The Brilliant Sound Experience

We showcased the collaboration between Sonos and the Google Assistant through a multi-city sensory experience.

A deep listening experience. Together with Sonos, we wanted to uncover what makes brilliant sound. We designed a three room experience that illustrated the scientific elements of sound, exposed the structure of a song, and visualised visitors’ emotional responses to music, taking guests on a journey from their head to their heart. Working in collaboration with the iconic Beggars Group of labels, the experience was led by music from The National, Holly Herndon, and many other artists.
Collaborative Process. We worked closely with interactive visual and sound designers, Dave & Gabe, to bring the experience to life, from developing a 3D sound experience, both sonically and visually, to building the interactive experiences in their workshop, Future Space, in Brooklyn.
Physics of Sound. We can’t see music, but we can hear it and feel it. The first room uncovered the invisible forces that are at play when we hear sounds. Guests were invited to completely immerse themselves in Holly Herndon's song "Eternal", which was animated across 1,720 LED globes, 20 channels of audio, and 18 speakers, creating a 360 degree sound experience. These came together to showcase how sound moves through a space.
Structure of a Song. In the second room we invited guests to physically step inside the inner workings of a song by The National, "Rylan". Large light sculptures illuminated in sync with the song - each one isolating and playing a different layer of the original recording - for example a bass-line, a vocal harmony, or a guitar solo. The result was an installation that allowed guests to listen on a deeper level, to focus on the many elements of a song, and to tune in to the point where sound becomes music.
Emotion of Music. What does listening to music do to our minds on an emotional level? In the third room, we invited visitors to see the effect that music has on our brains. We created an interactive installation to visualise each visitor’s individual reaction to different tracks from the Beggars Group catalogue. Wearing an EEG headband, visitors could choose a mood – maybe a "sentimental" song from Sampha or a "vulnerable" song from FKA twigs – and as it played, the headband interpreted and animated their brain waves changing in real time.
Sound Lounge. We created the Sound Lounge for visitors to relax and demo the Google Assistant on Sonos, inside bespoke sound booths designed to reflect Sonos' new visual identity. Working closely with the brand team, we used the new Sonos visual language to design the event identity, including e-vites, signage and bespoke furniture made with acoustic foam.
Programming. In collaboration with Sonos, we programmed and delivered a series of evening events as part of The Brilliant Sound Experience. In New York, we hosted an in-conversation event with Holly Herndon about how artificial intelligence is shaping her music. We also programmed a screening of the short film “I Am Easy to Find” with a live Q&A between The National's Aaron Dessner and Scott Devendorf, and film director Mike Mills. London’s event hosted a talk with slowthai, where he discussed his upbringing in Northampton, Mercury Prize nomination and belief in the importance of making music accessible to everyone.
SoHo NYC to Soho London. To coincide with the European release of the Google Assistant on Sonos, we recreated The Brilliant Sound Experience in London. For the Structure of a Song experience, we created an additional set of light sculptures that allowed visitors to see and hear The National’s “Rylan” in even more detail, and compare it with a second song from a very different genre – slowthai’s “Toaster”.

Entry to the Brilliant Sound Experience was free, and tickets were snapped up weeks before the doors opened, with over 3,300 visitors attending the experience across both cities. The experience also attracted a wide range of press including Wallpaper*, Ad Week, New York Yimes, Campaign, VICE, Evening Standard and Mashable.
Working with the Anyways team is always among the most enjoyable, productive, and collaborative experiences you could ever hope for when exploring authentic creative territories with an agency partner. They were excellent custodians of our brand, and worked tirelessly to help us push the boundaries of what is possible in a premium physical sound experience; a very complex and challenging space. We can't wait for our next project together
Head of Global Cultural Marketing, Sonos


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