Composer and musician Hilary Kleinig is collaborating with conversationalist Emma Beech to investigate how people experience and value music in an age of 24-hour connectedness and distraction. The research forms a starting point for a new work for piano and smartphone choir called The Lost Art of Listening, partly inspired by an Anna Goldsworthy article of the same name. It will also inform the creation of a unique smartphone choir app with digital studio Sandpit.
This project draws on Hilary’s work with Zephyr Quartet and their experimentation with using audience phones during their concerts. Smartphone choirs have the sonic effect of creating surround-sound, lo-fi multi-channel speakers, whilst also raising questions about the nature of listeners and performers, distraction and attention, passive and active involvement, occupation and dislocation.
Hilary Kleinig, with Emma Beech & Sandpit (Sam Haren/Dan Koerner)