From Edison to Public Enemy, from gramophones to digital sampling, this interactive tells the epic story of the innovations that transformed how we create and experience music.

Housed in the Sound Lab of Seattle’s Experience Music Project, Inventions & Inspirations traces the evolution of making and capturing sound. The kiosk features visionaries with their inventions and influential musicians who embraced invention in their artistry, as well as each innovation’s impact on audience experience. The kiosk also includes interactive modules that demonstrate what sound is, and how we’re able to record it. Inventions & Inspirations takes a multilayered approach to the history of recorded sound. The kiosk’s information design tells the story along several axes, simultaneously tracing the historical timeline and the progression of innovation from performer to listener. The touch screen and rotating circular interface give museum visitors random access to every story, as told through hundreds of photographs, illustrations, graphic animations, oral histories, and music clips. Visitors can follow the timeline through a historical overview of major innovations ranging from acoustical to digital technologies. At the same time, they can explore innovations in areas of performance, recording, distribution, and playback. A custom soundtrack for each historical milestone interprets the classic song “Memphis Blues” to recreate the recording sound of each era.

For complete project credits visit:

Experience Music Project

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