Bluecoat, School Lane, Liverpool, 27 April – 24 June
Bluecoat’s gallery is transformed into a sonic chamber for collective singing in this ground-breaking new sound installation by Emma Smith, based on the music of social communication. Euphonia is an interactive sound work illustrating how we unconsciously make music through interlocking rhythms, pitch and tone when we engage in friendly interactions – such as chitchat with friends. Smith will draw from sounds created by the many people who visit Bluecoat on a daily basis –parents and babies, visitors to the café and the choirs and groups who rehearse there in the evenings.
The exhibition opens Friday 27 April and runs until Sunday 24 June 2018.
Euphonia is based on the premise that when we engage in friendly interactions – chitchat with friends – we unconsciously make music through interlocking rhythms, pitch and tone. Supported by The Wellcome Trust and working with a team of world experts on psychology, music and the brain, Smith is extracting this music of social communication to create an interactive sound work. As part of this process the artist has created a new form of musical scoring to share the sound of human relationships.
In the lead up to the exhibition Smith is developing her research through public facing experiments and workshops, working with many of the long term communities of interest who visit Bluecoat on a daily basis – the parents and babies who come here for weekly sessions, visitors talking informally in the café and the choirs and groups who rehearse here in the evenings, including Liverpool’s Choir With No Name set up for people affected by homelessness and marginalisation and 20 Stories High an award winning youth theatre group. The full civic, social and artistic breadth of Bluecoat as an arts centre is indirectly captured in these recordings. Also working further afield, the artist is creating workshops and online experiments to capture and understand the musicality of social interactions in a range of languages.
The exhibition is the first of its kind in Liverpool and has been developed through collaborative research with Professor Robin Dunbar (University of Oxford), Professor Lauren Stewart (Goldsmiths) Professor Ian Cross (University of Cambridge) and Dr. Victoria Williamson (University of Sheffield). An events programme accompanying the exhibition will share the research behind the making of the work and invite the public to undertake their own vocal experiments and add their voices to the show.