Walkie Talkie Dream Garden by Dafna Naphtali

Walkie Talkie Dream Garden is an interactive sound-walk composition for the Williamsburg waterfront, heard via a free iOS/Android app with U-Gruve Audio Augmented-Reality by Richard Rodkin. Geo-tagged audio recorded on-site and electroacoustic vignettes, are triggered/altered by GPS locations of listeners. From the former Domino Sugar factory to Bushwick inlet, Kent Avenue extending into the East River, from piers and passing ferries, large structures become oversized virtual instruments, combine with overheard sounds, and participants shape their own music/sound experience as they walk, run, or ride.

Funding for Walkie Talkie Dream Garden comes from New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and is sponsored, in part, by the Greater New York Arts Development Fund of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, administered by Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC), and the Hamburg Cultural Council. A Harvestworks Sponsored Project.


Walkie Talkie Dream Garden (“WTDG”) is an interactive composition I will be create in Spring 2018, scored for U-Gruve, an Audio Augmented Reality authoring platform and mobile device app, (by collaborator Richard Rodkin) that allows for geo-coding of audio events to play and be altered according to the physical location of the listener.  My composition will function as an electroacoustic-interactive sound walk, available free to listeners physically located on-site in New York and Hamburg, Germany.

Walkie Talkie Dream Garden is being created for “The Wil (helms | liams) burg project”, (w-burg exchange) a two-year exchange program with composers from Brooklyn’s Williamsburg and Hamburg’s Wilhelmsburg neighborhoods.  My piece, uses field recordings from both locations, and electroacoustic compositional ideals, to focus/comment on sounds of the industrial (and post-industrial-artist-occupied-gentrifying) waterfront areas of both cities. Influenced by aesthetics, listening, and aleatoric composition practices of Cage, Oliveros, Westerkamp, the work seeks to open ears to new ways of listening, and influence of the psychogeography and history of both areas.

Walkie Talkie Dream Garden builds on prior work and ideas I developed in creating Walkie Talkie Dream Angles for Washington Square Park in New York City, also with the U-Gruve platform. Walkie Talkie Dream Angles was created for an acoustic ecology festival (NoiseGate 2016), allowing listeners to traverse sonically interesting corners of the park, and underscoring the loss of quiet, past and future sounds, bringing a favorite urban environment to life in a sonically unique and individual way, as I layered processed environmental sounds, I recorded on-site, with tracks of my voice, percussion, and thoughtful strategizing about site-specific listening, interactivity and attention span. The WTDA project, and U-Gruve were be featured in Creative Tech Week NYC, May 2017, and will be again in 2018

Background:  U-GRUVE, created by programmer Richard Rodkin, enables the creation of interactive soundtracks for public spaces using listener/participant’s phones and GPS sensors to trigger geo-tagged musical outcomes to predefined zones in the targeted environment.


The two-year w-burg exchange project began in 2017 with concerts by participating artists at established festivals in Hamburg (48h Wilhelmsburg Festival, June 2017) and Brooklyn (NY Electroacoustic Music Festival at National Sawdust, July 2017), and initial mapping, sound collection and investigation. Production work on the soundwalk for Hamburg and Brooklyn will be complete in June 2018, with testing continuing into the Fall 2018. A second round of concerts and workshops at both locations, will present the completed piece, Walkie Talkie Dream Garden both as an Audio Augmented Reality sound walk and a performance version using audio created. I’m creating the work using field recordings collected from both locations in April and June 2017, and updated higher quality recordings to be made in Spring 2018. These audio recordings will be processed, contrasted, exchanged, intermingled between the two cities for the final work. This Spring 2018 I will create and develop the full work and with Richard Rodkin of Memetic Art, develop the smartphone apps (iOS and Android), so they can be ready for June.


Dafna Naphtali is a singer/instrumentalist, electronic-musician and educator. She composes and performs experimental, interactive electro-acoustic music, for 20+ years, drawing on a wide-ranging musical background in jazz, classical, rock and near-eastern music and using her custom Max/MSP programming. She’s performed in the US, Canada, Europe, India, Russia and the Middle East, with current projects including: “Audio Chandelier”, multi-channel audio piece presented in US, Berlin, and Montreal (IX Symposium 2017 @Satosphére); “Robotica” (music robots and voice) and continuing; “Walkie Talkie Dream Angles”, an Audio Augmented-Reality sound walk (using U-GRUVE AR platform) to create personalized interactive composition written for NY’s Washington Square Park, and a new walk “Walkie Talkie Dream Garden” to be premiered in June 2018 for the waterfront area of Willliamsburg Brooklyn.

One of Dafna’s long-running projects is live sound-processing of voice and acoustic instruments as a performable “instrument” in duos with acoustic instrumentalists –pianist Gordon Beeferman (new CD “Pulsing Dot”), trombonist Jen Baker (Clip Mouth Unit), and with Hans Tammen (endangered guitar). Fellowships/awards include: NY Foundation for the Arts (‘13, ‘01), NY State Council on the Arts (’99, ’18), Brooklyn Arts Council (’18), Franklin Furnace, American Composers Forum (’99, ’09), Foundation for Contemporary Arts, American Music Center. http://www.dafna.info

Richard Rodkin is the founder of Memetic Arts, Inc., a New York City-based digital media publishing company focused on creative technology applications for the web and mobile devices. Richard is also the creator of U-GRUVE AR, which launched during New York Creative Tech Week 2016. A lifelong musician, composer, and creative technologist, Richard first began developing U-GRUVE in the early ’90s, while working in the then-emerging Virtual Reality industry.

WEBSITE AND SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS: website, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook


U-GRUVE AR Homepage

Walkie Talkie Dreams


Cycling ’74 interview 2011 http://dafna.info/interview-on-cycling74-com/
My New Music Blog posts from October (slightly relevant) http://dafna.info/new-music-box-blog-posts-oct-2017/

interview with Guy Harries 2013 https://www.liveelectronicsound.com/dafna-naphtali

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