FEDORA

Digital Prize
Nominee 2022

Jury
Nominee
The Sound Voice Project: Exhibition V

United Kingdom
Britten Pears Arts

Voting

140

03 / 11

vote for this project

Crowdfunding Results

€6,504
collected

€1,000
Matched

€13,570
target

The Sound Voice Project: Exhibition V: An immersive digital-opera installation created with partners in healthcare, technology, science and biomedical research, and people with lived experience of voice loss. Dynamic integration of voices from across the globe in an ever-changing and evolving work of art.

About the Project

The Sound Voice Project is a unique series of immersive digital-opera installations for flexible, interactive spaces exploring voice and identity: co-created with interdisciplinary partners in healthcare, technology, science and biomedical research, and people with lived experience of voice loss.

The project celebrates and explores the intrinsic value of the human voice; a development of The Sound Voice Project 2021, a surround-sound digital-opera triptych. We’ll create new installations and apply ground-breaking digital technologies to expand the current work, touring to arts venues, non-traditional performance spaces and hospital settings. The project is a unique collaboration between experts in voice synthesis, interactive immersive sound design, video design, AR and motion capture, and biomedical research; soft robotics and implantable larynxes.

This crowdfunding campaign focusses on The Singing Willow; a new chapter of the Sound Voice Project Exhibition V(oice) which will enable people from across the globe to contribute their own unique voices to an organically evolving and ever-growing new digital work. We ask audiences to consider: What is a voice? What happens when it is gone? The project invites universal reflection on where and how voice and identity intersect, enabling dynamic dialogue and participation, integrated within the work of art itself. Interactive, digital technologies will enable intimate proximity and full immersion within powerful stories that are rarely platformed, yet have universal relevance.


Read more

The Singing Willow is our next ambitious addition to The Sound Voice Project.

This new immersive work transforms and expands an original work 'The Willow Tree' from the Sound Voice Project series. (See below for more detail of the original piece*). It will be created through a series of creative collaboration workshops with interdisciplinary healthcare and technology professionals and facilitated physical spaces designed to support dialogue about voice and identity.

It will expand the existing installation to enable audiences to explore universal themes relating to voice and identity. How do communities perceive and understand their own and each other’s voices. What does it mean to capture or withhold a voice? How do we value, listen and treasure voice in society?

Cross-industry partners include five hospitals, a cutting edge biomedical research group at UCL creating implantable larynxes, Parkinson’s clinicians, speech and language experts, digital technology companies specialising in vocal synthesis (Cereproc, Respeecher), medical device companies (Pentax Medical, ATOS) and UCL’s department of Healthcare and Engineering.

Working with voice synthesis experts, we’ll design online platforms and ground-breaking ‘speech to sung voice’ modelling to capture audience voices.

This crowdfunding campaign will enable the development of this technology to enable the digital capture of hundreds of people's voices across the globe and also fund voice capture in localised, in person recording sessions. The funds will enable:

1) A global, online recording facility; the creation of a digital platform that can capture voices and audience reflections. These voices will be integrated within the ever evolving, organically growing Singing Willow.

2) In-person recording sessions for small groups affected by voice loss including those affected by Parkinson's disease.

3) Large scale creative engagement workshops to capture massed sung voices.

Please see the 'Why should you support us section' for more information.


*The Singing Willow is an immersive transformation and development of a concert chamber work, 'The Willow Tree' from the Sound Voice Project.

The Willow Tree is an ancient spirit who steals and consumes the voices, identity and soul of humans in order to survive. This scene is the story of one man who fights back against the Willow Tree. In the original chamber work, the man is performed by three voices: a professional baritone, and two performers who have Parkinson’s. The text was written after hours of discussion with people affected by Parkinson's disease, their carers and healthcare professionals connected to voice rehabilitation.

We will transform and extend this work using hundreds of audience voices into an immersive digital installation.



Why should you support us?

Thank you for reading this far - your support will make a genuine difference. 

We will be able to transform the existing concert work (The Willow Tree) into a digital 'Singing Willow' using hundreds of audience voices; an immersive digital installation. This canopy of voices will be experienced in a 360 degree spatial sound design and will enable an intimate audience listening experience of both local community and global voices alongside world class professional opera singers and instrumentalists. Video projections will be created using motion capture technology working with those affected by Parkinson's disease and their families.

This Crowdfunding campaign will enable hundreds more voices of people affected by Parkinson's disease to be heard, but also enable global audience participation in the project. We invite wider audiences and communities internationally to contribute their voices, both sung and spoken, to the project.

The funds will create three different ways in which we can enable audiences and local communities to connect to the project and contribute recordings of their voices. All voices recorded in the following models will be integrated within in the installation of The Singing Willow:

A facilitated one-day recording session that will enable us to record the voices of c30 people individually and in small groups
The cost for this is €4,485 - the equivalent of c€75 per recorded person

A facilitated evening session capturing the voices of around 100 people together at the same time
The cost of this is €1035 - the equivalent of c€10 per recorded person

The creation of an online recording facility, that will enable people from across the globe to record their voices 
The cost for this is €5750, which will include the building of a specialist platform that enables an easy system of voice capture 

Project-wide costs that enable replication of the recording sessions in other places 
This will include learning resources, marketing and producing and is costed at €2,300

Who are we?

Sound Voice

We make exceptional works of art

By creating unique, interdisciplinary collaborations

Accelerating thinking and transforming practice

Demonstrating why artists and the arts

Are catalysts for multi-sector innovation

https://soundvoice.org 

We connect people who would normally never be in the same room: We bring together experts: people with lived experience, world class artists, biomedical researchers, technologists, healthcare professionals and academics to explore ideas. These are unique opportunities for discussion and shared understanding, making bridges between the arts, science, research and healthcare sectors. Audiences are introduced to contemporary stories and research, and professionals from multiple sectors connect with the people they work to help in new and unusual ways.

We create equal spaces where roles are redefined: Sound Voice invites individuals and teams to think further, listen deeply, be playful, and imagine outside of the box. We create spaces in which people feel heard and can express themselves creatively. We use the arts to generate discussion and cultivate shared understanding, inviting deep exploration into a range of topics and research questions. We value people’s expertise and ask them to work in new ways. Everyone is equally out of their depth yet gathers fresh perspective.

We create powerful works of art that tell unheard stories: A team of dynamic professional artists translate this collective research and personal narratives into exceptional works of art, working cross-discipline to give audiences multiple ways to connect to an idea. The live performance and installation work challenges audiences to think differently, seeking to raise awareness of under-represented voices and provoke change in attitude and perception.

We set in motion new ideas: This is the first time that opera has been used within biomedical product development. We are working closely with science and technology entrepreneurs to initiate new research directions, embedding their technology within works of art. We operate outside traditional models of the arts, social sciences and healthcare to remain flexible and responsive. Using the arts as a central catalyst for creative collaboration we advocate ways of working cross sector that place people with lived experience at the very centre.

Sound Voice core team: 

Hannah Conway established Sound Voice’s inaugural project in 2019, bringing Thomas Moors and Katherine Wilde on board as co-founders. She is internationally recognised for her work with leading opera houses, orchestras and arts organisations, with 25 years of expertise as composer, presenter and artistic director working in eighteen countries. At the heart of her work is intense collaboration with diverse communities. Her music has been broadcast on BBC radio and BBC television including works for the BBC Singers, London Symphony Orchestra, Glyndebourne Opera, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, BBC Concert Orchestra and English National Opera. Dare To Dream (2019) and The Freedom Game (2015) both premiered at the Royal Albert Hall and Beautiful World (2016) which won the Education Middle East prize. She was Artistic Director of Streetwise Opera, moderates for the EU commission cultural flagship events and has presented for BBC Radio 3.

www.hannahconway.co.uk

Katherine Wilde brings a wealth of expertise to Sound Voice as a producer, strategic thinker and artistic programmer to create innovative multi-disciplinary work. Born in the North West, she has over 15 years of experience as a specialist producer making new work in collaboration with communities and young people. She has produced work for Manchester International Festival (The Walk: When the Birds Land; Looking Forward to Tomorrow; Catch a Fire), English National Opera (Mask of Orpheus; Orpheus and Eurydice; Dido in collaboration with the Unicorn Theatre), and site-specific performance for the ENO Baylis learning programme (Towards Another World with the V&A Museum; Millions of Years with the British Museum). She has worked as an Assistant Director with ENO, WNO, Opera North and Garsington Opera. She co-founded music-theatre company Re:Sound, was a Future Fire at Manchester’s Contact theatre, and trained as a music teacher with Teach First.

Dr Thomas Moors is a Belgian medical doctor, based in London, with a special interest in voice and the integration of art into healthcare. Renowned for his ‘out of the box’ approach and creative flair, he develops Sound Voice’s professional networks internationally across research, medicine, healthcare and the arts. In 2015 he founded Shout at Cancer, the only charity in the world specialising in speech recovery and social reintegration after laryngectomy, the surgical removal of the voice box. He received the Points of Light Award from the British Prime Minister in 2017 for his charitable work and achievements. His mission is to bring positive attention towards small and scattered groups, that have been relatively overlooked in research and our society before.

Britten Pears Arts is a pioneering cultural charity based in Suffolk. It emerged from the determination of composer Benjamin Britten and his partner, singer Peter Pears, to ensure that everyone could enjoy and experience music. Britten Pears Arts aims to continue their legacy to develop talent, celebrate their heritage and engage with communities. We use music to transform people’s lives, to bring communities together and enhance daily life. We want the arts to effect powerful positive change in, and for, society; or, as Britten himself would have put it, making the arts “useful.” Our vision is to be both a locally relevant and internationally recognised cultural organisation. We recognise our value to the local community as an organisation firmly rooted in the Suffolk countryside. In many ways, we are one of a kind. We offer innovative learning and training in music and heritage, opportunities to experience world-class performance, and work with freelance musician and artists to deliver outstanding experiences.
https://brittenpearsarts.org 

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