As part of this TED profile, we asked Jason Sweeney to make audio recordings at his favorite places in his home city of Adelaide, Australia. Here, hear the sounds of the city — and enjoy the accompanying photographs, shot by Kristin Alford, with commentary by Sweeney.
“I’ve only been living up in the Adelaide Hills for the last four or five months so it’s a very new experience for me. I usually head to work around 8am, and I’m surrounded by this incredible nature — trees and hills. I’ve also just moved into a new studio so I drive down the Old Belair Road to get to work. As I get closer to the bottom of it, I’m able to see the city’s skyline.” See Old Belair Road on a map.
“Adelaide Central Market is incredible. Adelaide itself is a place you go if you want to be a musician or an artist, and it’s a very environmentally clean place to live. It’s one of those rare places in the world where in some ways it’s a little country town. My mother’s side of the family is Dutch, so I’m very comfortable being around different languages being spoken. The market offers another example of that.” Adelaide Central Market, 44-60 Gouger Street, Adelaide SA 5000, Australia. See it on a map.
“The Australian Experimental Art Foundation is the only one of its kind in Australia. It’s not just experimental art — it also promotes experimental literature and film, and it’s very open to all kinds of people coming in and doing projects. Plus, it has an amazing bookshop with art books and things you wouldn’t find anywhere else. It’s a hub of crazy, introverted artists. It’s been around since the 1970s, but it’s kind of hidden. Some people in Adelaide ask, ‘Oh, where’s that?’ and you take them and it’s this incredible surprise.” Australian Experimental Art Foundation, Lion Arts Centre, North Tce & Morphett St, Adelaide SA 5000, Australia. See it on a map.
“The Adelaide Botanic Garden in the heart of the city, and it’s a very good place to retreat. I gravitate towards it as much as I possibly can — although I try to avoid the weddings because they’re so chaotic. The gardens are close to the River Torrens and also near the other parklands that surround the city. If you wanted to, you could do a circuit around the entire city through the parklands and green space.” Adelaide Botanic Garden, Lot 1 Hackney Road, Adelaide SA 5000, Australia. See it on a map.
“Chinatown Cafe is part of the Central Market, and the reason I like it is because it feels incredibly welcoming to all different cultures — to anyone who lives on the fringes of Adelaide or in the different pockets of Australia. Adelaide can sometimes feel monocultural, but this place doesn’t feel that way. And most good Adelaideans will want to go there for that very reason. Plus, it’s a great place to eat, and really cheap.” Chinatown Cafe, 38 Moonta Street, Adelaide SA 5000, Australia. See it on a map.
“The Metropolitan is probably one of the best venues for live music in Adelaide. I love the people behind the bar, and the bands that still play there are people who were playing when I first began going almost 20 years ago.” The Hotel Metropolitan, 46 Grote Street, Adelaide SA 5000, Australia. See it on a map.
“The State Library to me is one of the last true bastions of public quiet space — even though I know the pressure is on for them to be more social spaces. The Mortlock Chamber at the State Library is free for public access, and it’s a beautiful old world space to sit in the balconies and read. Or just be quiet. Perfect!” Photo: Dee Halil. State Library of South Australia, Kintore Avenue, Adelaide SA 5000, Australia. See it on a map.
“I DJ an ambient music set each week at Soundpond.net, a city-based online station. I worked in community radio for about 15 years, and I hadn’t done it for a very long time, but I got involved with them about four months ago, and it’s been great for me. I go there and just feel like I belong.” [Pictured, Soundpond’s Todd Skipper and Kris O’Shaughnessy.] Soundpond, 264 Rundle St, Adelaide SA 5000, Australia. See it on a map.
“Victoria Park is close to where I’m working at the moment, and I try to walk here every day. It’s just a good local place to go to on a regular basis. There used to be a racetrack, but they thankfully closed it, so horses aren’t being raced there anymore. There are outdoor gyms, running tracks, bike tracks and a community garden. They’ve maintained a really nice open space.” Victoria Park, Wakefield Street, Adelaide SA 5000, Australia. See it on a map.
Check out all of Sweeney’s favorite places in Adelaide in this handy annotated map. You can also read more about Sweeney and his work and life in Adelaide. This article was published as part of our “Questions Worth Asking” series. This week’s teaser: “What makes a city feel like home?”
Alison Prato is a regular contributor to TED.