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University of York develops app for Barbican Centre

Posted on 10 June 2016

Researchers at the University of York have developed an app which allows visitors to London’s Barbican Centre enjoy a self-guided audio journey.

The Barbican. Credit: Margaux Soland

The Edgelands app makes use of a newly installed network of iBeacons - a series of Bluetooth Low Energy Transmitters positioned across three levels of the Barbican’s public spaces - allowing the audience to trigger stories and music as they move through the building.  

The network transforms the foyers into a new creative platform spanning the length and breadth of the Barbican, inviting users to explore the world-famous site through new sound works.

Edgelands is experienced by downloading the app onto a smartphone, iPod or tablet. There’s no set path, therefore depending on the listeners’ choices, it lasts between 30 and 90 minutes.

Dr Jonathan Eato, from the Department of Music who led on the project for York, said: “This has been a wonderful project to be involved in.

“The technology that underpins Edgelands was developed here at York, and the artistic research that drove the project has been undertaken in close collaboration with promenade performance specialists Hannah Bruce and Company over several years.

“We are delighted that the Barbican has embraced this research and will use it as a platform for commissioning new work.”

Sidd Khajuria, Barbican Senior Producer added: “The Barbican’s public spaces are an ideal arena for us to commission inventive new work which draws together people from different disciplines to devise adventurous projects. “

Further information:

  • Edgelands is an interactive composition, created by Seth Scott in association with Hannah Bruce and Company, commissioned by the Barbican. The app was developed through a University of York research grant, and supported by the University of York’s Department of Music.
  • The Barbican is a world-class arts and learning organisation, incorporating dance, film, music, theatre and visual arts:

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