Sing as you move

September 06, 2017

From railways, art museums and cathedrals, to public and natural spaces, Julian Day (pictured) and his professional partner Luke Jaaniste have created temporary human orchestras to sound out locations the around them.

Artist Julian Day created Moving Collected Ambience from a frustration great orchestras were often exclusive.

The project has been running for 10 years and is an idea which brings individuals from diverse communities and upbringings together in sound.

From railways, art museums and cathedrals to public and natural spaces, Mr Day and his professional partner Luke Jaaniste have created temporary human orchestras to sound out locations around them.

In Shepparton for the lead-up to the project at the Shepparton Art Museum, Mr Day has just come off the back of a 24-hour choir set up in the observatory rocks overlooking Sydney Harbour.

‘‘The project is very different, it’s very simple vocal techniques, like humming, using a very full vowel sound and synchronising with others,’’ Mr Day said.

‘‘It doesn’t take long to learn, but what does take a little bit of time is how you cluster with other people and exactly what you do according to how close or far you are from artworks.

‘‘There is a bit of openness, but it’s not a free-for-all improvisation, there’s some structure to it, and it’s almost like a sonic, social game in the space that creates this pretty heavenly harmony.’’

The project started after Mr Day studied classical compilations and wanted to create a project which was open and something individuals could experience and take part in, regardless of their background or musical talents.

Introducing the project into an art space was a way to interact with the art personally, he said.

‘‘The other interest was what it meant to wonder through these beautiful spaces full of rare objects which we’re often asked to look at and not touch and not engage with beyond approaching them from a distance,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s a way of engaging with the exhibition in this unusual way where you sing as you move throughout the space and you engage with not only the collection but also the acoustics of the room.’’

Artists Super Critical Mass will present a participatory sound art performance on Friday, November 10, at 6.30pm as part of the Mimicry and Resistance exhibition.

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