AT&T wanted to transform their global corporate campus into a cultural oasis and world-class multimedia destination. An investment in the City of Dallas’ vibrant culture, AT&T Discovery District would be a reimagining of public square, placing sound and music at the heart of the experience.
Made Music Studio was invited to join the design team at AT&T Discovery District as the sonic agency of record overseeing strategy, development and sonic design of the project.
From the soft sounds of regional birds chirping intermittently through one of the more than 130 strategically placed speakers, to the magical visual and sonically driven takeover moments on the 9-story Media Wall, to the playful interactive centerpiece of the District, the Globe, every moment is scored to surprise, delight, inform, soothe and inspire visitors.
The AT&T and Made Music Studio vision was to develop a musical and sonic ecosystem throughout the District that would function as connective tissue to the overall visual design and experience, developed by architectural firm Gensler and creative partners Moment Factory and Float4.
With the District being fully operational from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., 365 days a year, Made Music also understood that we needed to thoughtfully consider the placement, decibel, and frequency of sound to delight but not overwhelm District guests. We needed to craft a strategically designed sonic tapestry that could evolve and shift from one state into another seamlessly — from passive, to active, to interactive — depending on the moment, experience and time of day. With over 130 strategically placed speakers and hundreds of hours of custom audio programmed throughout the Plaza, AT&T’s Discovery District is a marvel of innovation, design and sensory delight.
The Logo: Distinct from iconic melody that defines the AT&T sonic logo, the District’s sonic identity is based on a simple idea: A heartbeat. It works in harmony with the District’s vibrant visual identity, and is emblematic of the heart and center of this revitalized downtown oasis. Its simple construction makes the sonic logo infinitely flexible, and able to support the wide range of content experienced in the AT&T Discovery District.
The Plaza: The strategic use of sound can serve a vital purpose in public spaces, particularly when attempting to diminish unwanted traffic noise and create an enjoyable sensory experience for visitors at all hours of the day.
Open 24 hours a day, the open-air Plaza at the AT&T Discovery District is a place for visitors to eat, read, wander, listen to live music or just hang out. We sought to create a dynamic ambiance that provide a sonic blanket to block out unwanted street sounds and create moments of delight for visitors. The compositions would need to be complex enough to avoid sounding repetitive and exhausting to listeners spending longer periods of time in the space.
Our creative audio solution was to develop a nature-inspired musical ambience that would block out sonic trash and bring a sense of an organic, calming soundscape to the center of Downtown Dallas. To bring the sounds of nature to the AT&T Discovery District sonic experience, we incorporated the sounds of randomized bird, insect, wind and chime moments that pop up in little easter egg moments throughout the day. In building out the creative concept, Made Music stayed true to the city’s roots by identifying 6 birds native to the Dallas region, whose lively chirps and vocalizations would also be integrated into the overall nature-driven composition for the Plaza.
The Media Wall: Serving as the content hub of the Plaza, the 9-story, 104-foot Media Wall is an awe-inspiring audio and visual display. Rotating content ranges from branded content to free community movie nights. Dispersed into the content mix are imaginative artist takeover segments which transition to peaceful screensaver states, providing delight, entertainment and serving as metaphorical audio and visual palate cleansers.
Fourteen artists were invited to dream up and develop dramatic visual “stories” to be displayed on the Media Wall. Each artist creation serves as a 60-second, Plaza-sweeping takeover moment hourly. Majestic and transformative, all 14 takeover moments are individually scored by Made Music, bringing each story to life with its own unique sound. Every scored visual showpiece concludes with the signature sound of the AT&T Discovery District — a subtle, branded moment illuminated by a fitting blend of audio and visual design.
All elements combined, the Media Wall provides the District with a series of exhilarating audio-visual interludes, evoking a sense of fascination and wonder for every visitor across the Plaza.
“The ability to tap and channel each speaker in the Plaza offered us an interesting creative opportunity. ‘What if the birds were like guests that showed up randomly in certain speakers at different moments?’”
– Danielle Venne, Executive Music Producer + Director of Innovation, Made Music Studio
The Globe: An interactive sculpture, The Globe is the symbolic centerpiece of the District. In collaboration with Gensler and Float4, Made Music built out a dynamic audio and visual experience that maximizes the sonic capabilities of the Globe’s unique architecture.
We created an interactive soundscape that encourages visitors to explore the full dimensions of the structure, uncovering new sounds and “composing on-the-fly” using LiDAR sensors to trigger new sounds with each movement.
Everyone becomes a composer when moving around the Globe. As visitors move through various zones, the music shifts, swelling and growing more complex as more people explore the space. The energy of the music even matches the intensity of participants’ movement within the Globe in real-time — creating a fully adaptable and distinct experience for each visitor.
Our role as executive sonic producer for the AT&T Discovery District included:
– Developing the overarching sonic strategy for the public spaces, defining each digital platform’s sonic role within the broader experience
– Advisement and guidance on all A/V and infrastructure requirements that informed the design of AT&T’s world class audio playback system
– An iconic yet flexible sonic identity for the District maximized for ease of use across varying content types and platforms
– A dayparted overhead music strategy
– Immersive sound design in support of the 9-story, 104-foot Media Wall
– Transitional soundscapes for interstitial messaging and content
– Original longform music composition in support of active video content
– An interactive sonic experience for The Globe – the 30-foot sculptural centerpiece of the District — that dynamically reacts to movement with sound and visuals
Joel Beckerman – Founder + Executive Music Producer
Danielle Venne – Executive Music Producer
Alex Coutts – VP, Managing Director
Josh Getman – Music Co-Producer + Piano + Percussion
Bryan Natalio – Music Co-Producer + Composer / SFX
Joel Douek – Music Co-Producer + Composer / SFX
David Andronico – Music Co-Producer + Composer / SFX
Jose Revelo – Music Co-Producer + Composer / SFX
Yoan Yabor – Music Co-Producer + Composer / SFX
Evan Marien – Music Co-Producer + Composer / SFX
Tippan Phasuk – Singer
Ben Arons – Engineer / SFX
Mickey Alexander – Music Co-Producer + Composer / SFX
Brad Dale – Engineer
Greg Pliska – Composer
Gensler – Lead Architect
Float4 – Globe Programming + Visuals
Moment Factory – CMS + Creative
Electrosonic – A/V Design and Integration
Dallas Audio Post – On-Site Mixing