Sonic Runway

Submitted by Creos

9+

Client: Waterfront BIA - Toronto

Location: Toronto, ON, Canada

Completion date: 2021

Project Team

Public Art Agent

Alexandre Lemieux

Creos

Creator

Rob Jensen

Zamboom LLC

Creator

Warren Trezevant

Zamboom LLC

Overview

A corridor of lights synchronized to the speed of sound.

The Sonic Runway is a light-art installation that converts audio signals into patterns of light that shoot down a 342 to 432 ft (105 to 132 meters) corridor of 20 to 25 LED lined arches at the speed of sound.

At the front of the Runway, the observers see musical sound waves rippling away from them. Walking down the corridor, sound and light are always in sync. Looking back from the far end, walkers can see the sound waves coming at them, and hear the music as the pattern reaches them.

A striking addition to any urban or festival landscape, the Sonic Runway becomes an unforgettable destination that offers an otherworldly sensory experience.

Goals

The first Sonic Runway was installed at Burning Man ‘03/’04 as part of a large-scale sound art camp, Sol System. Sixteen steel framed pyramids were spaced out over 1000 feet, emanating from the DJ booth. At the top of each pyramid was a strobe light programed to flash in sync with the thump of the bass.
16 years later, the new Runway took the same basic concept but with an all new circular design, twice as many gates, greater interactivity, and more intricate visualizations.
During the 2021 winter, while pandemic was in full swing, the illuminated public art was installed in Toronto's Harbourfront Centre's site to bring light to the waterfront during a challenging time. The large-scale installation enabled a unique and safe experience for residents and passers-by.

Process

After a successful run at Burning Man 2016, in 2017, the Sonic Runway is making its first international appearance in the middle of downtown Chengdu, China, presented by IFS. The installation was also presented in San Jose.
Since 2019, the creators have decided to continue contributing in energizing other public spaces around the world by partnering with Creos, a world leading agency for public interactive installations in urban spaces. Since the beginning of this partnership, the Sonic Runway has been presented at Wembley Park, London, UK, at Toronto Waterfront, ON, CAN, and many new destinations are planned in the months and years to come.