Storywalks at Eldridge Street is a site-specific smartphone application that will infuse the landmark Eldridge Street Synagogue with the voices of past congregants; it will make these voices available to the public for the first time.Dedicated in 1887, the Eldridge Street Synagogue is a breathtaking National Historic Landmark that was a place of sanctuary, support, and inspiration for thousands of Jewish immigrants living on or near New York Citys Lower East Side. Storywalks at Eldridge Street offers visitors a story told in the congregants own words, their voices infused with traditional Jewish music - including prayers sung by renowned cantor Edward Smith, son of Eldridge Street congregant Max Smith, whose voice is also featured in the app - as well as environmental sounds recorded on-site, and an immersive musical soundscape. Visitors explore the synagogue through a nonlinear narrative, triggering audio "hotspots" with a tap to dynamically mix a storywalk that reveals congregant memories of what it was like to be a Jewish immigrant living on the Lower East Side in the 1920s, 30s, and 40s.This public art piece is a collaboration between the Museum at Eldridge Street, Carlin M. Wragg (Producer and Narrative Designer) and Anna Pinkas (Visual and Interaction Designer), with custom software by creative technologists Chien-Yu Lin and Lia Martinez, a soundscape composed by musician Mercedes Blasco, and location recording and sound mixing by Ryan Billia.Storywalks at Eldridge Street grew out of a class project at New York University's Interactive Telecommunications Program at Tisch School of the Arts, where the artists were students, and successfully crowdsourced all funding through Kickstarter.
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