Grant #395

ALMA’S Interactive Album

April 20, 2020

You + Headphones + App + New York City = Awesome Musical Experience

It’s still shocking to see the creative and artistic capital of the country shut down. In the fight to slow the spread of CV19, New York City closed museums, live theater, cinema, and musical performances. Although they don’t know when audiences and art will be back together, some creatives are working toward that day while maintaining physical distance. Among them: film composers Lillie McDonough and Alba Torremocha as well as Melissa Carter, who’s pursuing a graduate degree in Sonic Arts. Together they are ALMA, an experimental synth pop band using sound design, 3D audio, and cinematic styles to create art designed to expand the way we experience music and connect to our surroundings.

ALMA’s awesome idea: a concept album of songs written as a love letter to New York City, released as a series of interactive musical experiences in specific places throughout the five boroughs, kinda like musical Easter eggs.

Each song is meant to be heard — and experienced — in the location that inspired it.

Our AWB grant will help the trio develop an augmented reality mobile app. So you’d download the app, put on your headphones, head for the location in New York City that inspired the song, and listen as you walk through a 3D audio environment. If you ever played Pokemon Go, you’ll understand what they’re trying to create: a visual, game-ified, overlay on top of real locations, which you can affect by moving through space in the designated location.

We’re glad to help ALMA keep developing the technical aspects of the work until they can get back out into the city that’s inspiring their music.

The arts might not be “essential services” but they are essential inspirations. We look forward to the day we can (safely) experience ALMA’s way of saying “Welcome to New York.”

Category: Community, Culture, Music, Technology, Women



After 11+ years, we’re signing off and closing applications for good. We’ve supported 571 projects with $571,000 in grant dollars. We’re so proud to have celebrated such incredible work. Please visit for more information on other AWESOME chapters! And thanks for sharing so much awesomeness with us.

Team Awesome Without Borders