“It was perfect for Hull people. We natives of Hull can often feel a bit shy or even ashamed to speak... with our our wide flat vowels. Many of us put on a ‘posh’ voice in interviews or just to answer the phone! - So imagine the joy of this wonderful Voice Park where local people were encouraged and could revel in the sounds of their own voices and once again could, shout out with pride “WE ARE HULL!”."
In this era of divergent voices, enter award winning public arts company Aswarm with their crack team of VEARO’s, out to harness the power of the ‘collective voice’ of our city.
speaking with the collective voice of the city
Our mobile voice collection teams, or "Vearo’s", go out across the city, engaging people in the spaces where they live, shop, work and play in a vocal vapour capturing exchange. Providing a series of encounters where people get to hold and see their voice in a whole new light, enlisting them as co-conspiritors in the Voice Park project.
All the disparate vocal components that make up a cities voice are gathered together into a Voice Park. An immersive installation and interactive mechanism that enables people to play with and articulate the collective voice of their city. Exploring the very nature of “speaking’ and creative potential of the collective voice. Open by day and by night, a whole pride of Voice-pods pulse with light & sound, collectively condensing all the vocal vapour we have gathered into a little bottle of Essence-du-Voix, for people to take away and use when they need to draw on the power of their cities voice.
I'm going to treasure my little bottle of ‘essence of distilled Hull voices’ forever!!!
The story so far
Initiated as A City Of Culture commission for Hull 2017
Redeveloped VP 2.0 with Oxford Contemporary Music in Oxford 2018
Touring version 3.0 in development with York Mediale (Unesco) in 2020
Touring 2021: British Arts Show ’21: Wolverhampton Art Gallery & WolvsLitFest
HOW IT WORKS - in more detail
VEARO (Voice Extraction And Rediffusion Operative)
Our VEARO teams go out across the city capturing 1000’s of samples of the 'power of a cities voice' using their bespoke backpack apparatus, in both Sound & Sticky Vocal-Vapour. – This vocally infused vapour is sucked through the backpack system into a Vocal Vessel, and handed to the participant so they can for the first time in their lives: “ hold their own voice ! ”.
Each Vearo team consists of one senior Vearo (Aswarm) and 2 local trainee assistants.
Across the city all these mini-interventions also serve to invite new audiences, who have invested a little of themselves into the project, to become co-conspirators and advocates to bring people to VOICE PARK.
VOICE PARK - An immersive installation
Voice Park is an immersive installation and interactive mechanism that enables people to explore, play-with and articulate the collective voice of their city. All the vocal samples gathered by the Vearo’s, from across the city, are fed into the Voice Park; a whole pride of Voice-pods, arranged as if an orchestra, plumbed together like a giant distillery.
Each Vocal Pod breath’s until it senses you... then listens for you to call into it... then they respond with a vocal utterance rendered in sound, light & vibration.
The whole installation invites us to explore together speaking with the collective voice of our city. (* - All these phonetic vocal utterances, capture the building blocks of words and vocalisation’s before they get lost in semantics, spoken, whispered, exclaimed and sung! )
The Voice Pods are plumbed together into a giant distillery system, condensing all the voices into a tiny bottle of ‘Essence-du-Voix’. – We are given a bottle to take home with us, for when we may need to draw on the power of our cities collective voice.
HOW TO BOOK
Voice Park is an adaptable and scalable project and we are currently reshaping a touring model, so please get in touch to discuss how it could work with your scenario.
Usually the Vearo’s work in a 3-6 week period leading up to the Voice Park installation, hosted within a w/e Festival event.
However we are also exploring different models, for example: in Wolverhampton, our Vearo’s went out gathering voices for Wolvs Literature Festival in 2020, and then will return for more Vearo’ing and installing Voice Park as part of the Wolverhampton hosting the British Art Show in 2021.
In York Mediale we are working with Yorks numerous local library network to train up Vearo’s with their staff going out into the communities and on-site via new vocal capturing machines, and initially in Hull we built a whole local narrative that built up over 5 months.
VOICE PARK TEAM
Voice Park was developed by Thor McIntyre-Burnie working in collaboration with Chloe Osborne, and built with Andrew Siddal (PM, Maker/3D designer), Nicholas Myers (Programmer for The Workers); Toby Jarvis (Maker/3D designer), Johnny Goodwin (Lighting Designer) and wider team of makers & engineers in London, Hull and Newbury.
V1.0: Originally commissioned by: Hull UK City of Culture 2017
Under the Land of Green Ginger (LOGG secret Commissioning Scheme,) Produced by Katy Fuller.
LOGG Project Producer Louise Yate. Within a wider narrative: Project VEAR.
V2.0: Developed in partnership with Oxford Contemporary Music, Oxford City Council and 101 Outdoor Arts Creation Space. With Lighting Designer James Ball & PM Ed Harcourt.
V3.0: In development with York Mediale.
PERFORMERS | Paschale Straiton · Brian Thunder · Andrew Macklin · Lucy Frost · Joe Flemming · Chloe Osborne · Andrew Siddal
Imagine our work transforming your city, festival or site?