serenade in Rome” is the first of multiple experiences we will release in the next few months to promote a new concept of tourism and multimedia. Imagine a movie which is disseminated across several parts of a city, and in which you actually have to go to the movie scene to experience it. Or, like the “Serenata”, a music album which is designed to enhance and transform your experience of a certain location. Or a multimedia experience which can be accessed only when you are near a specific object, person or place. Or a worldwide musical, video and cinematic treasure hunt.

All music in “a Serenade in Rome” is by Salvatore Iaconesi, of Art is Open Source.