Soundwalk Van Abbemuseum

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 Van Abbemuseum is the second 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 artist Lucas de Man. It also features several other people working for the Van Abbemuseum, such as curator Diana Franssen and Dutch artist John Körmeling.

(photo: Jouk Oosterhof)

Read more about the first museum soundwalk at the Fries Museum