Soundwalk Fries Museum

Reinventing the museum audio tour

A museum soundwalk is an innovative audio tour, which allows museum visitors to experience a museum in a new, exciting way. Johan Idema developed the concept for museum soundwalks and is producing them for several museums. The Fries Museum was the first Dutch museum to introduce a museum soundwalk.

Museum soundwalks differ from traditional audio tours. They provide a strong and non-stop one-hour narrative, told by a charismatic narrator. The soundwalk focuses on the diverse stories behind the museum, and includes music and sound effects. They don’t focus exclusively on art works, but also tell you about the history, the architecture and the people working at a museum, including stories from behind the scenes. A museum soundwalk features stories and offers insights that other museum visitors often miss. “Soundwalks allow museums to take the step from historical, object-based presentations to telling a broader, more accessible story about themselves”, according to Johan Idema.

The soundwalk of the Fries Museum is narrated by Dutch stand up comedian Jan Jaap van der Wal. It also includes others who worked for the Fries Museum, such as architect Hubert-Jan Henket. In the soundwalk he gives away how he was chosen as architect for the new museum, while artists Claudy Jongstra tells about her huge carpet in the lobby of the museum.

(photo: Jouk Oosterhof)