In Congregation the audience (of up to 80 per show) arrive in small groups at a number of discrete locations in a city where they are given a silver sphere. They are instructed that the sphere will guide them to a location by emitting sounds that guide their journey. Simultaneously other audience members are being met at different locations and also being given similar spheres. Unknowingly all the participants are being led to one central location. As the audience members walk off holding their sonic spheres they turn a corner to find more people also carrying spheres until the sphere carrying participants have become a congregation moving inexorably towards their common destination.
For the public, the sight of one person after another carrying a distinctive silver sonic sphere will create the sense of being in a performance that is taking place all around them, a humming electronic web of sound that attracts and engages thousands of passers-by in a strange processional science fiction ceremony. The mass of ‘singing’ spheres generates an electronic musical composition at the final location with the participants being the orchestral players.
You can read more about how Congregation was developed on my blog: https://www.sonaesthetica.com/post/congregation-the-spheres-are-on-the-loose
Concept, design and composition: Ray Lee
Software development, hardware design, and concept development: Steve Symons
Additional concept development and Costume Design: Stavroula Kounadea
Producer: Simon Chatterton
Supported by Without Walls, Norfolk and Norwich Festival, Out There Festival, Oxford Contemporary Music, Oxford Brookes University, 101 Outdoor Arts Creation Centre