For Immediate Release



How can one man have so many ideas? Consider “REACH: NY” on New York’s 34th Street and Herald Square subway station, where waiting riders create music on the express platforms; a building in Washington, D.C. that dances with light and sings with music; a skyway at the Miami International Airport where travellers are enticed to make music and light as they are transported from terminal to terminal; a house in Kona, HI that doubles as a musical instrument; or an electric Porsche 911 Targa EV that can travel 100 miles on a gallon of gas. Meet Christopher Janney, whose imagination travels intergalactically as easily as it skids around neighborhood corners for inspiration..

Christopher Janney’s “Sonic Forest,” which has travelled the world for two decades, returns to New York City on September 5, where it will take up residence in LaGuardia Park until September 11. A collection of sound and light-making “electronic trees,” which stands at the ready for passer-byes to compose their own music or create communal symphonies at whim, is the first of a series of public events that Janney has up his sleeve for New York City and Washington, D.C. in the next three months.

The other events include the inauguration of “Touch My Building: Dance Place” in Washington, D.C. on September 13; and a concert with major jazz artists and dancers on November 25 at the Gramercy Theatre in New York City.

SONIC FOREST, Opens September 5th at 4 pm, closes September 11 at 11pm; open 8am-11pm daily; LaGuardia Park (between Bleecker and Houston Streets on LaGuardia Place), New York.

“Sonic Forest,” which has been recently presented in Zaragona, Spain, at the Glastonbury Festival in Somerset, England, the Firefly Festival in Dover, DE, the Electric Forest Festival in Rothbury, MI, the Coachella Festival in Indio, CA and the Bonnaroo Festival in Manchester, TN, will unite children of all ages and adults, enticing them to individually or communally compose music and create their own lighting effects, with the results brightening and enlivening the air for pedestrians strolling along LaGuardia Place.

ARTISTS AND THE CITY, September 8, 6pm-8pm; 536 LaGuardia Pl, New York. This event is open to the public; tickets are first come, first served.

A panel of noted composers, choreographers and sculptors who have used the city as inspiration will discuss questions about how their work relates to the city’s unique architecture and how the architecture of the specific site in which they work affects their work process. The panel (to be announced) will be moderated by Janney.

TOUCH MY BUILDING: DANCE PLACE, Permanent installation opening September 13; 3225 8th Street, NE Washington, D.C.


The multi-talented Christopher Janney, a native of Washington, D.C., has a shared vision with Dance Place’s founding director Carla Perlo: to engage a diverse public in the creative exhilaration of the arts. His personal commitment to Perlo’s mission inspired Janney, the artist, to create a colored glass exterior for the newly renovated building. As part of the colored façade, Janney, the composer, created an interactive sound installation that converts Dance Place into a building alive with the sound of music created by public. By touching a series of designed panels, passer-byes, entering and exiting dance students, audience members, and teachers make “a sound-score of melodic and environmental sounds,” creating a singing building.

LIVE PERFORMANCE, November 25, 8pm, Gramercy Theatre, 127 East 23rd Street, New York.

Janney’s gifts will be front and center again in a live performance that he is co-producing with the pioneering jazz/world music/rap producer and bass player Bill Laswell. Janney, who conducts and works with a visual synthesizer, will be joined by Laswell, percussionist Trilok Gurtu, and vocalists Nona Hendryx, Lynn Mabry, and Dave Revels. The evening also features a performance of Janney’s pioneering “HeartBeat,” a solo choreographed by Sara Rudner. Rudner was the original dancer, followed by Mikhail Baryshnikov, who performed the work for two years. At the Gramercy, it will be performed by Sunny Hitt. She will be accompanied by the sound of her heartbeat, courtesy of a custom wireless electronic heartbeat monitor, with layered sound spontaneously created by Janney, Laswell, Gurtu, Hendryx, Mabry, and Revels.


Christopher Janney was trained as an architect (Princeton University , B.A. Architecture, 1972, magna cum laude and MIT, M.S. Environmental Art, 1978) and a jazz musician (private studies, 1963-1976, Dalcroze School, 1974-75). He has created numerous permanent interactive sound/light installations, attempting, on the one hand, to make architecture more “spontaneous” (“Harmonic Runway,” Miami Airport, “REACH: NY,” 34th St. subway, New York) and, on the other hand, to make music more physical (“HeartBeat” performed by Sara Rudner, Mikhail Baryshnikov). Other projects include “Turn Up the Heat,” an interactive sculptural scoreboard for the Miami Arena, in Miami, FL; “Rainbow Cove” at Logan Airport, Boston, MA; “A House is a Musical Instrument: Kona,” an 8000 square foot private residence in Kona, HI based on Hawaiian cosmological principles; “Harmonic Convergence,” an interactive sound/light environment in the Miami International Airport; “Harmonic Fugue” for Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas; and five US/UK tours of “Sonic Forest” to major music festivals including Bonnaroo, Coachella, Electric Forest in the US and Wireless, Hyde Park Calling, Electric Daisy Carnival and Glastonbury in the UK. Projects recently completed include “Sonic Fireflies” for the new REVEL resort in Atlantic City, NJ; “Light Waves: Atlanta” for the Atlanta International Airport and a special-feature screening of “What Is A Heart?” at Art Basil Miami, a film on Janney’s “HeartBeat” project with an opening live set by The Persuasions. Believing that architecture is about a manifestation of the “public spirit,” he has been a Visiting Professor at Cooper Union’s Irwin Chanin School of Architecture and Pratt Institute where he taught his seminar, “Sound As A Visual Medium.” Committed to the belief that there is more to creating a dynamically-built public environment than erecting buildings, he has directed his own multi-media studio, PhenomenArts, Inc. since 1980. PhenomenArts, Inc. has studios in both Lexington, MA and London, UK. A book on Christopher Janney, titled “Architecture of the Air”, was published in 2006 and is available through and Janney’s website,