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Help Sonic Trace build a portable sound booth to record stories from Mexicans & Central Americans across Los Angeles.
Help Sonic Trace build a portable sound booth to record stories from Mexicans & Central Americans across Los Angeles.
119 backers pledged $7,580 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

La Burbuja: Sonic Trace's Portable Sound Booth project video thumbnail
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$7,580

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Update August 10, 4:00 p.m.

Setting up the unfinished Burbuja at our launch party last night
Setting up the unfinished Burbuja at our launch party last night

La Burbuja made its showcase last night at Guelaguetza in the Koreatown neighborhood of Los Angeles. Though it was not completely finished, lacking its metallic silver coat, it was received with much praise, attracting both whole first-wave Oaxacan immigrant families and young KCRW hipsters alike.

Everybody was eager to step inside to take photos and converse personally among themselves. A raffle was held to raise some the money that is still needed to complete La Burbuja, prizes included a cookbook collection handpicked by Evan Kleiman of the radio show "Good Food" to bottles of Mezcal Reposado "Los Javis."

Thank you to all of those that came out last night to support. We just have a little over a week left in our Kickstarter campaign, help us raise enough money to finish La Burbuja!

Update: August 9, 6:28 p.m.

We have reached our Kickstarter goal! 

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! 

But we are far from funded. We have reached our budget but La Burbuja is still not finished. It still needs its exterior metallic finish and that comes with an additional $3,000 price tag. 

Stretch Goal #1 - $8,000

A "Killer Chrome" paint job which will give La Burbuja's surface the most reflective effect. This is to ensure that the final product looks like the original render.

Stretch Goal #2 - $10,000

Money to lug it around! La Burbuja will be stationed at 45 different locations within Southern California, we are going to need to rent a trailer each and every time. You will help us pay our Oaxacan neighbor for a pick-up truck to carry it, he is willing to offer to Sonic Trace for a small fee. Our Volkswagen just wont cut it!

Stretch Goal #3 - $15,000

La Burbuja arrives to Mexico City! Sonic Trace in Mexico, interviewing American expats and asking them the three Sonic Trace questions: Why do you go? Why do you stay? Why do you come back?

Sonic Trace is KCRW's new storytelling project that begins in the heart of Los Angeles and crosses into Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. Part radio, part video, Sonic Trace maps LA residents' answers to the questions: ¿Por qué te vas? ¿Por qué te quedas? ¿Por qué regresas? Why do you go? Why do you stay? And, what makes you return?

Illustration of La Burbuja Sound Booth at MacArthur Park, LA
Illustration of La Burbuja Sound Booth at MacArthur Park, LA

Last month we launched a competition to find a design for a portable sound booth for this new storytelling series. Sonic Trace will be taking this booth all over the city — to churches, food fairs and schools. To rock, jazz and cumbia concerts. We will be at the park, at the coffee shop and hanging at the tamale hot spots. We’ll be setting up and closing shop alongside food trucks and observing public transportation from bus stops and corner shops. You get the idea?

Illustration of La Burbuja Sound Booth at Plaza Mexico in LA
Illustration of La Burbuja Sound Booth at Plaza Mexico in LA

These places will be noisy and hectic. So we asked designers, builders and architects to help us make a portable sound booth that could be a space of intimacy, reflection and “border-less-ness”, where broadcast quality story-telling could happen. 

La Burbuja Sound Booth materials -- breaking it down.
La Burbuja Sound Booth materials -- breaking it down.

Designers Hugo Martinez and Christin To, both immigrants themselves, designed "La Burbuja" (the Bubble). With help from family and friends, they conceived a silvery orb that would open up in sections like a chocolate orange to reveal a womb-like recording space inside. The concept is for a “non-place”, in which the interviewee would be suspended in time and space, while passersby would see themselves reflected in a globe both dematerialized and opaque.

This is how La Burbuja Sound Booth would come together.
This is how La Burbuja Sound Booth would come together.

Hugo, who studied architecture at Columbia, then worked for architect Thom Mayne at Morphosis, and is experienced in fabrication, is convinced he can realize the concept in its simple purity for just $5,000. Help innovate public media and broadcast radio. Support Sonic Trace and Hugo Martinez in building this incredible story-telling bubble.

We encourage you to follow, post, tweet, pitch to Sonic Trace:                  sonictrace@kcrw.com                                                            @SonicTrace_KCRW                                                      www.sonictrace.com/kcrw

Sonic Trace is produced by Anayansi Diaz-Cortes and Eric Pearse Chavez. It is part of Localore, an initiative of the Association of Independents in Radio (AIR) and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. It's home is KCRW's  Independent Producer Project. The project is co-produced by Zeega, a non-profit inventing new forms of interactive storytelling.

A very special thanks to Jerry Henry, who directed and produced our Kickstarter video. Lately he shoots films like Exit Through The Gift Shop, but he felt our project resonated with his own work. His short film Something Other Than Other  (2004) really captures the essence of Sonic Trace.

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    Discover the regional cuisine of Mexico right here in LA. $250 gets you an ethnographic eating tour with food writer Javier Cabral and the producers of Sonic Trace. They'll take you to some off-the-grid spots serving the best Mexican and Central American food this side of the border.

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    You and a friend will come to KCRW for a live music performance during our signature show, Morning Becomes Eclectic. We can't guarantee that you get to see a specific band, but we can promise that you'll have a blast. We'll also fill your book bag with KCRW paraphernalia + thank you on the air.

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    A personalized Mezcal tasting complete with traditional Oaxacan appetizers for you and 25 of your guests, curated by Guelaguetza's co-owner Bricia Lopez. Guelaguetza specializes in regional Oaxacan food and will be hosting Sonic Trace's launch party on August 9. It will also be La Burbuja's first stop in its storytelling journey.

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Funding period

- (31 days)