TrailOff

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Photo: John Hawthorne

COMING JUNE 2020

TrailOff will be a transmedial walking performance created by my company Swim Pony in collaboration with the Pennsylvania Environmental Council (PEC), premiering June 2020 as a free-to-download mobile app. Central to the project are 10 original audio stories, inspired by paths within the region’s expansive Circuit Trail network. Each trail will feature an original drama that unfolds over a roughly 2 mile route, written by a local author who demonstrates both rigorous artistic practice and connections to communities traditionally underserved by environmental programming.

Audiences will experience these intimate journeys through the app, which uses GPS triggering to link audio to physical attributes along the mapped route. Each author will create a unique audio story written specifically to be heard on their trail. Narration of the author’s text underscored with music and atmospheric sound design will sync to the user as they travel. Stories will highlight features of the landscape, encouraging listeners to imagine the world around them from the writer’s unique perspective. Using additional sensor data (weather, date, time of day, walking pace) the narratives will also contain subtle variations heightening the app’s “awareness” of what the listener does, giving them a magical experience of real-time response. After each walk, the app’s interface will shift from a basic map to an informational behind-the-scenes page with a podcast-style interview with the writer and points of environmental and historic interest on the trail. Once launched, the app will be maintained and available (always free of charge) for a year.


 PRODUCTION TEAM

Lead Artist/Conceiver: Adrienne Mackey
Producing and Environmental Partner: The Pennsylvania Environmental Council
App Development: Toasterlab, Inc.
Composition and Sound Design: Michael Kiley
Graphic Design: Maria Shaplin
Production Management and Administration: Eva Steinmetz


With funding from The William Penn Foundation, The Barra Foundation and The Network of Ensemble Theatres