Folk Songs for the Five Points is a multimedia project that lets you remix sounds from New York’s Lower East Side. The map-mixer interface encourages you to explore the cultural diversity of the area through sounds found in the environment. There are simple audio controls for play, pause, volume and pan. Up to five sound samples can be mixed simultaneously and saved to create your own "folk song".
"The SoundMap features a visual representation of the Lower East Side, overlaid with a series of dots. Each dot represents an audio sample recorded at that particular place. To select a sample, click and drag one of the circles over the chosen dot. The sample will then automatically start playing."
The colour coded sound dots represent field recordings, spoken word, musical recordings, and five songs from guest artist Victor Gama. Each sound element has its own tempo and duration and their combination creates multiple layers of social meaning.
As an interactive experience it works very well, the sounds are enhanced by the supplementary pictures and text to provide a real sense of discovery and learning. These types of virtual spaces are far from static and it’s easy to imagine rich, open applications with sustainable growth in the future.