Home » Stories » NYC's Central Park Is alive with music thanks to Ellen Reid's soundwalk app / NPR

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NYC's Central Park Is alive with music thanks to Ellen Reid's soundwalk app / NPR

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Masked pedestrians enjoy Central Park earlier this year. The New York destination now has a site-specific soundtrack courtesy of composer Ellen Reid's Soundwalk app.

Even this spring, when New York City was at the center of the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S, the city's public parks never closed. Instead, they became a place where people went for a socially distanced refuge, often escaping into music with their headphones. Ellen Reid has taken that experience one step further: The Pulitzer Prize-winning composer has written new music for a GPS-enabled app called Soundwalk, specifically designed to accompany walks around Central Park.

Reid had the idea for the app several years ago, but it wasn't until the pandemic hit that she went into her studio and got to work. When I met her at the park to test-drive the app myself, the artist said she was "thinking about creating beauty for people to be inspired by and a place to find joy and a way to connect with our phones, actually in a way that connects us to something larger than ourselves."

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