Sound Stage

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The black and white Sound of Luxury pod began to illuminate as the sun set over West Hollywood. We were in California, bringing the activation we debuted at Miami’s Art Basel to the other coast. A Lincoln-embossed door opened to welcome guestsinside, where a dimly lit 2016 MKX was waiting, its silver surfaces reflecting the surrounding digital environment. The vehicle was encircled by screens projecting, for the moment, images of blue cosmos to set a relaxing tone before the real experience began.

When guests climbed into the vehicle and pushed the play button on the console, a dazzling animation appeared on all screens, its pixels dancing in perfect synchrony with the music. Four distinct scores composed by Paola Prestini floated from the vehicle’s Revel Audio system, in perfect stereo, audience, or onstage mode. The feeling behind the experience was utterly immersive.

Guests exited the pod feeling a little different than when they entered it, with a distinct feeling of having been taken somewhere. And in fact, they were. Each of Prestini’s scores was composed to evoke a certain feeling in the listener—rejuvenation, for example. It was this slight but marked change in perspective that we wanted to explore when talking with guests throughout the night. And that transporting quality of sound and music — that shift in perspective — was exactly what we set out to understand and, in fact, create.

Mandy Kellogg Rye of Waiting on Martha“What was interesting was posing that question to other people and hearing their Kevin Burg & Jamie Beck of Ann Street Studiopersonal take on it, because it is a very personal question,” Mandy Kellogg Rye of Waiting on Martha said. “One girl The Misshapes’ Leigh Lezark & Geordon Nicolsaid sound has the ability to scare her. And I was like, scare? Frighten? And she’s like, thunderstorms. And I love thunderstorms. I’ll sleep to thunderstorms. So, it’s so interesting how powerful something is — to see how it impacts everyone so differently.”

While some responses to sound are subjective to the individual, others are hardwired into our brains and shape the experience of what it is to be human.

“After experiencing the Sound of Luxury activation, I have come to realize how the power of music can transport you through the full range of human emotion,” Ann Street Studio’s Jamie Beck said. “It’s the most transporting tool we can activate in our day, and the better the sound quality, the more moving the human experience.”

One thing that became blatantly clear on such a music-heavy weekend — with its music industry summits and Joe Jonas DJ sets and Tinashe performances, not to mention the awards show — was that good sound is imperative. But it’s imperative because sound, unlike any other media, puts us directly in touch with our human feelings. It’s primal and ancient yet, thanks to technology and that constant urge we have to evolve, ever new.

“Being in an immersive environment like the Sound of Luxury strips you of your innate perceptions,” photographer Jared Chambers said. “There are moments when you are completely overcome by the bass and treble, and those when you’re resolute in the softness and in-betweens. For me, it’s a very similar experience to being surrounded by nature. At summit of a mountain or edge of a precipice, there is both awe and solitude.”

“Anybody can create now with modern technology,” Geordon Nicol from The Misshapes said. “Anybody can just expand on any sort of idea involving sound. Whether it’s you DJing from your laptop or a sound system in a great car, or you’re at a concert venue — wherever that sound is coming from, I think it’s just moving in a positive direction and allowing so many more things to be possible.”

It’s that expanding range of possibility that inspired us to rebuild the 2016 Lincoln MKX with an immersive sound system, in partnership with the innovative team at Harmon Kardon. To learn more about the Lincoln + Revel experience, explore here.

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