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September 17th, 2011 marks not only Constitution Day but the re-opening of Hamilton Grange, the home of Alexander Hamilton, a founding father, to the general public in St. Nicholas Park. Closed for several years, the Grange which was moved to the park and has been completely restored will open with new exhibits, tours and installations.

Savona Bailey-McClain, Executive Director of the West Harlem Art Fund has been selected to curate two programs in celebration of the opening. The first will be an ongoing interactive installation called the “Sounds Along The Manor”.

 This installation, developed by artist Abigail Simon for Hamilton Grange, will offer visitors an opportunity to have a direct sound link to the past. “QR” codes will be posted at five different locations on the grounds surrounding the Grange. Visitors can take a picture of the code and then respond to a unique audio experience. These experiences will represent the world as it might have sounded at the time the Grange was built.

Participants will have the option of using their own handheld smart phones with printed map and location key or later visiting a dedicated website . Three of the distinct soundscapes will include: native birds, native fauna and layered sounds that will include bird and fauna but also water and wind. The remaining sound experiences will consist of “human” sounds such as the Streets of New York and native American dialects from that time period.

Sounds Along the Manor offers several advantages over traditional sound installations. The installation is easy to access because it’s outdoors. Participants can relive the experience again on the internet with images and maps, making it more interactive. The experience is also inter-generational where young and old can share a little taste of old New York.

September 17th is Constitution Day! Below is a tribute to our country’s birth.