Digital Prize
Shortlist 2022

The Sound Voice Project: Exhibition V

United Kingdom
Britten Pears Arts

The Sound Voice Project: Exhibition V
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.

Presentation

A series of immersive digital-opera installations exploring what is a voice and what happens when it is lost? 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 two new installations and apply ground-breaking digital technologies to expand the current work, touring to arts venues, non-traditional performance spaces and hospital settings.

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. The work will be created in collaboration with people who lost voice due to serious illness: throat cancer, motor neurone disease and Parkinson’s disease, and the interdisciplinary professionals that support them.

Interactive, digital technologies will enable intimate proximity and full immersion within powerful stories that are rarely platformed, yet have universal relevance. Diverse audiences will have the opportunity to contribute their personal voices and images to the work; creating ever-evolving touring pieces which organically expand and change.

World renowned artists will perform alongside people who have lost their voice in two new works:The Willow Tree and Your Voice.

The Willow Tree (counter-tenor), a personification of Parkinson’s Disease steals a man’s voice (baritone). As the man’s voice is weakened and detaches, it fractures into a hundred different voices performed by people who are affected by Parkinson’s.

Your Voice: a universal piece about memory, lost and loved voices, written after hours of dialogue with people affected by motor neurone disease, their families and interdisciplinary professionals. An intimate, super-portable installation using headphones and AR technology for 1-3 people at a time. This work is flexible and cathartic, installed on a hospital bed or small waiting room.

Artistic Team

The project team brings together world-class experts from across the arts, healthcare, science, technology, biomedical research, neuroscience and commercial technology sectors. The projects continues an exciting collaboration between composer Hannah Conway, video designer Luke Halls, sound designer David Sheppard, and librettist Hazel Gould. Further information about the core creative team is given below. This phase of the project will be an opportunity to collaborate with new artists, and will continue our collaboration with world-class opera singers including Lucy Crowe, Roderick Williams and Iestyn Thomas. Creative Producer Katherine Wilde brings a wealth of expertise as a producer, strategic thinker and artistic programmer. She has over 15 years of experience as a specialist producer making new multi-disciplinary work in collaboration with communities and young people, including work for English National Opera and MIF. Sound Voice Medical Director Thomas Moors is a Belgian medical doctor with a special interest in voice and the integration of art into healthcare. He develops Sound Voice’s professional networks internationally. In 2015 he founded Shout at Cancer, a charity for people who have had a laryngectomy. He received the Points of Light Award from the British Prime Minister in 2017 for his charitable work and achievements. We are working with Professor Nick Tyler at PEARL (Person Environmental Activity Laboratory), UCL, to explore the development of environments for cultural experiences, supporting the work we are creating to be experienced in hospital wards. Further 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.

Partners

Sound Voice

United Kingdom

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