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Pulitzer Prize-Winning Composer, Ellen Reid, Writes Music That Creates Immersive Experience At Ijams

Erin Baiano

Oak Ridge native and 2019 Pulitzer Prize-winner, Ellen Reid, has created a version of her signature work, Soundwalk, to be installed at Ijams Nature Center in Knoxville. Accessible on your smart phone by downloading a free app (https://www.ellenreidsoundwalk.com/download),   Soundwalk is a GPS-enabled work that changes and transforms based on a listener's location or rate of speed. Every experience is truly unique. The music, recorded by the Kronos Quartet and the Soundwalk ensemble, consists of what Reid describes as "musical cells," which reflect the surrounding landscape. She says "it's about introspection and taking time alone with your thoughts while connecting with nature."

Soundscape is part of the 2021-2022 Big Ears Festival experience and the installation with be at Ijams for one year. This project is not the first partnership between Ijams and Big Ears. Ijams hosted John Luther Adams' Inuksuit as part of the 2016 festival and has hosted several outdoor performances since then.

To experience Soundwalk, listeners will need to download the free app to their smart phone and bring a set of headphones. Included in the app is a map of the trails at Ijams on which you can hear the music. More information and additional instructions are available at http://bigearsfestival.org/soundwalk-ijams

Melony calls the beautiful mountains of Boone, N.C., home, although she was born near Greensboro, N.C. There’s just something about those Blue Ridge Mountains that got in her blood and never left after she moved there to attend Appalachian State University (ASU). While at ASU, she majored in piano performance and music therapy and began to cultivate a love for accompanying and for collaborating with other musicians. This soon led her to earn a master’s degree in collaborative piano at the University of Tennessee, which she attended from 2006-2008.
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