As described by Amelia Mason for WBUR The ARTery, “Walk along the gravel path that winds beside the Mystic River, and you’ll probably notice, every so often, a sign stuck crookedly into the grass. “You’re walking inside a virtual audio installation!,” it cheerfully announces. Scan the QR code, and your headphones fill up with sound: a mournful cello, a cacophony of birds, the sudden gush of running water.”
Multidisciplinary artist, educator and community organizer Erin Genia (SMACT ’19) specializes in Indigenous arts and culture. Continuity, her piece for Sound on Mystic, includes a sonic and conversational engagement with Rock Hill, a site of Native American significance overlooking the Mystic River. Along with her three children, Genia created Continuity to help correct the mis-recorded history of the Indigenous population in the area.
Sound on Mystic is an outdoor audio installation combining sound art, music, spoken word, and ambience into an immersive experience. It is located along a two-mile stretch of the Mystic River in Medford and Arlington, Massachusetts, and is accessed through ECHOES, a free mobile app that uses GPS data to cue different sounds at various sites. After downloading the app, you can put on a pair of headphones, take a walk within the installation’s extensive boundaries, and hear a diverse set of sound works that are all united by the river itself, and its complex legacy as a place of history and nature, community and conflict, labor and recreation.
The installation will be available for access through 2021.