Surreal. Trippy. And just plain cool.
The audio was perfect. The way it moved past you as you walk. The way it blends with the natural sounds around you. The eerie accuracy of some of the observations. I was really, really blown away by it. Technically speaking, it was fantastic. The audio was crystal clear, the timing was spot on, and the “surround sound” stereo effect was utterly convincing.
At one point, she tells you to look at that bench over there and notice the squatter reading a newspaper. Lo and behold, there was a homeless guy reading a newspaper on the bench. Walking past the zoo, the narrator mentions it’s the time of day when mom’s come out with their strollers. Again, what do I see but 4 or 5 strollers huddled together. Spooky. Obviously a coincidence, and more often than not when the narrator mentioned the presence of a bird in the trees, or a man singing in the tunnel, there was none to be found. But it was a strong reminder that all places have a rhythm. The park has character. A consistent character. And no matter who you are, when you walk through the park you’ll feel a bit of it’s character in the same way that both I and the narrator felt it. I got to live the narrators experience for a few minutes. She gave me her eyes and her thoughts. In a way, I became her.
At the start of the walk, I was instructed to pay attention the sounds of the city. It has it’s own melody, creates it’s own symphony. I had to look behind me to make sure that the marching band I was hearing was in the audio recording and not actually behind me. It was that convincing. As the walk continued, I was more observant that I’d perhaps ever been walking through central park. I noticed shadows, I stopped to consider the people around me, I saw more.