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Switched on: Startup music label to transform Bartram's Garden into a concert hall

The Philadelphia-based music label Data Garden will be launching their idiosyncratic brand of music and visual art in a most unusual location for DesignPhiladelphia. This unveiling will take place at Bartram’s Garden, in what is being called "The Switched-On Garden."

Data Garden is the progeny of local musicians Joe Patitucci and Alex Tyson, and web designer Ian Cross. Within Data Garden are a number of musicians and visual artists, with names like Tadoma, Ray, and the Prisms, Cheap Dinosaurs, Cosmic Morning, and DJ Ryan Todd.

Because of the diversity and eclectic nature of Data Garden’s artists, it’s next to impossible to pigeonhole them into any particular genre of music or artwork, says Patitucci. "For instance, Cheap Dinosaurs uses Game Boys and 8-bit sounds, but there’s so much more to their music than what you would normally see classified as 'chiptune' or 'chip' music," elaborated Patitucci.

Yet, the true news of Data Garden’s release will be the convergence of music, nature, and sculpture. To set themselves apart from other labels, Data Garden will highlight their "Switched-On Garden" with "bio-interactive sound sculpture where people can interact with plants and each other to make music," said Patitucci.

To be sure, respect for nature will be high on the agenda for "The Switched-On Garden." To demonstrate this, Patitucci, Tyson, and Cross will be printing download cards on seed paper with water-based ink. This way, attendees can recycle the cards, which will eventually be planted at the garden, after they've downloaded Data Garden's offerings. 

Data Garden is certainly confident that they chose Bartram’s Garden. Tyson explains that the event will specifically highlight many of the garden’s natural gems, including its native plant species, meadow, pond, and trail that runs up to and along the Schuylkill River. Patitucci doesn't hesitate to add that there’s an area on a hill that acts as a "natural amphitheater." He suggests guests bring a blanket and relax on the hill.

The trio also didn’t give a second thought to releasing their album as part of DesignPhiladelphia. "Like Data Garden, DesignPhiladelphia is about finding the unexpected, combining disparate forms of design into an experience that can inspire people to create art themselves," says Cross.

The "Switched-On Garden" will unfold on Sunday, Oct. 16 from 3-8 p.m. at Bartram’s Garden. Admission is free, and the event is wheelchair accessible.

Sources: Joe Patitucci, Ian Cross, and Alex Tyson
Writer: Andy Sharpe
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