Watching Sound: the Sonic Runway Story with Rob Jensen and Warren Trezevant

What does it take to synchronize light and sound? Co-creators Rob Jensen and Warren Trezevant, talk about their work creating Sonic Runway, an art installation converging sound and light that they conceived at Burning Man. Sonic Runway immerses the spectator in colorful synchronized visuals that animate the speed, tempo and feeling of sound into dazzling light displays people can immerse themselves in to experience sound in a whole new way.

Back of a cellist (Cellista) facing toward Sonic Runway- metal rings of colored light with people walking through the rings

Cellista plays into Sonic Runway February 2023

Hear the story behind their meticulous sound creation process, making the exhibit first for Burning Man in 2003 and how its success grew to transform it into a traveling exhibit to sites around the U.S., England, Canada, and finally to a replicated exhibit in Chengdu China. Sonic Runway is on display in downtown San Jose, California through 2028.

Creating Sonic Runway has reshaped the perception of sound for thousands of people around the world and it also is the passion hobby of a dedicated group of people. The communal experience of the Runway has left audiences smiling, marveling and connecting with each other.

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Sonic Runway at Burning Man episode cover image

Photo credit: Jordan Laboucane

About Rob Jensen

Man in a parka facing camera with desert mountains in background

Rob Jensen conceived the Sonic Runway while observing the effects of sound at Burning Man in 2002. As a visual artist, engineer, and musician, Rob has always been drawn to the intersection of science and art. Rob’s day job also combines art and technology, where he alternates between animating and engineering at Pixar Animation Studios.

Man in hat smiling, hands on hips in purple shirt. Desert and sky background.

About Warren Trezevant

Warren enjoys creating experiences of wonder. He’s brought characters to life in movies, as a former animator at Pixar Animation Studios. He also brings them to life in the real world with the stroboscopic Toy Story Zoetrope, Peter Hudson’s large-scale zoetropes Charon and Eternal Return, as well as the breathing for Marco Cochrane’s R_Evolution.

To listen to this episode as a podcast, search for Agile Vocalist anywhere you get your podcasts.

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Music in this Episode

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Episode Transcript:  Coming Soon!


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