Merche Blasco (New York // Madrid) built the software, tested the hardware, and composed the audio elements for Sonic Bloom, a participatory sound performance commissioned by the city of New York for their Up Late event at the High Line urban park. Merche describes the project as one in which “participants create a communal soundscape by exploring an area of the park at night by flashlight. The flashlights trigger a grid of sensors that read changes in the ambient light conditions, sending the data to software which cues specific sounds.” In her last phase of engineering the piece, Merche installed it temporarily in the North Mountain woods, where it was tested by some of the locals. The official public debut of Sonic Bloom and the park’s Up Late event at large was reportedly a great success and drew a huge number of people wanting to play with plants and flashlights in the park at night.

Merche at the controls during rehearsal performance (photo by David Rehor)

Merche field-recording a goat (photo by Pat Doyen)