A musical pavement for pedestrian choregraphies

28 Feb 2024

Daily tous les jours unveils River Lines, turning a public plaza of Cambridge, Ontario, into an interactive stage for big impromptu musical ensembles.

Photo credit: doublespace photography

Montréal-based studio Daily tous les jours’ presents the most ambitious edition of their Musical Pavement series, River Lines, an interactive, wave-patterned pavement embedded with 62 sensing light rings to get people moving through musical collaboration exercises.

Developed through research, interviews and engagement workshops with the local community and developer HIP, the artwork is a response to the historical nature of the site and is an exemplar of how investment in the public realm is essential to reimagine and activate places and encourage collective interactions.

Under the pavement, the river

River Lines shifts the city’s attention back to its long-neglected waterfront, its design, and musical score highlighting how for more than a century the river has been central to the rhythms of community life.



Place your foot or wheel on a light ring to play a note. With different instrument sections (kalimba, piano, guitar, kora, harp, violin) assigned to positions across the pavement’s surface, players connect the dots to create arpeggiated clusters of notes that harmonize along with the playing of others to create one rich tapestry of music.  

A large screen overlooking River Lines plots the players’ movements on an animated map for everyone watching. 

Bespoke Sound System

Music emanates from the ground as if by magic. Twelve in-house tailored audio tiles have no visible hardware and blend into the pavement pattern. Their design is created for Daily tous les jours' Musical Pavement series, with a design that resists outdoor conditions and is suitable for permanent installation. Form and texture are adapted to fit the narrative of each edition.

About the Gaslight District

River Lines is one of two Daily tous les jours pieces commissioned for the Gaslight District by HIP Developments, as part of their vision for “Joy Experiments”—interventions designed to foster community through play.

The Gaslight District is a mixed-use development built on the site of a 19th-century foundry when the region was known as “the Manchester of Canada.” Today the region's industry leans more high-tech, with manufacturing in technologies like robotics and satellites, while also being home to the University of Waterloo, one of Canada’s leading institutions for advanced scientific research. 

Scott Higgins, President of HIP Developments, and developer of the Gaslight District said: “Using music, light and imagination, Hello, Hello and River Lines play an integral role in the revitalisation and revival of the district, transforming it into a place of social interaction and play for urban dwellers. One of the most important jobs of a city is to facilitate joy and connection between its citizens, and Daily tous les jours have a fresh and experimental approach to creating these moments of shared joy that bring strangers together, and make them a little less strange.” 

Another press kit on a similar project was also commissioned for the city of Cambridge.

Hello, Hello, a giant interactive arch to greet each other through music and light