Euphonia, 2018

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Emma Smith’s Euphonia is a ground breaking sound installation that converts the gallery into an interactive sonic chamber, accompanied by spaces for experimentation and research.

Working with a team of world experts in psychology, music and the brain, the artist ran a number of experiments to extract the melodies made subconsciously in day to day conversation from which she composed the score. Recorded with The Choir of St John’s College, Cambridge, the sound work plays across the galleries through an 8 speaker installation and reverberation panels.

A composite of conversations in many languages, transposed to musical form, Euphonia invites the public to add the musicality of their own voices to the work through a microphone in the space that adapts the pitch and notation of the score in relation to what it hears, as we do naturally in conversation.

The work also includes a tactile score for collective voicing, a reading and social space and an invitation to visitors to contribute to the projects on-going research through an online experiment.

Euphonia was developed based on collaborative research with Professor Ian Cross (University of Cambridge), Professor Lauren Stewart (Goldsmiths, University of London) and Professor Robin Dunbar (University of Oxford). The project was contributed to by a large number of groups and individuals including: Liverpool’s Choir With No Name, Up For Art, MaMa Choir, Blue Room and 20 Stories High.