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Loudspeakers Pave a Sonic Path to the Rock Hall

Artist Mark Reigelman jumped in to help the crew from Communication Exhibits in Canal Fulton during installation in front of the Rock Hall, Monday morning

Starting next month, clusters of colorful loudspeakers along Cleveland's East Ninth street will start playing music samples from the over 300 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees --- every day, on the hour.  The "Rock Box" project is aimed at better connecting the Rock Hall and downtown.  

Although the Hall of Fame is a major tourist attraction, it's lakeside location sometimes feels cut-off from the rest of the city.  Artist Mark Reigleman thinks he's found a way to create a musical path that will guide people to the music museum.

"It was important," he says,  "for the project to reach out to those people and offer almost like bread crumbs for them to make their way to the Rock Hall."

Reigelman hopes that these scheduled snippets of famous rock tunes --- running hourly from about 11:00 in the morning to 7:00 at night --- will blend into the city's atmosphere, reminding people of favorite tunes, and becoming part of the public conversation.

"I hope people will be walking to work, and they hear a Chuck Berry guitar riff, or the intro to a Michael Jackson song and for the rest of the day, they're kind of like, tapping away at their computer, and going, 'Oh man, remember 1982?' Or they call their buddy, 'Hey, what's that song that we heard this morning on the way to work?'" 

The Rock Box project is funded by a $500,000 grant from Destination Cleveland.  Land Studios is supervising this public art effort, and the Rock Hall will program the music. Mark Reigelman estimates the speakers will be playing by early July.

David C. Barnett was a senior arts & culture reporter for Ideastream Public Media. He retired in October 2022.