Sonic Branding: NYC’s High Line


LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton is sponsoring a first of its kind concert performance tomorrow (Dec. 3rd) at Carnegie Hall in New York — an ode to the city’s elevated train track, the High Line, which opened to great acclaim last year.

Ryan Francis, a gifted young Juilliard grad from Brooklyn, will premiere The High Line, his winning composition in a prize sponsored by LVMH and the American Composer’s Orchestra to create a Greener New York City-inspired sonic branding for the park. If Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue defined Manhattan (the place and Woody Allen movie) of old, then think of this as a modern-day Rhapsody in Green.

How did Francis create the aural experience and evoke the audio essence of the High Line experience?

He comments, “I did away with literal comparisons and came to really think about representing an environment. It’s a very quiet, private space. Even when it’s crowded, there’s a quiet about it. That sense of intimacy next to grandeur of the city was the overarching aesthetic influence.”

The park’s supporters, Friends of the High Line, include high-profile New Yorkers. David Bowie curated a music festival (sponsored by H&M) fundraiser in 2007.

Actor Ed Norton has been a vocal supporter:

Ethan Hawke, meanwhile, narrates this history: