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San Diego Sound Booth Turns Anyone into a Maestro

We pooches are known for our refined sense of hearing, which is why I make it a point to be within earshot of the Spreckels Organ Pavilion whenever there’s a free concert. With over 5,000 pipes each making their own unique sound, the world’s largest outdoor organ requires a world-class organist to truly make it sing.

San Diego Sound Booth outside of Balboa Park Visitors CenterMy tone-deaf bipedal friends can now get in on the music-making act the next time they drop by the Visitors Center. Through the end of the month, they can “play” a custom-made interactive musical kiosk inside the House of Hospitality courtyard. It’s part of the San Diego Symphony’s “Our American Music” month-long festival that explores the myriad facets of American sound.

The Sound Booth encourages anyone, regardless of musical pedigree, to experiment with making their own short musical arrangements by pawing the various beatpads in the booth. Each pad represents a different sound, including recorded symphonic sounds and percussion rhythms, which can be mixed and layered with noises that are indigenous to San Diego. Budding maestros are also prompted to ponder the question “What sound inspires you?” and write their answers on the booth’s chalkboard.  

The Sound Booths, which are also located at the San Diego Central Library and Jacobs Music Center downtown, is a collaboration between the San Diego Symphony and David’s Harp Foundation (DHF), a non-profit that teaches at-risk youth music production and engineering in exchange for good grades. The talented pups from DHF played a major role in programming the musical components of each booth.

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