This post is a guest post from Heidi Leitzke, the Public Art Manager for the City of Lancaster.

I had heard rumors about the Lancaster Sound Map and seen a man walking around the City recording sounds, but I was not sure what it all meant until January, when I started working as Public Art Manager for the City of Lancaster. I then learned that the Lancaster Sound Map is a multi-faceted Public Art project by artist Stuart Hyatt, exploring the diverse character of Lancaster County.

LSM image collage RGB

Hyatt visited Lancaster 8 times, and on these visits he walked through the city and county recording sounds and photographing the people he met. These sounds were placed on a digital map that lives online at Lancaster Sound Map. The photos Hyatt took are also on the site. The discovered and recorded sounds became the source material for a set of nine songs Hyatt created, as he collaborated with FIELD WORKS-a music collective that explores place through recorded sound. These songs form a record, titled Born in the Ear, which has just been pressed into vinyl.

Hyatt also collaborated with Lancaster’s own creative community, inviting Illustrator Courtland Ellis to create original artwork for the album and writer Erik Anderson, professor at F&M, to write an essay, intended to be read while listening to the music.

I started my work with the City’s Office of Public Art just in time to help plan the party to celebrate the culmination of this project, perfect timing! We have planned two exciting events. Here are all the details:

  • Record Release and Preview Party for Born in the Ear
    Thursday May 5, 6-8 p.m. at Zoetropolis, event is Free, but RSVP is required.
    Visit for ticket link.
  • Lancaster Sound Map, An Exhibition, Listening Station and Meet the Artist
    Opening Friday, May 6, 5:30-8 pm at the City of Lancaster Visitor Center, 38 Penn Square.
    Free and Open to the Public.

This project is a wonderful example of the way art can reveal the layered stories of our community while inviting viewers to engage and contemplate their own stories. Listening to the album is a unique and wonderful experience. You will be able to buy your own album at the City of Lancaster Visitor Center, for only $10 during the exhibition and ArtWalk weekend. I hope you will join us in celebrating this project.