LAST WHISPERS

Oratorio for Vanished Voices, Collapsing Universes and a Falling Tree

curated by David Sheldon
October 21-23rd, 2016
London, UK

Last Whispers is a project about a mass extinction of spoken languages. The immersive sound and video installation premiered at
The British Museum during the Bloomsbury Festival, October 2016, and will continue to exhibit around the world.

 

IMMERSIVE ORATORIO

sound / video installation or a concert dedicated to the extinction of languages (running time: 46 minutes)

Last Whispers is simultaneously a film projection and a choral pre-recorded composition with binaural* sound, resulting in a 46-minute long visceral experience—an immersive oratorio.

The video consists of 3D animation, video drone footage and stills (all in black-and-white) poetically linking image and sound.

The Oratorio is a chorus of extinct and endangered languages, both spoken and sung, composed from the historical recordings (speech, recitatives, incantations, songs and ritual chants) punctuated by the sound of interpreted gravitational waves of the collapsing stars and supernovae recorded by LIGO “The Listening Ear.”

 Last Whispers is, in essence, a film with binaural* sound and it has two interpretations / editions:

EDITION 1: INSTALLATION & CONCERT

Museum / Concert Hall / Cathedral Installation and Concert

·       Last Whispers plays on a loop as an installation at the top of the hour or

·       Last Whispers plays as a choral concert and film event at a given time

·       Video screen projection of animation, stills and drone footage in black-and-white

·       Audio projection (8.1 binaural*) either via an 8.1 PA sound system or via earphones

EDITION 2: PUBLIC / LAND ART

Public Spaces

·       Public and land art installation via a weatherproofed 8.1 sound system

·       Large scale video projection

* Binaural recordings are reproductions of sounds the way human ears hear it, perceived as distinct and genuine 360° sound.

Edition 1 premiered at the Living & Dying Gallery at The British Museum in October 2016.

 

Stop-motion video (by Mark Mangini) of the Last Whispers installation at The Living & Dying Gallery of The British Museum. Sound set up provided by the generous support of Meyer / Autograph Sound.

Installation at The British Museum, Meyer Sound and Autograph tech support

Installation at The British Museum, Meyer Sound and Autograph tech support

Lena Herzog worked with a team to create an original work (sound design, composition, animation, drone footage) based on the archival recordings of extinct and endangered languages (40 in total). Screen shot ( 1 ) from the video of the installation (with original animation, video and composition)

Lena Herzog worked with a team to create an original work (sound design, composition, animation, drone footage) based on the archival recordings of extinct and endangered languages (40 in total). Screen shot ( 1 ) from the video of the installation (with original animation, video and composition)

Screen shot ( 2 ) from the video of the installation (with original animation, video and composition)

Screen shot ( 2 ) from the video of the installation (with original animation, video and composition)

Screen shot ( 3 ) from the video of the installation (with original animation, video and composition)

Screen shot ( 3 ) from the video of the installation (with original animation, video and composition)

Screen shot ( 4 ) from the video of the installation (with original animation, video and composition)

Screen shot ( 4 ) from the video of the installation (with original animation, video and composition)

Screen shot ( 5 ) from the video of the installation (with original animation, video and composition)

Screen shot ( 5 ) from the video of the installation (with original animation, video and composition)

Screen shot ( 6 ) from the video of the installation (with original animation, video and composition)

Screen shot ( 6 ) from the video of the installation (with original animation, video and composition)

Screen shot ( 7 ) from the video of the installation (with original animation, video and composition)

Screen shot ( 7 ) from the video of the installation (with original animation, video and composition)

Opening reception at The British Museum, Last Whispers team: Marco Capalbo (left), Mark Mangini, Lena Herzog, Mandana Seyfeddinipur, Margaret Morris (right)

Opening reception at The British Museum, Last Whispers team: Marco Capalbo (left), Mark Mangini, Lena Herzog, Mandana Seyfeddinipur, Margaret Morris (right)

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