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BERKELEY, CA, October 17, 2022 – Downtown Berkeley Plaza has created a unique series of public art installations in the hope it “attracts and encourages [people] to linger around the plaza”.

The Sound Hallway is an audio collage of performances programmed by a total of ten sound art commissions. Each commission will last three months and includes works from artists such as Chris Brown, Maggi Payne, Thea Farhadian, Margaret Noble, Danny Clay, Edmund Campion and Jim Mckee.

Sound is an undeveloped field of public art but in New York, you can hear the amplified hum of a tunnel junction from beneath  Times Square. You can also hear Bill Fontana’s field recordings currently play from the side of the North Beach library branch in San Francisco. But up to this moment, an eight-or-more-channel speaker system for revolving sound installations has not yet been created.

Berkeley Sonic Prayer Flags is an eclectic mix of music and soundscapes from the past and present. The work is inspired by Berkeley’s rich history, chronicled in archival recordings from KPFA, Pacifica Radio Archives, The Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archives, 1750 Arch Street, Gamelan Sekar Jaya, Will Bernard, Bay Area Radio Drama, The Hub,  and Peter Apfelbaum and the Hieroglyphics Ensemble. These compositions span a range of over 50 years of recordings, including songs from 1500s chamber music to modern day electronic networking.

From October 17, 2022 – February 2023 you can hear Jim Mckee’s sound installation at the Downtown Berkeley Bart Plaza.

This piece is dedicated to Erik Bauersfeld who served as the Director of KPFA’s Drama and Literature Department for over 30 years, and who mentored scores of sound artists with his love, knowledge and appreciation of the arts

You can read more about this sound art instillation at the City of Berkeley website: https://berkeleyca.gov/community-recreation/civic-arts/public-art/downtown-berkeley-bart-plaza