Google have collaborated with French sound artist and urban storyteller Julie de Muer to create an immersive night walk through the back streets of Marseille using the Google Street technology.
Promenade Nocturne / Night Walk takes the virtual walker in Julie’s footsteps, through the narrow, graffiti-covered ruelles of the Cours Julien neighbourhood in Marseille. The walk is guided by Christophe Perruchi, musician and street art enthusiast, who shares his personal insights. A map shows the recommended route, but also some off-track options in dotted lines, and the location of the 34 “secret” landmarks to check out.
The Marseille-by-night atmosphere is conveyed by field recordings – echoing footsteps, music spilling out of bars, buzzing conversations on terraces – and a soundtrack composed by Perruchi.
Artworks and other points of interest to explore are signaled by icons to be clicked on.
Selected artworks can be explored in more details, with a mini-gallery and a few words about the individual artists.
It’s not all about street art: historical and cultural facts are part of the visit, such as this quote by Schopenhauer on Marseille.
A stunning scrolling panorama of the city at night, with clickable points of interests, is also one of the ‘secret’ treasures to unlock.
A few 1-minute films – a timelapse video of a mural painting (below), street musicians, a chef describing his favourite dish, an elderly Marseillais recalling a personal story – are interspersed in the walk like as many chance encounters.
Part immersive virtual urban walk with great sound and visual effects, part video game with a territory to explore and treasures to discover, part interactive tourism trailer for Marseille, this first Promenade Nocturne is a captivating experience with many layers to explore.