‘A digital meditation on hearing loss’, Platform 4’s immersive filmic experience Invisible Music places centre the personal experiences of Artistic Director Catherine Church, her mother and voices from the Winchester Lip-Reading Group. The 45 minute piece’s aim to highlight how the sense of sound when altered impacts day to day interactions.
Sound waves pictured against a black screen act as a visual representation of what we’re listening to, minimal yet meditative, verbatim accounts of scenarios and musical scores dominate the experience. Testimonials inform us of the frustrations felt when interacting with others, the line “a sense of feeling adrift” an echoing sentiment of this. Hearing loss is described as “theft of intimacy” and “socially isolating”, any “noises, distractions and diversions” causing a loss of focus. Speech rhythms of whomever is talking are crucial for supporting with lip reading and understanding speech, the “phenomenon of the brain filling in the gaps” a feeling that is constantly felt.
The film’s orchestrations and testimonials showcase a shared love of music, whether that be speaking of playing the piano and knowing that although the right notes are being played, sounding incorrect, to the sound of birdsong for the very first time when wearing hearing aids, to the rich, characterful soundscapes played by The Memory Point(s) band, we’re made aware of the occurrence of sound no matter how subtle within both nature and man made music, making the experience a thought provoking one. Barrett Hodgson‘s motion graphics react to the film’s testimonials, particular resonant lines appearing on the screen, making the performance accessible and further adding to the meditative feel. From sound waves rippling like the ocean, to colourful piano keys, to vibrant and glowing floating lights ascending the screen, Invisible Music’s audio visual approach informs, as well as places focus on the importance of the senses. A considered performance, showcasing the importance of a collective effort. A thought provoking watch!
Review by Lucy Basaba.
Invisible Music is currently available to watch here…