Audio-Technica brings the jungle to Times Square

Audio-Technica 40 Series broadcast & production microphones and M-Series headphones are being used to both capture and deliver an upcoming sonic and visual art installation in Times Square, New York City.

From 1 April, Soundwalk Collective, based in New York and Berlin, will present JUNGLE-IZED: A Conversation With Nature – a month-long interactive multi-sensory art installation that will look to transform Times Square and transport over half a million visitors each day to the heart of the Amazon Rainforest.

Presented in partnership with David de Rothschild, The Times Square Advertising Coalition (TSAC), Times Square Arts, Audio-Technica and CXA+ART, the immersive installation includes a participatory audio experience and an interactive video, to encourage a conversation with nature and to heighten awareness of the environmental impact of climate change.

Audio-Technica’s BP4027 and BP4029 stereo shotgun microphones and AT4050ST large-diaphragm stereo condenser microphones were taken into the Peruvian Amazon by Soundwalk Collective to record the voices of Shipibo shamans and narration by Amazon experts Jeremy Narby and Daniel Pinchbeck, guiding visitors along a jungle tour and into a ‘conversation with nature.’

From noon to midnight throughout April, visitors can borrow a pair of Audio-Technica’s ATH-M70x headphones from the official JUNGLE-IZED kiosk, to begin the journey through a virtual soundscape that superimposes the Amazon ecosystem upon an eight-square block area of Times Square.

This audio experience will be accompanied by a video, directed by Stephan Crasneanscki of Soundwalk Collective, which will be shown every night in April from 11:57pm to midnight on the electronic billboards of Times Square as part of Times Square Arts’ and Times Square Advertising Coalition’s Midnight Moment program. The JUNGLE-IZED film will invite spectators to take part in a simple collective action in celebration of Earth Month, revealing the hidden energy that exists in one of the most biodiverse environments in the world­; bringing the animals, the air, the trees, and the tribal inhabitants of the Amazon to New York City.

Sohichiro Matsumoto, global creative director at Audio-Technica, said: “The Amazon jungle has many layers of sound, from the leafcutter ants on the ground to the sudden downpours from the sky, so it was essential that the microphones we provided captured every single sound with clarity. The BP4027 and BP4029 microphones provided have the capability to both accurately pinpoint sound at long distance whilst also capturing wider stereo soundscapes.

Tim Tompkins, president of the Times Square Alliance, added: “With unique insight, the artist here has taken the "urban jungle" metaphor – which expresses so many of the challenge of an intensely urban and Darwinian place like Times Square – and turned it into a joyous celebration of something wholly different. By drawing in the sounds of a true jungle, this allows New Yorkers and visitors to experience a new, hybrid jungle that is unique to Times Square.”