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Press Release

The Mann Center for the Performing Arts Co-Commissions Ellen Reid SOUNDWALK Audio Art Installation in Fairmount Park, Features Music from The Philadelphia Orchestra

Ellen Reid SOUNDWALK, supported through PNC Arts Alive Initiative, will be free and open to the public from June 4 through Sept. 30

PHILADELPHIA (June 4, 2021) — Ellen Reid SOUNDWALK, a sound art installation from Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Ellen Reid and co-commissioned by the Mann Center for the Performing Arts in association with the Fairmount Park Conservancy and others, will debut in June in Fairmount Park. Reid’s compositions, recorded by musicians of The Philadelphia Orchestra and the SOUNDWALK Ensemble, are meticulously programmed for Fairmount Park and the Mann’s campus, and can be experienced via a GPS-enabled mobile app.  The installation, funded in part by the PNC Foundation through the PNC Arts Alive initiative, begins June 4 and will run through Sept. 30.

“SOUNDWALK is a beautiful way to enjoy the jewel that is Fairmount Park, the brilliance of Ellen Reid’s original work, and, of course, the sounds of the fabulous Philadelphia Orchestra and to do so safely during this time of necessary social distancing,” said president and CEO of the Mann Catherine M. Cahill. “We are so proud to have co-commissioned this original work – an experience that immerses individuals in music, outdoors, on their own terms.  There is no particular beginning and end to the route, rather the sound cells allow for individual experiences that can be different every visit depending on the pace and path you decide to take.  That’s the genius of SOUNDWALK, and we’re delighted to be bringing it to Philadelphia.”

SOUNDWALK is a free long-term installation, open to the public to access when and where they wish and offers dense soundscapes to illuminate Fairmount Park’s natural areas.  SOUNDWALK is tailor-made for its setting, designed to encourage calm reflection and introspection. 

“These are unprecedented times; we’re all experiencing the anxieties of living in an uncertain world,” said composer Ellen Reid. “We miss our communities, and we miss the very thing that makes our cities special: the people. I hope SOUNDWALK will inspire us and make us feel connected to something larger than ourselves. It is meant to serve as artistic nourishment - a place to recharge, reconnect, and re-energize.”

Participants can experience SOUNDWALK by downloading the Ellen Reid SOUNDWALK mobile app and listening to the compositions. The sound is programmed to correspond with GPS locations with music connected to certain places.  As participants SOUNDWALK, the audio changes as they pass through geo-located sound regions. Reid’s compositions are customized to reflect the individual journey of each participant through nature. 

SOUNDWALK is a traveling installation that music lovers have enjoyed in Griffith Park in California; Central Park in New York; Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, the Elizabeth River Trail and the Pleasure House Point Natural Area in Virginia; and is launching this summer at the Britt Music & Arts Festival in Oregon. In addition to the Mann and Fairmount Park Conservancy, co-commissioners of the work also include Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts, the New York Philharmonic, Saratoga Performing Arts Center, and Britt Festival Orchestra.

To learn more about SOUNDWALK and to download the corresponding mobile app, visit

For more information on PNC Arts Alive and the grant recipients visit

About the Mann Center for the Performing Arts
As one of the foremost outdoor music centers in the country, the Mann Center for the Performing Arts, a leading non-profit organization, has a historical legacy of artistic excellence as a world-class entertainment destination presenting premier artists, now in association with Live Nation Entertainment. Each summer season, renowned symphony orchestras, iconic rock stars and the latest touring artists in indie rock, hip hop, R&B and pop take the stage here. The Mann is the summer home of The Philadelphia Orchestra and has presented critically acclaimed performers in every decade since the 1930s. Located in the heart of Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park, the Mann hosts more than 200,000 visitors annually. Signature concert experiences are surrounded by Philadelphia’s stunning skyline and include seats beneath the Mann’s acoustically acclaimed TD Pavilion; picnics, blankets and music under the stars on its Great Lawn or at the top of the hill at the Skyline Stage; and dining in Crescendo, the venue’s spectacular tented restaurant.  In addition, the Mann’s Education & Community Engagement Program reaches tens of thousands of young people annually through free programming and educational initiatives as well as its virtual Mann Music Room.  For more information, visit

About PNC Arts Alive
PNC Arts Alive is a multi-year, multi-million dollar grant initiative of PNC and the PNC Foundation, which receives its principal funding from The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc.  Now in its twelfth program year, PNC Arts Alive challenges visual and performing arts organizations to put forth their best, most original thinking in expanding audience participation and engagement.   In 2020, more than 40 arts organizations from across the Greater Philadelphia, Southern New Jersey, and Delaware region were selected to receive PNC Arts Alive program support –including  several first-time grantees, through a newly expanded initiative to support smaller, community-based arts and cultural organizations. For more information on PNC Arts Alive and the grant recipients visit