Snohetta, 2011/Guggenheim

In June 2011, the Guggenheim's stillspotting nyc brought postmodern catharsis to curious New Yorkers with Pedro Reyes's Sanitorium. From September 15-18 and 22-25, stillspotting launches its second installation dealing with public space and group psychology with To a Great City. Composer Arvo Pärt and renowned Snøhetta architects have combined forces to create a walking tour that emphasizes the intense yet subtle sonic experiences that are part and parcel of living in the widening gyre that is New York City.

To a Great City will consist of five original compositions by Pärt, each of which will be played at one of five sites that have been carefully selected by the project's architects. The stillspotting website eloquently explains that "The stillness and seclusion of these spaces heightens one’s awareness and recalibrates the senses."

For those interested in checking it out, make sure not to schedule anything pressing following your visit, since taking ample time to properly absorb each spacial/aural environment is strongly encouraged: "Over the course of a day, participants may visit each space multiple times at their leisure to understand how their perception changes based on circumstances such as time, stress, appetite, and sleep." And it looks like the collaborators of To a Great City, like Pedro Reyes and his Sanitorium, are similarly interested in producing a palpable psychological, emotional, and bodily experience in their audience: "Listeners become increasingly sensitized as they are drawn in and ideally will be transformed to a focused and tranquil state."