A Musical Journey Through Strathmore's Campus Sonic Trails combines technology and music for a unique outdoor experience.

Aerial View Of Strathmore Campus Including Music Center Mansion And Gazebo
Headphones Listening
Sonic Trails App Being Used On A Cell Phone


Sonic Trails combines technology and music for a unique outdoor experience.  

By Jason Fontelieu

Like a village green, Strathmore’s campus is a place to make connections. Joi Brown, Strathmore’s artistic director and vice president of programming, describes the current Sonic Trails installation as another way to “activate that space.” 

Sonic Trails is an immersive sound experience where visitors traverse Strathmore’s 16-acre campus using a free GPS app they downloaded to their phone, creating a unique composition for each user. “As you’re moving around the campus, you become a partner in creating a custom music experience,” says Brown. “No two people are going to have the same experience.” 

The sweeping installation is active through December, with music adapted from a Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) recording of The Imagined Forest. Composed by Grace-Evangeline Mason of the United Kingdom, BSO performed the piece’s US premiere last year, under the baton of Jonathon Heyward. 

Strathmore’s Sonic Trails experience was created and mapped by the Holladay Brothers, who pioneered this idea of “location-aware music,” as they call it. “The Imagined Forest is very evocative and has beautiful layering and separate sections, which allowed the Holladay Brothers to create distinctly different audio experiences throughout campus,” Brown says. 

Sonic Trails invites participants to explore at their own pace 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Upon entering the campus, instructions guide users on downloading and using the app to enjoy the music while strolling. 

This immersive audio journey also enhances the celebration of Strathmore’s upcoming 20th anniversary, offering a fresh dimension to the visual and performance aspects cherished on campus for nearly two decades. 

“Whether you’re a seasoned visitor of Strathmore’s campus or simply someone in need of something beautiful and serene, this experience is for you,” she adds. “‘It’s a bit of a break and refuge from the craziness of the world.” 

Learn how to try Sonic Trails for yourself.

Strathmore extends its gratitude to Kathleen Knepper for generously supporting Sonic Trails.