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Creative

Perfect Fools Captures The Big Apples Beats & Streets With Sonos 'Speaker Wall'

Sonos Studios heads to New York City

Perfect Fools Captures The Big Apples Beats & Streets With Sonos 'Speaker Wall'

The music composed across New York City is an evolving soundscape influenced by its art and culture, geography and architecture.

In a sound and vision first, wireless hi-fi brand Sonos and creative studio Perfect Fools have captured the Big Apple’s beats and streets with a giant, motion-activated 3D screen built from 300 Sonos Play:1 speakers. 

The ‘Sounds of NYC’ is one of the featured installations at Sonos Studio NYC, a weeklong residency that opens at Neuehouse on 2 October and runs until 5 October.

The wall measures nearly 10 metres square and works both visually and physically through coloured LED lights that pulsate within the speakers, and motors that oscillate individual units back and forth to create a vibrating vertical landscape. 

When interacted with, the speakers respond to hand gestures so users can navigate a map of the city thanks to Kinect-powered sensors, which recreate a topographical borough scene on the 3D screen, depending on the music selected.

Users can explore iconic sounds and identify which of NYC’s five boroughs they originate from – a musical journey that spans indie rock to hip hop, funk to punk and disco to electro.

Tony Högqvist, creative partner at Perfect Fools, says: “Sonos Studios NYC briefed Perfect Fools to create a sonic spatial installation under the umbrella of architecture, art and product experience.  We’ve mapped the sounds of New York City borough to borough so users can break down musical barriers with their hands.”


The sound is generated by 34 embedded Sonos Play:1s synced via a custom-made computer, which controls 24 arduinos connected to the moving speakers. Music is created and curated by Perfect Fools with Daniel Kessler and Joseph Fraioli, the artists behind Big Noble; plus NYC-based record label and artist collective, Wolf & Lamb.

Big Noble will also use the installation in its new music video for a single to be released during their album launch.

The Sounds of NYC is designed to travel to different Sonos Studio venues and other relevant locations, evolving as it goes to interpret the host city’s musical relevance. The campaign is supported by a series of videos and social media.

Brad Wolf, senior director of brand innovation at Sonos, says: “Sonos Studio NYC is an exploration of the intersection of art, music, design and technology in collaboration with New York City, and the installation beautifully reflects that.  We are taking music lovers on a journey through the soundscape of New York City, brought to life by a mind blowing experiential platform.”  

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Genre: Experiential