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‘A More Beautiful Journey’ calls for submissions to animate Toronto’s public transit lines with site-specific sounds

A More Beautiful Journey has announced a public call for submissions.

The project is in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) and the City of Toronto’s Year of Public Art. It’s preparing a city-wide sound installation using XR (extender reality) technology. A More Beautiful Journey will provide TTC riders with generative, site-specific soundtracks for their commutes. These soundtracks will be created by musicians and sound artists across the city.

A More Beautiful Journey is presented by Intersection Festival, with the support of Presenting Partner The Music Gallery. It’s conceived and produced by an independent team of local artists and programmers including Joseph Shabason, Dan Werb, Amy Gottung, and members of the Intersection Festival and The Music Gallery.


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The project is set to launch on September 1st, 2021. Submissions from the Toronto-wide call will be evaluated by an independent journey of artists. Among the jurors are Cadence Weapon, Tuku Matthews, Mario Anzola, Hugh Marsh, and Allison Cameron. The call opens today and closes on February 9th, 2022. You can apply here.

Shabason on A More Beautiful Journey:

“Four years ago Dan Werb and I ran into each other at a movie premier and started talking about how much we had been enjoying Japanese Ambient music,” Shabason says. “Dan told me about how one of our favourite composers, Hiroshi Yoshimura, had written short pieces of music for different subway stations in Japan where he lived. We both wondered what it would be like to try and get all the amazing ambient composers from across Toronto to write site-specific compositions for the subway stations in the neighbourhoods where they live and grew up…. A kind of homage to these spaces that are so pivotal for this city running properly done by the composers who knew the spaces best.”

“That was in 2019 and from there the project has expanded into something much more exciting than our original idea,” Shabason continues. “Through geolocated sound software we are now able to get composers to score entire neighbourhoods and lines of transit rather than just one specific station. As riders move along streetcar lines they will get an interactive musical snapshot of the city from a composer who lives in the neighbourhood that they are riding in. What started as a site-specific project morphed into a sprawling, ever-changing score for the entire city.”

Alongside the juried call for A More Beautiful Journey, neighbourhood-based partner organizations will be curating artists to contribute work for dedicated stretches of transit lines. Some of these partners include Council Fire Native Cultural Centre, Regent Park School of Music, Sketch, Arts Etobicoke, The Remix Project, RISE, and more.

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