Support sustainable innovation in opera and dance
The Sound Voice Project: Exhibition V © Sound Voice 2021 i
Winner of the FEDORA Digital Prize
€50,000 with the support of Kearney
World Premiere: 2023/2024 Season - Aldeburgh, United Kingdom
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.
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.