“Curated listening experience”—the overuse of this phrase has pushed it perilously close to “muzak” in the lexicon of audiophiles. Credit Sonos with injecting a fresh beat into the tired expression, not by choosing the music but by carefully selecting everything else.
Echoing its first-ever shop in New York, the Santa Barbara–based home speaker purveyor handed over two acoustically tuned rooms inside their new London Seven Dials storefront to local artists to design and furnish—with the only constraint being the quality of the sound. Famed muralist Camile Walala, whose unabashedly colorful tribal pop often graces massive structures seen around London’s streetscape and metro stations, had no trouble with the listening rooms’ cozy 10 x 12 confines. “I love being given free reign over a defined space,” Walala says. “Having the dimensions already set is quite freeing in a way.”
Walala and painter Neil Raitt, whose work adorns the other room, make use of every inch of the walls and ceilings, crafting decidedly eccentric but inviting environments in which to explore the Sonos line. Once inside, patrons are encouraged to make the space their own by plugging in a favorite playlist in order to experience the sound as intended by the artists, for whom it served as inspiration. “Music is hugely important to me while I work, so I was creating my ideal space to listen to music in,” Walala says. “The funny thing is, it turned out to look a lot like my own home.”
If that’s true, put us down for the next house party. We’ll bring the music.