Kindness of Jazz: MacKay SoundWalk 

The Kindness of Jazz logo

Link to Work: Link 1
Age: Any Age
Type: Locative soundwalk
Language: English
Platform: Sonicmaps – Locative audio (spatialized audio elit)

Mentor: Tony Vieira

Mentee: Peter Woods

Roles & Additional Authors: Tony Viera - Technical lead, immersive architecture, software coordination, audio editing
Peter Woods - original music compositions, live recordings, meditative reflections and spoken word 

Short Description: Locative soundwalk – original music and spoken word originally created to be experienced while walking the neighbourhood of new Edinburgh in Ottawa, but also available to expearience online via web interface.

Longer Description: Take a stroll with Kindness of Jazz: Mackay Soundwalk, a sound walk launched in the historic New Edinburgh neighbourhood of Ottawa, Canada, in December 2020, at the height of the pandemic. Kindness of Jazz is an evolving album of music and spoken word - spatialized elit placed at select locations mapped throughout the neighbourhood. The nodes of creativity are all accessible via the SonicMaps player. With just earbuds and a phone, the experience begins in front of MacKay United Church. Press Play and start the journey, either towards historic Sussex Drive (and the home of Canada’s Prime Minister) or Stanley Park. Acoustic music and original and borrowed spoken word (including reflective words and poetry quoted from Rumi and Hafiz), much of it recorded inside the church sanctuary, accompanies the audience as they find their way, mobilizing the unique affordance of spatialized electronic literature to turn the church inside out for a time when gathering indoors was impossible. For ELO2022 we offer a selection of nodes available to experience via web browser, with an on screen avatar walking a map of the streets. 

Mentoring Context: Tony Vieira is an accomplished musician, composer, XR artist and educator who brought extensive experience with electronic literature – particularly locative media and augmented and virtual reality works – to the collaboration. He has exhibited at numerous ELO conferences. Peter Woods is also an accomplished musician – a saxophone player - but was entirely new to the world of electronic literature. As a congregational minister with the United Church of Canada, Peter was working on a related project when the pandemic hit – an in-person church offering of worshipful connection called Kindness of Jazz, in which the intention of musicians and the openness of listeners create a new collaborative, spiritual space. When meeting in person and indoor concerts were no longer possible, Tony and Peter began to think about continuing the work of the project outside and Tony offered to help realize the project – and the Kindness of Jazz: MacKay Soundwalk edition was born. The project was created over many months and involved foundational elit discussions around spatial storytelling, granularity, locative media platforms and their editing interfaces, interplay between music, spoken word (and silence), and experience design. It was also an opportunity to design a soundwalk for new audiences, whose intertext was both the formal church and a pandemic. The team worked remotely, with Tony editing in Southern Ontario and Peter recording and beta testing the walk 500 km away in Ottawa, learning new ways to think about composing and recomposing for special wandering, creating a new work for new audiences and developing new capacity. This is only the first of the soundwalks they intend to make together!

Bios:Tony Vieira is an educator, media artist, future storyteller, musician and composer who creates immersive visual and sonic experiences for XR. His work for film, television, VR cinema, orchestral performance, location-area media, and AR has been screened, broadcast, performed, and exhibited internationally. Tony Vieira earned his PhD from York University.

Peter Woods Spiritually grounded in the arts, I am an ordained minister in the United Church of Canada and a professional saxophone player. I thrive at the crossroads of innovation and tradition. 

Screenshot from The Kindness of Jazz