Working internationally with people with lived experience of voice loss, interdisciplinary professionals, arts venues, festivals and hospitals, The Sound Voice Project aims to understand the intrinsic value of the human voice and how it connects to our identity? What is a voice and what happens when it is gone?
Over the two years between 2019 – 2021, composer Hannah Conway and writer Hazel Gould led creative engagement sessions with people with lived experience of voice loss (including Motor Neuron disease, Parkinson’s and throat cancer), their families and interdisciplinary experts who support them. Professionals from biomedical research, healthcare, technology and science joined together with those with lived experience in creative workshops to explore the meaning of voice. These are people that would never normally meet in the same room.
These collaborations evolved unique, shared understandings, new dialogue and personal narratives which have been translated into a series of six chamber works. All six works are for live performance on the concert platform.
Three of these works additionally exist as immersive, surround-sound pieces of digital theatre; video installations which have profoundly moved audiences; inviting them to deeply consider the value and beauty of the human voice.
In 2022-24 we launch phase two of The Sound Voice Project.
New audio-visual, immersive installation works, expanding the current project to design digital works especially for hospital settings. We’re exploring how immersive works of art can impact healthcare professionals, patients and visitors. This includes exploring how to transform the agency in a space and informing the future innovation of healthcare services and design of physical environments for patients and hospital community.
Touring The Sound Voice Project to five hospitals and four arts venues across the UK. We are working with these partners to develop outstanding co-creative practice, developing immersive installations for healthcare settings and innovative ways to reach new audiences. We are presenting interdisciplinary concerts featuring world class professional musicians, alongside performers with lived experience of voice loss.
Digital technology to integrate audience voice within ever evolving works of art: developing newly digital platforms to capture audience and patient voice.
A national programme of creative engagement workshops to explore voice and identity with healthcare professionals, patients, families and audiences.
Interdisciplinary think tanks and panel discussions to explore how new technologies inform the creation of new works of art in flexible community and healthcare settings. These sessions will also deeply explore the collective responsibility of press/arts industry for co-created/performed work by integrated disabled/non-disabled artists and people who’ve experienced extreme trauma.
The Sound Voice Project celebrates voice; changed voices, that are sometimes difficult to hear or understand because they have been so damaged and impacted by severe medical conditions/illness. We all have a relationship to voice and identity, no matter what background – it’s something that cuts across cultural/social background, age, gender and sexuality. We’re creating a platform for people who usually have very little or no access to the arts, both as performers and as creatives.
Audiences are invited to reflect upon their own identities (often prejudices) and experiences.
The Sound Voice project is a powerful model, operating outside traditional paradigms in the arts, social sciences and healthcare sectors to remain flexible and responsive, placing people with lived experience at the very centre.