Alone and unalone

Program notes

Alone and unalone is an examination of the relationship between individual and collective experience. When we listen to music together, as in a concert, we share a common reality, but we simultaneously have individual, unsharable  experiences in our own heads. The piece magnifies this condition by diffusing sound through headphones for the audience: each listener hears sound directed especially toward their own ears at the same time as they hear acoustic and electroacoustic sound in the space common to the other listeners. A confrontation of the philosophical problem of other minds, the affect of the piece endeavours to teeter between solipsism and the kind of empathy-building that occurs through art.

The piece traverses different performance practices, drawing inspiration from ASMRtists (online video performers of ASMR, a subculture devoted to generating tingling sensations), experimental theatre, Baroque music (especially drawing material from Handel’s Keyboard suite in D minor), and immersive environmental sounds.


Season Date Concert Member(s)
2020-21 Voi(rex) (web-diffusion live) Ensemble Paramirabo