Q+A: Elena Moon-Park, Found Sound Nation

Found Sound Nation is a creative music agency that partners with youth, social organizations, music festivals, and artists to connect people from all cultures and places. They focus on mobile recording, travelling around the world to create quality music, amazing art, and memorable experiences. Founded in 2015, FSN partners with Bang on a Can to bring music to life all around NYC and the world! Elena Moon-Park is the Project Manager & Development Director of Found Sound Nation, and we sat down to talk with her about some of their recent work.

Can you tell us a little about what Found Sound Nation does?

Found Sound Nation is a creative agency that designs collaborative music projects that bring people together across cultural divides. We believe collaborative music creation is a deeply effective way to become aware of the beauty, trauma, and hidden potential in our communities. We partner with youth, social organizations, music festivals, and artists across all disciplines, utilizing a music production method that is adaptable to different environments, based on finding the sounds and resonances of each space, draws upon the talents of musicians in the local scene, and examines issues most relevant to each community. Our aim is to enliven a global conversation about how creative collaboration in music can address issues we face locally and collectively, while making the world a funkier and more harmonious place.

What impacted your choice to come to DUMBO?

We first began working in Dumbo with recording engineer and filmmaker Devin Greenwood, who owns The Honey Jar recording studio in the basement of 68 Jay Street. Many musicians in our circles have recorded in several different studios at 68 Jay Street, and when an office space became available in the building, we were thrilled to move in and become a part of the community.

We believe collaborative music creation is a deeply effective way to become aware of the beauty, trauma, and hidden potential in our communities.

Elena Moon-Park, Foundsound Nation

Do you have a favorite spot in DUMBO to hang out?

I personally love the expansion of the Dumbo waterfront and Brooklyn Bridge Park. The neighborhood has and is changing so rapidly, which has its pluses and minuses -- but there is a concerted effort to support and develop public spaces, which I think is great. I love the public programming in the park and under the archway, especially when it mixes food and live performance. I'm also a big fan of summertime concerts and movies in the park. I look forward to more ideas for public art and programming across the neighborhood. I'm also excited to see St. Ann's Warehouse's new space, including its outdoor courtyard, and look forward to experiencing more cultural programming there.

Are there any big summer plans for FSN?

We run cultural exchange programs every year in partnership with Bang on a Can, a new music organization based in Fort Greene, and the US State Department. Those programs are always exciting and have built up an incredible global network of artists who we are lucky to call alumni and close friends. We also continue to run Street Studio Cities for a day each summer, in partnership with Make Music NY, which encourages producers and musicians to create sounds, beats and stories with people across NYC through a series of mobile recording setups. This year we are excited to launch a new project that will take us back to our roots of working with young people in NYC and the region on music creation inspired by issues of social and criminal justice.

That sounds interesting! Can you tell me more?

This project is very new, but it's supported by our very first grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, which is exciting. We plan to work with a poet & activist named Ian Manuel, who speaks about juvenile justice reform through his own personal story, and an organization based in Hudson, NY that works with youth called Kite's Nest, to create an original multimedia piece around juvenile and criminal justice. Stay tuned to see how it unfolds!

Is there anything else you'd like to share with us or your DUMBO peers?

We're very happy to be a part of the Dumbo community. At our core, we are creative collaborators and would love to build project ideas with any of our neighbors. Please reach out to us if interested!