Sound Tour Brings Oakland Cemetery’s History To Life

Pamela Henman of the Historic Oakland Foundation and Devin Brown of ROAMtransmissions explain what The Cryptophonic Tour is about and how it came together.


The stories of Oakland Cemetery, and those whose remains are there, have been told many times and in many different ways.

But a dynamic retelling of the rich history of Atlanta’s landmark burial site promises a novel sonic experience.

Last year, Tunes from the Tomb included a full roster of live bands in an all-day festival at Oakland.

On May 2, an interactive sound installation, The Cryptophonic Tour, will feature the work of a dozen local artists who specialize in sound and multimedia forms.

As “City Lights” producer Erin Wright explained: “The key in Cryptophonic is the phonic element. The tour is a walking tour of Oakland Cemetery, with history and stories experienced through sound.”

“It’s a sonic journey for your ears to see.”

Tickets go on sale Wednesday and cost $10 in advance and $15 at the door.

The Cryptophonic Tour is a collaboration between the Historic Oakland Foundation and ROAMtransmissions, which produces an arts-oriented audio magazine.

The event also will kick off a new initiative, Arts at Oakland, that organizers envision with a revolving lineup of artists who produce their own multi-disciplinary versions of the cemetery’s history.

“We’re taking Oakland’s musical history and filtering it through a lens of artistic interpretation, rather than a band that would be doing that,” said Pamela Henman, director of public relations for Historic Oakland.

Devin Brown of ROAMtransmissions, the director of The Cryptophonic Tour, said he’s taken Pat Powers’ renowned guided Oakland tour multiple times and that forms the basis of the exhibit.

“ROAM has never done something on this scale; we have never done something on this scale,” Henman said. “So it’s really exciting, and we’re enthusiastic.”