NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — If you’ve ever wanted the chance to participate in a symphony performance, now’s your chance.
For the tenth annual River to River Festival and Make Music New York, you won’t need an instrument to take part in making music. All you’ll need is an iPhone (or iPod Touch or iPad) and the GROUP application to be a part of a large-scale, public symphony set to take place in front of the New York Stock Exchange.
Participants must download the GROUP application before Tuesday’s event.
Beginning the morning of June 21, participant’s iPhones will omit a single, dense sound throughout the day. Eventually, all the GROUP members will come together—at exactly 12:45 PM in front of the NYSE —and the noises from their iPhones will create a united symphony.
GROUP was created by composer and musician Aaron Siegel and software developer Larry Legend. Siegel told CBSNewYork that concept was derived by his interests in activating spaces artistically and engaging large groups of people to create music.
Extending these interests to include technology was “a natural extension.”
“It gives people the opportunity to come together,” Siegel said. “In some ways [participants] know what they are going to be doing—they are going to the same place, but in other ways, the experience of having the piece play out the way it does gives everyone a different kind of experience and we don’t know what that’ll be like. That’s what I really wanted to do, give people an experience that they couldn’t have by themselves.”
The collective experience is what drew Andy Horwitz, River to River Festival Curator, to GROUP for inclusion in the festival.
“It’s a really interesting piece of participatory culture and an interesting way for people to approach making music,” he said. “I thought it would be a lot of fun and a good chance to give people to engage with each other and be involved with the art at the same time.”
The River to River Festival will feature free art exhibits, musical performances, film screenings and dance and theatrical performances in Lower Manhattan from June 19 to July 16.
As for GROUP, Siegel believes that this is just the beginning.
“The idea of having people do things with their phones in this kind of active way has potential far beyond this project,” he said. “I’ve already spoken to people around the country about staging active things like this there; I’m excited to see how this goes.”