An iPhone App That Lets You “Listen” to Rittenhouse Square

Open toes, picnic blankets, the sun. All have recently made their spring debuts in Rittenhouse Square. So too has an interesting new iPhone app–timed in conjunction with PIFA–that lets you hear the park in an altogether new way. Philly songwriter and composer Michael Kiley has created a song called “Empty Air” that played anywhere but Rittenhouse will sound the same to everyone. But played in Rittenhouse, using the app that accompanies it, the geography of the park transforms it; as you walk about, your phone’s GPS will trigger different music samples.

He integrated sound recordings of the Park with music. Ambient noises harmonize with instruments in the recording and serve as artificial feedback for the real-world surroundings…Moving inward from the perimeter, samples transition from unstructured, oceanic white noise to the golden egg at the park’s center – a full-length 6-minute song that clarifies and ties together aural elements from the periphery.

So if you see a bunch of blissed-out people wearing earbuds, roaming around Rittenhouse for 6-minute intervals, you’ll know why. Listen to the song here, in its two-dimensional form. [WXPN]