Listening Choir

A project by Adam Kinner & Christopher Willes, with Jeremy McCormick.

A group of people walk without speaking for an hour. Together they form a kind of mute yet noisy choir, listening as they walk, their movements becoming songs. They hear loud things, and unheard things, what’s been drowned out or quieted; the endless refrain of a city.

Listening Choir is a project that takes audiences on walks in public spaces. Throughout the walk each participant carries a cardboard loudspeaker that records and plays sounds along the way. These sounds are choreographed in various ways, evoking the immediate past, the sonic dislocation of objects and voices onto others, and the folding of histories and places on top of one another. Agreeing to drift without speaking, audiences are invited into an encounter with a continually fractured soundscape that reflects on notions of public space, citizenship, and how a city changes.

 Listening Choir was originally developed through a residency at Videofag in Kensington Market and has been presented at Open Ears (Kitchener-Waterloo), Intersite Visual Arts Festival (Calgary), Summerworks (Toronto), Art of the Danforth (Toronto) and Fierce Festival (Birmingham, UK).