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Will Day working in his studio; photo courtesy of Kori Stanton Photography

A Unique Collaboration Adds Sound to a Local Artist’s Paintings

You can both see and hear painter Will Day's latest works during Open Studio Boulder’s Fall Artist Tour.?

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Music often enhances people’s experiences—whether it’s listening to a custom-made playlist during a long road trip or hearing a favorite tune while grabbing a drink with friends at the bar. Now imagine adding your own personalized score to an art viewing. Sounds pretty cool, right? We’re not the first to think so: Boulder-based sound technology company Soundwall began selling speaker installations for works of art—you can purchase a blank canvas or pieces from their collection—in 2014. And starting this weekend, you can view the technology in action during Open Studio Boulder’s 20th Anniversary Fall Artist Tour.

Will Day, a local painter who is among the 125 Colorado artists whose works will be showcased at the event, started collaborating with Soundwall in late summer. For the Fall Artist Tour, Day mounted four blank canvases adjacent to each other—like one large canvas—and started painting. Knowing these pieces would be viewed with an extra auditory layer, Day turned to music for inspiration; the sounds of Mozart, the Rolling Stones, and Lenny Kravitz filled his studio for several weeks. When each painting was complete, Soundwall wired the canvases with speakers so each can airplay music specific to its audiences’ personal tastes using the Soundwall app. (It can stream any music being played from your smartphone.) During the exhibit, Soundwall team member Danielle Carroll will be on hand to help attendees download the app, stream their favorite song or playlist, and coordinate the queue so songs don’t play on top of each other.

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The Fall Artist Tour exhibits are open October 3–4 and 10–11, from noon to 6 p.m., at Open Studio Boulder. Hear Day talk more about his collaboration with Soundwall, as well as his artistic process, on the Soundwall app during the exhibit.

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