In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) and the City of Toronto’s Year of Public Art, ‘A More Beautiful Journey’ (AMBJ) is excited to announce its official launch – on September 1, 2022 – and its artist roster. Conceived and produced by an independent team of local artists and programmers that includes saxophonist and composer Joseph Shabason; musician, writer, and scientist Dan Werb (Woodhands); Creative Producer Amy Gottung (Long Winter) and others, the project is presented by Intersection Music & Arts, with the support of Presenting Partner The Music Gallery. A More Beautiful Journey is a city-wide sound installation using AR (augmented reality) technology that will provide TTC riders with generative, site-specific soundtracks for their commutes, created by artists across Toronto.
“Four years ago Dan Werb and I ran into each other at a movie premiere and started talking about how much we had been enjoying Japanese Ambient music,” Shabason explains. “Dan told me about how one of our favorite composers, Hiroshi Yoshimura, had written short pieces of music for different subway stations in Japan where he lived. We both wondered what it would be like to try and get all the amazing ambient composers from across Toronto to write site-specific compositions for the subway stations in the neighbourhoods where they live and grew up…. A kind of homage to these spaces that are so pivotal for this city running properly done by the composers who knew the spaces best.
“Since 2019, the project has expanded into something much more exciting than our original idea. Through geolocated sound software we are now able to get composers to score entire neighbourhoods and lines of transit rather than just one specific station. As riders move along streetcar and bus lines they will get an interactive musical snapshot of the city from a composer with connections to the neighbourhood that they are riding in. What started as a site-specific project morphed into a sprawling, ever-changing score for the entire city.“
Earlier this year, a jury that included 2022 Polaris Prize-winning rapper Cadence Weapon, jazz/soul artist Tuku Matthews, multi-instrumentalist Mario Anzola, violinist and composer Hugh Marsh, and experimental composer and improviser, Allison Cameron convened to select artists for the project. Additional artists were curated by community arts organizations across the City.
AMBJ announces their full roster of contributing musicians. The app includes custom AR music and sound design from art rock band Absolutely Free, DJ and producer Korea Town Acid, composer and Fucked Up collaborator Nick Storring, R&B artist Jahmal Padmore, and the synth pop artist and producer Prince Josh.
The full artist roster can be found at: https://amorebeautifuljourney.ca/artists
The AR app will be launched in coordination with live concerts at streetcar loops across Toronto, as part of the experimental music-minded Intersection Festival’s 2022 edition. AMBJ artists will be performing, free for the public, at five streetcar loops throughout the day. Details on concert locations, and Intersection Festival, can be found at https://intersectionfestival.org/festival/day-1.
AR work within the app, created with augmented reality audio software (Soundways), will remain accessible to TTC riders through the end of 2022.
A More Beautiful Journey was funded as part of ArtworxTO: Toronto’s Year of Public Art 2021–2022, a year-long celebration of Toronto’s exceptional public art collection and the creative community behind it. Working closely with artists and Toronto’s arts institutions, ArtworxTO is delivering major public art projects and commissions, citywide, from fall 2021 to fall 2022. Supporting local artists and new artworks that reflect Toronto’s diversity, ArtworxTO is creating more opportunities for citizens to engage with art in their everyday lives. The City of Toronto invites the public to discover creativity and community–everywhere. Visit artworxTO.ca for full details.
A MORE BEAUTIFUL JOURNEY – live launch concerts
Thur, Sept 1, 2022 | 1:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Ft. performances by
Absolutely Free Duo
SlowPitchSound and Laura Barrett
Korea Town Acid
Red Bear Singers (Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre)
Community Music Schools of Toronto
All Nations Juniors (Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre)